Sublime Fakhar leads Pakistan to 338-4 in final

Posted June 19, 2017

Having gone into Sunday's showpiece at The Oval as underdogs, Pakistan produced a sensational all-round performance to comprehensively defeat their great rivals by 180 runs and win the 50-over event for the first time. But they turned it around in style as they topped South Africa (19 runs via D/L method), and Sri Lanka (three wickets) to enter the semi-finals where they got the better of hosts England by eight wickets.

Amir, whose career was almost ended on the other side of London's River Thames by a ban and jail sentence for his involvement in a spot-fixing scan during a 2010 Test at Lord's, made a brilliant comeback after a back spasm forced him out of the semi-final victory over England.

Opener Fakhar Zaman, playing only his fourth One Day International, mixed fearlessness with sensibility and smashed 114 from just 106 balls to help his team post a mammoth 338 on board.

Pakistan pace spearhead Mohammed Amir broke the backbone of the Indian batting line-up and laid the foundation for his team's historic win.

"Fakhar is a great impact player, he played like a champion batsman". Virat Kohli's wicket early is key as shown in their only loss this tournament was off the back of Kohli's only duck of the tournament.

"It says a lot about his personality ... but what I do know is that Mohammad Amir is a big-match player". Despite Hardik Pandya's 76 from 43 deliveries down the order, India could not rebuild after Amir's brilliance, and were beaten by 180 runs.

Sarfraz was right to highlight one of the hurdles his side have overcome in recent times, with the country starved of global cricket since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009 at Lahore that has left them playing nearly exclusively on neutral grounds. The resultant free-hit did not result in too many runs but the Pakistan openers launched an assault on the Indian bowlers after that.

Today's match was a one-sided affair, with Pakistan outperforming India in all three departments.

"It was about the team doing well and we have done well to be in the final", Kohli said.

"I am sure it will be a well-contested final", he said.

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

Leg-spinner Shadab took a wicket with his sixth ball when Yuvraj Singh (22) was lbw, although it needed a Pakistan review of an original not out decision. India were at the receiving end at The Oval, just as they were in Johannesburg in 2003 in the World Cup final against Australia, when they lost by 125 runs, which was the previous highest margin (in terms of runs).

Babar Azam joined Fakhar, who lofted Ravindra Jadeja over long-on for six and got to three figures by sweeping Ravichandran Ashwin to the boundary. The opening pair put on 128 runs before Azhar Ali was run out for 59 runs.