Fakhar, Amir sparkle as Pakistan stun India

Posted June 19, 2017

Kohli, who was dropped at first slip by Azhar Ali in the previous ball, tried a flick to the on-side but could only manage a leading edge straight to Shadab Khan at point.

Widely written off after an abject display in their opening group match against the same opponents, the lowest-ranked team going into the tournament suddenly rediscovered their mojo.

Mohammad Amir (3-16), who sat out the semi-final win over England with a back spasm, then dismissed Virat Kohli for five as India's top order folded to 54-5.

The collapse continued when left-handed opener Dhawan was caught behind off Amir by Sarfraz.

India played an unchanged XI from their 9 wicket win against Bangladesh in the semifinal while Pakistan made one change with the fit-again Mohammad Amir replacing the rookie Rumman Raees.

"We are neither intimidated nor are we too arrogant", Kohli said in a press conference ahead of Sunday's clash.

The 27-year-old proceeded to share a 128-run opening stand with Azhar before posting his maiden one-day worldwide century, brought up in 92 balls.

Pakistan, who lost their campaign opener against India, seemed a different side this time. The bowling department for India under the likes of pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin have looked solid bowling economically while providing clinical breakthroughs.

It was compelling shot-a-ball viewing, several not necessarily despatched in the intended direction. With the ball, we could have had a few more wicket-taking opportunities.

Azhar had to go, with his partner static in the non-striker's crease, after Bumrah pulled off an unexpected stop at midwicket.

Fakhar got another life, and the Pakistan opener embraced it. Later Mohammad Hafeez helped his side to post 300 plus total with 57 from 37 balls.

There is no doubt that Pakistan have abundance of talent and if groomed properly they can keep Pakistan's green flag fluttering on the top and bringing pride and honour for a nation fighting out militancy and terrorism.

"We had some good, hard conversations (after the India game), but we didn't train any more (than normal) because we knew the base had been done. One big partnership would have been the key to set it up nicely, but as I said, credit to the opposition".

"After the India match (in the group stage), one thing I said to my boys was the tournament hasn't finished yet", Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed said after the momentous victory.

12 runs came off the high-yielding fourth over, which featured two boundaries, two no-balls and a wide ball, as Pakistan stood at 19 runs with the loss of no wickets.

Meanwhile, reflecting on India's tournament as a whole, Kohli insisted: "We can (still) be very proud ... and we leave here with our heads held high". But we knew that [defeat] was an aberration.

"We played like we had nothing to lose, now we are champions". "They had an incredible tournament".

Even Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the leader of the Kashmiri separatist Hurriyat Conference, checked in via Twitter to express his satisfaction at Pakistan's extraordinary and unexpected win in Champions Trophy final, the second-most prestigious event in world cricket, behind only the Cricket World Cup.