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Dominant Pakistan thrash India

  • Published at 11:12 pm June 18th, 2017
  • Last updated at 01:07 am June 19th, 2017
Dominant Pakistan thrash India
The majority of the Indian supporters were seen leaving the stadium even before the halfway stage of the Indian innings and it perfectly described their disappointment, and at the same time Pakistan's dominance, in the grand finale of the 2017 Champions Trophy at Kennington Oval on Sunday. A solid Pakistan side, against all odds, managed to outclass one of the biggest contenders for the title, India, by a comprehensive margin of 180 runs to lift the Champions Trophy for the very first time in history. Sarfraz Ahmed’s side were right on top of the Indians after being asked to bat first as Fakhar Azam, playing his fourth ODI, announced himself as the next big thing in what was a blockbuster clash between the Asian powerhouses. The left-handed opening batsman struck his maiden hundred and had no mercy on the Indian bowlers as he smashed a blistering 114 off 106 balls, featuring a dozen fours and three sixes, thus laying the foundation for a huge total in the all-important final. Fellow opener Azhar Ali also provided good support as Pakistan added 128 for the opening wicket stand while Babar Azam added 46 and the experienced Mohammad Hafeez played a quickfire knock of 57 off just 37 balls, with three sixes and four boundaries.
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It was the highest ever target set by Pakistan in the history of Champions Trophy finals as India were up against their biggest chase away from home with their previous successful pursuit of 331 coming in Sydney. The Indian bowlers faced some brutal hammering at the hands of the Pakistan batters with Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s bowling figure of 1/44 in 10 overs, including two maidens, the best display in what was a sorry performance by the Indians. With the ball, it was Mohammad Amir who stole the show as the left-arm speedster broke the backbone of the Indian top-order, immediately forcing the opposition onto the back foot. The 25-year old probably reserved his best for the biggest stage as he dismissed all the three in-form Indian top-order batters. First, it was Rohit Sharma who was trapped in front in the very first over and he was soon followed in the dressing room by skipper Virat Kohli, who had no idea when he mistimed an Amir delivery, which he only managed to top-edge. Amir did not stop there as he went on to pick up the wicket of another in-form batsman, Shikhar Dhawan, who was caught behind for 21. By then, it was already a tough ask for the batting side who were struggling on 33/3 inside nine overs. Experienced campaigners Yuvraj Singh (22), MS Dhoni (four) and Kedar Jadhav (nine) all departed in no time, leaving India struggling on 72/6. Hardik Pandya fought a lone battle in the latter stages of their innings, striking some lusty blows, but it was too little, too late for India to script a return to the game as the all-rounder ended up scoring the highest 76 off 46 balls. Amir ended up with staggering bowling figure of 3/16 while paceman Hasan Ali also bagged three scalps.