Sublime Fakhar leads Pakistan to 338-4 in final


The world's 8th best ODI team, the unpredictable Pakistan won the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy beating defenders India by 180 runs in the final at the Oval in London on Sunday.

Left-arm fast bowler Amir, whose career was nearly ended on the other side of London s River Thames by a ban and jail term he received for his part in a spot-fixing scam during a 2010 Test against England at Lord s, was superb.

Mohammad Hafeez - with a 34-ball 50 - and Babar Azam then chipped in too to ensure a challenging if far from impossible target on a very good pitch, after India captain Virat Kohli had put Pakistan in on a gloriously hot and sunny morning.

Fakhar Zaman's maiden one-day worldwide hundred laid the foundations for Pakistan's formidable total of 338-4. Here, we take a look at what went wrong for Virat Kohli and co in the summit clash.

Put into bat, the Men in Green had a flawless start as both Azhar Ali and Zaman shared a 128-run opening stand to put their team on road of a massive first innings-score.

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The Pakistan bowling corps engineered a spectacular collapse of India's top order, sending Rohit Sharma, Kohli and tournament high-scorer Shikhar Dhawan back to the dressing room within the first 15 overs. "We knew the calibre of players we had so we just had to keep believing".

"They also came to express their skill and win a cricket game and they certainly did", Kohli told a news conference. "Amir bowled brilliantly but all my bowlers bowled really well".

Pakistan, made to bat first for the first time in the tournament, racked up a final-record innings of 338-4, founded on a 128-run opening stand between Fakhar Zaman, who earned his maiden one-day worldwide century with 114, and Azhar Ali, whom Fakhar ran out on 59.

India needed the biggest score to win a Champions Trophy match but they were dethroned by their closest rivals during a devastating spell of bowling.

India should have had a wicket when Fakhar was caught behind off Jasprit Bumrah on three.

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This was Pakistan s largest margin of victory, by runs, in 129 ODIs against India, surpassing their 159-run success at Delhi in 2005.

Dhawan was out to an Amir cross seamer, and India was 33-3.Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni could still rescue India, but Singh was hit pad first by spinner Shadab, confirmed by video review.

On Zaman, he said: "He's a great impact player, in his first ICC event, he played like a champion, he can be a great player for Pakistan".

Amir picked up three wickets for 16 runs from his six overs.

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

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Fakhar shared a fluent century opening partnership with Azhar Ali (59) and unleashed a barrage of attacking strokes all around a sun-kissed ground to give Pakistan real hope of upsetting the defending champions.