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Drought-breaking cricket win gets positive spin in Pakistan

20 June, 2017, 12:34 | Author: Alberta Rodriguez
  • Sarfraz Ahmed

Pakistan's record-breaking 180-run win over arch-rivals and title-holders India in the Champions Trophy final at The Oval on Sunday completed a remarkable turnaround for Sarfraz Ahmed's side in the space of just a few weeks.

"We certainly tried to make them hit in areas that we felt it would be uncomfortable, but we just didn't have anything going our way in that partnership".

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.

The victory, and its relative ease over an India team that not only had got the better of Pakistan in one-day matches for the past decade, winning 12 and losing only eight - and winning four of the last five since 2013 - stunned cricket fans and experts, especially coming from a Pakistan team that has played only one global series in its home country since a 2009 terrorist attack forced them to adopt the United Arab Emirates as their home turf. "You will have to accept the loss because the other team has outplayed you in every department of the game", said the India captain after the final.

In India nearly all print media went easy on Kohli and his team, crediting Pakistan's performance though the front-page of the Hindustan Times screamed "Obliterated at the Oval: India humiliated by Pak".

Thanks to powerfully and intelligently placed goals by Talwinder Singh, Harmanpreet Singh and Akashdeep Singh, each of whom got two, India completely routed the Pakistani side.

However, support for the Indian team hasn't dwindled post Pakistan's upset win.

But he could not stop Sunday's slide as he holed out off Hasan, with Imad Wasim taking a low catch in the deep.

"I think it'll be massive (for Pakistan cricket)", Arthur said.

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

And that's why, the 28-year-old India skipper said he was hoping for a very well contested Champions trophy final.

So when he was dropped by Azhar Ali in the slips off Mohammad Amir in the third over, huge cheers erupted around the arena. Apart from him, Hasan Ali picked up three wickets for 16 runs and Shadab Khan had two wickets for 60. "You will have failures, and one team has to lose on the day, and today was our day to lose because the opposition played much better than us".

"After the India match I said to my boys, the tournament is not finished yet".

"It says a lot about his personality. but what I do know is that Mohamed Amir is a big-match player", said Arthur. After India's win over Pakistan in ICC T20 World Cup 2016, a journalist asked about what India to that they beat Pakistan in all the World Cup games as the score is till date 11-0.

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