Fakhar Zaman (114 from 142 balls) hit the first ODI century of his career to help the underdogs thrash bitter rivals India by 180 runs in Sunday’s final at The Oval.
Hardik Pandya smashed 76 off 43 balls, hit half a dozen of sixes to provide some entertainment, before being run-out due to a frightful mix-up with Jadeja.
Caught off a no-ball on three, left-handed opener Fakhar went on to make an impressive 114.
# Pakistan’s 338/4 is the highest total posted by a team batting first at The Oval.
They were eventually dismissed for 158 in reply to Pakistan’s 338 for four, which featured Fakhar Zaman’s 114, the left-handed opener’s maiden one-day global hundred coming in just his fourth match at this level.
India captain Virat Kohli, who was one of three batsmen dismissed in a devastating opening spell from Mohammad Amir, accepted his side had been a distant second best.
India suffered a shock loss to Sri Lanka in the group stage before overwhelming Bangladesh in the semis and their captain Virat Kohli has been impressed by Pakistan’s resurgence.
Caught off a no-ball on three, left-hander Fakhar shared an opening stand of 128 with Azhar Ali (59) and then put on 72 with Babar Azam (48) for the second wicket.
Azhar Ali (59), Mohammed Hafeez (57) and Babar Azam (46) also played solid to prop up the Pakistan innings. The likes of Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav were at least expected to lead some kind of a fightback and offer India some sort of respectability.
“Well played, deserved winners and a great result for Pakistan cricket”.
It was compelling shot-a-ball viewing, with several not necessarily dispatched in the intended direction. Saeed Ajmal was bowled first ball, and new man Junaid Khan got off the mark with a single, giving Shahid Afridi the strike against offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
“Fakhar is a great impact player, he played like a champion batsman”.
Azhar had to go, with his partner static in the non-striker’s crease, after Bumrah pulled off an unexpectedly brilliant stop at midwicket. But while trying to slog the medium pacer Hardik Pandy’s delivery, Zaman was caught by Ravindra Jadeja, who ran from the point to take a brilliant catch at the square on the off-side in the 34th over.
After leaving India reeling on six for two following the dismissals of Sharma and Kohli, Amir’s figures read 1.4 overs, four runs, two wickets.
“I’m sure that the nation of Pakistan is really happy tonight because they deserve it for what they’ve been through”.
“It’s been an up and down ride for us but I’m so proud of the boys”, Arthur said. Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman have brought up their fifties as Pakistan are off to a flying start in an all important final.
“The whole group kept believing and that’s the most important thing”. But the more consistent you get in learning from games like this, it s better for the team in the future.
It was a remarkable turnaround of form for Pakistan, ranked No. 8 in the eight-team tournament.
They had an wonderful tournament. Congratulations to Pakistan. The way they turned things around, it was awesome.