Amir, Fakhar lead Pakistan to Champions Trophy triumph


Fellow opener Azhar survived run out chances on 15 and 29.They made India pay for the let-off and misses.

Fakhar, the man-of-the-match, shared an opening stand of 128 with Azhar Ali (59) and then put on 72 with Babar Azam (46) for the second wicket.

Any thought of the unlikeliest of victories was snuffed out when Pandya was run out by the length of the pitch after a mix-up with Jadeja.

His transformation into a hero was complete as his final tally was six overs, two maidens, 16 runs and three wickets. He smashed 50 runs off 32 balls and was later run out.

Although it was a chastening defeat for Kohli, it was something to savour for his Pakistan counterpart Sarfraz. He ended up with a knock of 76 runs off 43 balls.

Not wanting to let India know he was rattled, he hit two boundaries quickly, plus a third off his helmet, and he was on his way.

Hafeez played brilliantly smashing a quick 57 with four 4s and three 6s. Pakistan scored 338 runs at an average of 6.76 runs per over.

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He was completely unplayable with the new ball, which he swung both ways, to trap the likes of Rohit Sharma and Skikhar Dhawan. Amir, fired up, got Sharma lbw.

"When a guy like Azhar Ali, who is a conventional batsman, plays his shots, you can still have a plan".

Even Golden Bat victor Shikhar Dhawan couldn't resist Amir's persistent accuracy, edging through outside off-stump, and when teenage spinner Shadab Khan successfully convinced Sarfraz Ahmed to review a "not out" lbw decision against Yuvraj Singh India's hopes were fading fast at 54-4. Having lost the early wickets of Rohit, Kohli and Dhawan, India were in a soup.

But he could not stop Sunday's slide as he holed out off Hasan, with Imad Wasim taking a low catch in the deep. Dhoni went on 4 runs.

"I mean, 25 extras is a bit too much in a game like that, and that s something that we certainly need to take care of in the future".

Hardik Pandya gave the stunned India fans in a capacity crowd something to cheer as he hit three sixes off succesive balls to bring up a dashing fifty. This was India's seventh wicket for 152 runs.

For the first time in the tournament, their top order failed while their usually reliable spin bowling was costly - Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kedar Jadhav returned combined bowling figures of 21-0-164-1. Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, in his opening address to the media, said the win will boost Pakistan cricket and "hopefully all nations will now come to Pakistan".