Pakistan's path to Champions Trophy glory


But it was wins all the way from then on, culminating in Sunday's stunning success at The Oval - the scene of Pakistan's first Test match victory in England in 1954.

To avoid unnecessary and unwelcomed tensions, security personnel were deployed outside cricketer M. S. Dhoni's residence soon after the match.

A mercurial Pakistan on Sunday (June 18) outclassed defending champions India by a whopping margin of 180 runs in the final to lift their maiden ICC Champions Trophy here at The Oval.

India eventually collapsed to 158 all out as they suffered their heaviest defeat, by runs, in 129 ODIs against Pakistan.

Meanwhile, assuring that India will be neither intimidated nor arrogant when they face Pakistan in Champions Trophy final, Indian skipper Virat Kohli asserted that there were no favourites in the much-awaited clash.

Earlier in the day, the Uttarakhand government has imposed Section 144 in Dehradun's Clock Tower and nearby area.

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But few would dispute that India-Pakistan is now the world game's premier contest - certainly not the ICC who, by their own admission, now fix the draw at their events to ensure the Asian giants meet in the group phase.

"Fakhar is a great impact player, he played like a champion batsman today".

Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli have been exceptional with the bat so far, this season.

Kohli's dismissal for five following a golden run in the tournament prompted gloom among the India supporters.

"They made us make those mistakes because of the way they were bowling and the way they applied the pressure in the field and we have no hesitation or shame to admit that we could not play our best game today". He was caught at 114 runs (106 balls).

Pakistan had come into the tournament as the lowest-ranked team and lost heavily to India in its opening group match but it beat South Africa and Sri Lanka to make the semifinals where it knocked out host England.

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He shared a first-wicket stand of 128 with Azhar Ali (59) and then put on 72 with Babar Azam (46) for the second.

It was a win forged on a brilliant individual performances and marshalled by Sarfraz Ahmed's superb captaincy but the green and white masses who stayed to celebrate when the final wicket fell in India's reply will know it also relied on a huge slices of luck.

Sarfraz Ahmed had previously captained Pakistan to Under-19 World Cup 2006 triumph.

Yuvraj Singh was lbw to leg-spinner Shadab and former captain MS Dhoni, the hero of many an India rescue mission, holed out in the deep.

Pandya, however, briefly raised their spirits with a quickfire 76, reaching his fifty with three successive sixes off Shadab and hitting six maximums in all before he was run out.

Fakhar, perhaps annoyed at role in the run out, drove left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja for six and cut him for four off successive balls.

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And the question millions of cricket fans around the world, possibly even a billion, are all asking is 'which Pakistan will turn up?'.