There was so much of hype about last night’s game where India were taking on Pakistan yet again in an ICC world tournament. There were all the stats to show that Pakistan had never beaten India in an ICC event till date and also the fact that India thrashed them by 124 runs when they met in the group stage earlier this month.
Well it turns out that all these stats count for nothing on the big day!
India started well by winning the toss and doing what they do best – chasing. However, it was all Pakistan from there as the openers put up a century stand and Fakhar Zaman even went on to score his maiden ODI century; what a stage to do so!
India found it difficult to pick wickets as Pakistan kept piling the runs and they eventually finished with 338/4. On any given day, this is a huge 1st innings total and as we have seen in the past, high totals aren’t required in a final. Scoreboard pressure immediately showed as the Indian openers were finding it tough to get the ball away.
The major threat was always going to be Mohammad Amir and after bowling a few out-swingers, he swung one in to Rohit Sharma and got him LBW. Amir then dismissed the Indian captain Virat Kohli followed by Shikhar Dhawan, all three in his opening spell and had India reeling at 54/5.
All the big shots were out and those left at the crease were Hardik Pandya and Ravi Jadeja. Pandya looked like the most comfortable batsman at the crease from both camps as he breezed his way to 76 in just 43 balls. His innings included 6 sixes and even though the target was far off, he gave India 1% of a chance, until Jadeja sold him down the river and got him run out.
The entire country with over a billion people would’ve known it was over after Pandya was dismissed. It was then just a matter of time as India were knocked over for 158, a horrible performance in a tournament final, to be honest but we can’t take away anything from Pakistan, who got better with each game and played their best in the most important match.
Zaman was awarded the Man of the Match while Hasan Ali won the Player of the Tournament award. He picked up 3/19 in the final and also ended as the top bowler of the tournament but let’s not forget Amir’s 3/16 at the top, which completely changed the game.
2017 ICC Champions Trophy Winners – Pakistan