Hafeez hails Pakistan spirit for India stunner

Elias Hubbard
June 19, 2017

Earlier in first innings, Fakhar Zaman's maiden one-day worldwide hundred was the cornerstone of Pakistan's 338 for four as they set title-holders and arch-rivals India a stiff chase to win the Champions Trophy final at The Oval on Sunday.

# 89* by Fakhar Zaman is the highest by a Pakistan player in ICC finals. Fakhar Zaman's maiden one-day worldwide hundred laid the foundations for Pakistan's formidable total of 338-4.

But a brilliant century by Fakhar Zaman laid the foundations for an imposing total of 338 for four and Mohammad Amir came up with a devastating opening spell to rip out the cream of India's batting, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan.

Pakistan Army has mocked India after the country's resounding victory in the Champions Trophy cricket final, sharing photos of celebrations in restive Balochistan with a caption "To whom it may concern'".

"Fakhar is a great impact player, he played like a champion batsman. I'm so happy for the nation of Pakistan who have been waiting for this for a long time".

This Champions Trophy went ahead as scheduled despite a terror attack at a pop concert in Manchester, northern England, on May 22 that killed 22 people.

Pakistan produced a story for the ages as they defied all pre-tournament predictions and thrashed their much-fancied rivals, India, to win the Champions Trophy.

Fakhar's natural game has plundered Pakistan domestic cricket for five seasons. Agallant effort from Hardik Pandya created some interest in the faltering Indian chase but one would never know if he could have taken India home when more than 180 runs were needed in about 23 overs with only four wickets in hand.

The second Powerplay (Overs 11-40) were fully utilised by Pakistan, who scored 191 runs and bulk of those came off the spinners.

Fakhar hit 12 fours and three sixes before skying a catch off Hardik Pandya but Pakistan had the flawless platform to make the highest total in a Champions Trophy final. "When Pakistan was close to defeating India, youth gathered at marketplaces across Kashmir blasting crackers one after the other", the report further stated.

Fakhar cashed in on a major let-off when he was caught behind off a Jasprit Bumrah front-foot no-ball with just three to his name, the opener punishing India by hitting three sixes and 12 fours off 106 balls. The victory imprint was so heavy that the Indians admitted that Pakistan, which lost comprehensively in the first game of CT against India, can not be beaten on their day.

For Pakistan, pacers Mohammad Amir and Hasan Ali bagged three wickets each.

Pakistan's premium bowler trapped the second highest run-scorer Rohit Sharma in just the third ball of the innings for LBW.

"Hopefully this win, everyone will remember, not today, not tomorrow, [but for a] very long, long time", said a delighted Sarfraz.

But Pakistan veteran Mohammad Hafeez's quickfire 57 not out, including three sixes, took Pakistan well beyond 300.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meanwhile issued a statement congratulating the team, saying they "deserve the nation's profound gratitude and appreciation". "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", Kohli said.

Denied the calming influence of an early wicket, India's bowlers looked nervous.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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