Pakistan win Champions Trophy


LONDON. — Pakistan dismissed India for 158 to storm to a 180-run victory in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy at the Oval in London yesterday. A total collapse of the much-feared Indian batting line-up, set up by Mohammad Amir who removed the top three batsmen, restricted them to 72 for six, and threatened to cut their innings short before reaching triple figures.

Hardik Pandya stood up with a 43-ball 76, but could not resurrect the chase by himself, and India’s inevitable end came in the 31st over.

Amir finished with 3-16 off six overs, and Hasan Ali, awarded the best player of the tournament, took 3-19.

Earlier, a magnificent maiden one-day international ton by Fakhar Zaman, a 128-run opening stand in which Azhar Ali featured with a composed 59 and first-class management of the middle-overs powered Pakistan to 338 for four.

Zaman slammed 114 off 106 balls with 12 fours and three sixes, featuring in a 128-run opening stand with Azhar Ali, who managed 59 off 71 balls with six fours and a six on a dry, batsman-friendly pitch.

The openers, who also managed a 100-run stand for the first wicket in the previous matches, was separated due to a suicidal run-out of Ali when Zaman was ball-watching and Ali departed with the score on 128 for one after 23 overs.

Zaman and Babar Azam continued the assault, smashing 72 runs in 10.1 overs before Zaman attempted a loose, ambitious drive off Hardik Pandya and was splendidly caught at deep backward point by Ravindra Jadeja to limit Pakistan to 200 for two after 33.1 overs.

Azam played a mediocre shot after a sensible innings on the excellent batting strip and he, the openers and a belligerent Mohammad Hafeez completely neutralised the world-class spinners of India, Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, as their two overs produced 137 runs.

Hafeez finished with an unbeaten 57 off 37 balls and his half-century stand with Imad Wasim was completed off 31 balls.

The two featured in an unbeaten 71 run-stand for the fifth wicket off 47 balls to handle an improved bowling performance by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Co in the final ten overs.

Zaman paced his innings well, adapted well to conditions and mesmerised the out-of-sorts left-arm spinner Jadeja, especially with his square-bat shots.

Kumar was the pick of a sloppy attack, taking 1-44 in 10 overs, while Hardik Pandya was full value for his useful 1-53 and used the short delivery excellently.

The unorthodox and normally dependable Jasprit Bumrah had a day to forget in a hurry, ending with 0-68 in nine overs.

He overstepped the mark when he had the centurion Zaman caught behind with his score on three. That ill-disciplined no-ball handed Zaman a second chance, and he prospered as India faded.

Because Jadeja was blasted for 67 runs in eight mediocre overs, Virat Kohli had to introduce the sixth bowler, Kedar Jadhav, who conceded 27 runs in three overs, but could not curb their progress.

India conceded 25 extras, including 13 wides. — SuperSport