Sports

Amir, Fakhar star as Pakistan rout India for Champions Trophy title

Monday, June 19, 2017

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LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Mohammad Amir removed all of India's top three as Pakistan routed their arch-rivals by 180 runs in an astonishing Champions Trophy final at The Oval yesterday.

Title-holders India, set 339 to win, collapsed to 33 for three and 54 for five against a Pakistan side they had thrashed by 124 runs in their tournament opener at Edgbaston on June 4.

They were eventually dismissed for 158 in reply to Pakistan's 338 for four, which featured Fakhar Zaman's 114 — the left-handed opener's maiden one-day international (ODI) hundred coming in just his fourth match at this level.

Amir, who missed Pakistan's eight-wicket semi-final win over England with a back spasm, finished with three wickets for 16 runs in six overs.

But it was fellow paceman Hasan Ali — the player of the tournament, having kick-started Pakistan's revival in their group win over South Africa — who ended the match with more than 19 overs left when he had Jasprit Bumrah caught by gleeful captain and wicketkeeper, Sarfraz Ahmed.

Left-arm fast bowler Amir — whose career was almost 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.

He dismissed three of the world's top (ODI) batsmen in Rohit Sharma (nought), India Captain Virat Kohli (five) and Shikhar Dhawan (21) in a stunning, new-ball spell.

“It's been an up and down ride for us, but I'm just so proud of the boys,” Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur told Sky Sports.

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

Kohli accepted his side had been second best as he acknowledged Pakistan's “amazing tournament”.

“They outplayed us. They were more intense and passionate on the day,” he said.

Amir struck just three balls into India's reply when, after bowling two outswingers to Sharma, he had him lbw with an inswinger.

Then one ball after, Kohli, the world's leading ODI batsman, was dropped at slip off Amir, the bowler had him caught at point by Shadab Khan.

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

India then lost two wickets for no runs in four balls to be 54 for five inside 14 overs.

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.

Pakistan, who had lost all three of their previous matches against India in the knockout stages of International Cricket Council tournaments, and who started this event the lowest ranked of the eight teams involved, were now on the brink of a sensational win.

Hardik Pandya cheered India fans in a capacity crowd as he hit three sixes off succesive balls to bring up a dashing fifty.

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