The Champions Trophy Final India vs. Pakistan
A clash that everyone had eagerly been waiting for, it was the mother of all rivalries and arguably the biggest rivalry that cricket has seen. Either way it was going to be a fantastic match because these two teams will be giving it there all.
India had won the toss and put in Pakistan to bat, as they backed their batting line up to chase down any score that would have been put on the board. Pakistan had a fantastic start their opening batsman gave them the dream start they needed. Zaman was caught out on 3 but it turned out to be a no ball, and he punished India after that lifeline he had been given. Ali and Zaman began attacking the Indian bowler’s boundaries were flowing freely and the Pakistani fans were loving it. India’s bowlers were struggling to get a wicket, they were giving away too many extra runs they were bowling a lot of wides and their fielding was below the ambitious standards they would have set for themselves.
It was not long before Zaman and Ali both had half centuries and were marching towards scoring a century each. They had a good run rate as well, and wickets in hand so Pakistan were doing extremely well. The Indian bowlers were still being hit around the park and then finally a breakthrough happened they got the wicket of Ali who was out for 59 runs. Zaman though was still going strong and giving a tough time to the Indian bowlers, Zaman got his century and he had helped lay down the platform for a big total for Pakistan. He was out shortly on 114 runs. Hafeez though was in sublime form and he was scoring plenty of lofty boundaries and he was helping to ensure Pakistan did get to the big score they needed to put India under pressure. Hafeez was not out on 57 runs, and Pakistan had scored a mammoth 338 runs with the loss of 4 wickets.
If India could chase this total down it would have been the biggest run chase success at The Oval. The Pakistan bowlers were in fantastic form they troubled the England batsman a lot. So, India would have been aware of that.
The Indian openers had come to the crease and they lost an early wicket in the form of Sharma, he was bowled lbw by Amir, who was extracting the reverse swing on this pitch which the Indian bowlers were unable to do. Rohit Sharma had gone for a duck and this was the story of the Indian innings. It looked like the captain Kohli and Dhawan could save the Indian innings alas the anti-climax was written Kohli just got saved from being caught out, next shot he plays he is caught out. India found themselves in a bit of a struggle, they were 7/2 and two of their best batsman were already back in the pavilion which was something India would have not wanted to happen as if these batsman get stuck in they could have scored the big runs, but that wasn’t to be.
The story of the Indian innings was, just when you had hope they were settled and going to score runs, build a partnership they lost a wicket the only shining light in the Indian innings was Hardik Pandya who put up a defiant defence for India. In actuality he was playing very well and it was him who could have gotten India closer to this total but he was run-out when both batsmen ended up on the same side of the wicket.
India continued to lose wickets and Pakistan won the match by 180 runs they are the 2017 Champions Trophy winners they outplayed India in all departments batting, bowling and fielding.
Congrats to Pakistan team.
Post match presentation (credit espncricinfo.com
5.15pm: Time for the presentations, Nasser Hussain with the mic. We’ll start with the Man of the Match, which is Fakhar Zaman after he made a dazzling maiden hundred to set Pakistan on their way to 338 for 4. Shikhar Dhawan, meanwhile, picks up the Golden Bat, for leading run-scorer… and then it’s Hasan Ali‘s turn to come up and receive the Golden Ball, as leading wicket-taker. And Hasan is also named Player of the Tournament… Unfortunately my Urdu isn’t good enough to relay what he said but the Pakistan fans in the crowd seem chuffed. Ah, here’s a translation from Danyal: “A year ago I wasn’t in the side but I worked hard and believed in myself, and thankfully gave a good performance. Been learning since the start that if your body has energy you can perform well. I was very calm, no pressure on me, and thankfully I did well in all our games. This was a great tournament for me, dismissed some top players. Very special to take the final wicket to take the last wicket that won us the tournament, very special for me and I will definitely remember that.”
India captain Virat Kohli: “I want to congratulate Pakistan, they had an amazing tournament, the way they turned things around, speak volumes for the talent they have. They proved it again, they can upset anyone on their day, disappointing for us but I have a smile on my face because we played well to reach the final. Credit to them they outplayed us today in all departments. This is what happens in sport. We can’t take anyone lightly but they were more intense and passionate on the day. With the ball we could have had a few more wicket-taking opportunities. We tried to do out best, but even with the ball, they were aggressive, we didn’t show any resistance apart from Hardik, whose knock was outstanding. [Bumrah no-ball?] Small margins can be massive but we’ve only lost a game of cricket, we need to move forwards and learn from our mistakes. The pitch was consistent throughout, we backed out strengths but weren’t good enough.”
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed: “After the India [group] match I said to my boys, the tournament is not finished yet. We played very well and now we have won the final. [Fakhar innings?] He’s a great impact player, in his first ICC event, he played like a champion, he can be a great player for Pakistan. All credit goes to my bowlers, Amir, Hasan Ali, Shadab, Junaid, Hafeez, they bowled really well. It’s a young team, credit goes to my boys, this tournament can be a great booster for us. We played like we had nothing to lose, now we are champions. It’s a very proud moment for me and my country, and thanks to the nation for supporting us.”
5pm: How about that for predictably unpredictable brilliance? Pakistan have out-Pakistaned themselves to pull off one of the great tournament wins, their first Champions Trophy victory, first global title since the 2009 World T20 and first in 50-overs competition since the 1992 World Cup… They came into the tournament ranked No. 8 in the world, took a hammering (from India) in their first match, then set about upending all form and predictions to claim the trophy. South Africa were stunned in the rain, in what was effectively a knockout; Sri Lanka were overcome despite a wobble, in what was effectively a knockout; England were dispatched with aplomb in what was definitely a knockout; and then India, the great rival, the pedigree 50-over side, one of the pre-tournament favourites – well, India were simply demolished. Sarfraz, who has led superbly over the last four games, leads the celebration on the outfield, those left in the ground are proudly holding Pakistan flags aloft. South London is truly a green and pleasant land right now.
Here’s Rizwan Shahzad: “Can’t stop tears everybody. Stand up for the champions”
“Lesson learned! Play to your strength,” says Abhijit. “Wish India had chosen to bat first! Nevertheless, many congratulations Pakistan!”
“Congratulations to our neighbours,” chimes in Kunal. “We played bad today and deserved to lose, while you played very well! Would’ve loved a close game though.”
“I think the Man of the Series should go to Thisara Perera for dropping Sarfraz!” chuckles Silva
Saif: “From whether they would even qualify for CT to winning it that’s the Spirit of Color Green for Pakistan”
“I hope NO Ind captain EVER chooses to ‘bowl first’ again in a major tournament final,” huffs Rohan. “Ganguly was afraid of the Aus firepower in ’03 but today was just arrogance from Kohli. How can they not know Pak’s track record of chasing anything over 250? Scoreboard pressure is everything in major finals and the last thing you want to do is give that confidence to Pak bowlers”
“Incredibly happy for Pakistan!” hoots Raj. “And also for cricket…because ultimately today’s game showed that good bowling is what ultimately wins you matches in an era where batsmen hold all the cards.”