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Nation rages as Pak defeats arch-rival India in Champions Trophy

Soon after Pakistan’s 124-run defeat against India at Edgbaston early this month, Mickey Arthur took great offence when asked whether his team had regressed in limited-overs cricket during his one-year tenure as head coach.It was Pakistan’s first global 50-over trophy since winning the 1992 World Cup.Pakistan entered the eight-team Champions Trophy in England and Wales ranked dead last, but upset arch-rivals India with a 180-run thrashing in Sunday’s final. “We played very well and now we have won the final”, he said.Pakistan, ominously made to bat first – the team batting first lost six of the seven previous finals – racked up a final-record innings of 338-4, founded on a 128-run opening stand between Fakhar Zaman, who earned his maiden one-day worldwide century with 114, and Azhar Ali, whom Fakhar helped to run out on 59.Fakhar should have been out for 3 in the fourth over, caught behind, but Jasprit Bumrah delivered a no ball. After Azhar was run out, Fakhar shrugged that off, too, and scored a maiden century in his fourth one-day worldwide. Fakhar scored 114 off 106 balls.Pakistan, once a cricketing powerhouse, has watched its world ranking slide as top teams have refused to tour the conflict-prone country, forcing the home side to play all worldwide matches overseas.He trapped Rohit Sharma lbw for a duck with a swinging delivery and removed India talisman Virat Kohli with another fine ball which the captain could only edge to point for five.Mohammad Hafeez and Babar Azam also chipped in with handy contributions towards the end of the innings and helped their team go past 300 marks. Amir took out all three of India’s premier batsmen, bowled a maiden for figures of 6-2-16-3, then watched as his teammates mopped up. When we arrived here, we played like we had nothing to lose.”Credit to everyone for standing up and showing that resilience and reaching the finals – (but) we were outplayed in all departments”. No one recognized Pakistan in world cricket, and here we are, the champions. Losing to India first up was regarded as a stumble, a bad day. “Obviously nobody was rating us and they were writing us off, but once again I give all the credit to the team management for boosting us after the India game, especially our bowlers”. When players like that get going on their day, it can be very hard.