Pakistan crushes India to win Champions Trophy

A nod, too, should go to his predecessor Azhar Ali, who previous year had resembled Pakistan’s answer to Alastair Cook – a roundhead in an increasingly cavalier-dominated sport – but has since shrugged off his jump-before-you-are-pushed decision to stand down as captain and knuckled down as a player; his 59 in the opening stand of 128 with Fakhar set the platform.”Pakistan had to earn their win and they made us make mistakes”.Pakistan celebrate winning the ICC Champions Trophy.Pakistan batsman Mohammad Hafeez: “It’s a great, great team effort from where we came from because we knew after losing the first game, we were nowhere”.It was, all too briefly for India, eight for one when Fakhar went after a wide one from Jasprit Bumrah and edged behind, only to be reprieved by the no-ball call. During a no-fear, enterprising innings he struck 12 fours and three sixes to pull apart a sub-standard India bowling attack.The match turned out to be one of the most nightmarish under Virat Kohli’s captaincy.He was completely unplayable with the new ball, which he swung both ways, to trap the likes of Rohit Sharma and Skikhar Dhawan.On a flat deck, Kohli surprised everyone opting to field, a decision prompted by the current team’s ability to chase any target. Zaman scored a ton.India’s star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had a return to forget, his 10 wicketless overs costing 70 runs.With no assistance from the pitch, their limitations were thoroughly exposed against batsmen, who were ready to use their feet.”Our team has presented us with a best gift in the holy fasting month of Ramadan”, said Shabbir Ali Asghar, a 14-year-old student, as he watched the final with friends on television in Rawalpindi.Mohammad Amir dismantled the top order, dismissing Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan with pace and swing. The fate of the match was sealed.But he only looked to be delaying the inevitable and a mix-up with Ravindra Jadeja saw him run out for 76. Pandya was livid but he was only delaying the inevitable.Not many had backed Pakistan to go beyond the group stage in the Champions Trophy, but the team led by Sarfraz Ahmed enjoyed an extraordinary revival after its disastrous opener. “We want to be more consistent as a team“.He was eventually out when he sliced medium-pacer Hardik Pandya and Jadeja, running back from point, held a well-judged catch.The final flourish was provided by veteran Mohammed Hafeez (57 off 37) with help of four boundaries and three sixes.Together with fellow all-rounder Imad Wasim (25 not out), he shared an unbroken stand of 71 for the fifth wicket.India paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar, with an economical 1-44 in 10 overs, helped atone for some wayward bowling by his team-mates in an innings featuring 13 wides and three no-balls – almost three extra overs.