Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Sublime Fakhar leads Pakistan to 338-4 in final


Only four times has 300 been chased successfully at the Oval.

Put in to bat by Kohli, Pakistan rode on an aggressive 114 from youngster Fakhar Zaman, who made the most of an early reprieve. Mohammed Amir dismantled the top order, dismissing Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan with pace and swing.

Zaman's 114* put Pakistan in a safe zone against India. Amir today. Hasan Ali throughout the tournament.

Sarfraz paid tribute to the influence of a coaching staff led by Mickey Arthur, who took charge shortly before Pakistan s tour of England previous year, where a Test series was shared but the ODI campaign lost 4-1.

India won the toss and opted to bowl against their arch-rivals Pakistan in the high-octane final of the Champions Trophy at the Kennington Oval here on Sunday.

Zaman was batting at 3 at that point. His career may progress from here; if it does not, he will always have this. One moment Fakhar resembled a club cricketer caught up in a dreamlike sequence, which found him playing in a final watched by an enormous worldwide audience; the next he whipped the ball through the gaps like Brian Lara. Seven years after the spot-fixing scandal in the Lord's Test, he has redeemed himself on England's soil.

"Even with the ball they came out, they were really aggressive initially, they got those early breakthroughs".

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India were 33 for three but they had the vast experience of Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni at the crease. Remember when their fast bowlers would carve through batting line-ups and their openers batted with elegance and aggression?

It took only three deliveries for India to start to doubt themselves.

Rohit fell at the third ball of the over and Kohli was gone in the third. The ball thumped into his pad and he was gone for a duck. Kohli looked to execute his trademark flick off the next ball only to get an edge; it flew to Shadab Khan at point. Yes, a jack of several trades, all Suvajit dreamt of was being India's World Cup winning skipper but ended up being a sports writer, author, screenwriter, director, copywriter, graphic designer, sports marketer, strategist, entrepreneur, philosopher and traveller. Like Dhawan, Yuvraj attempted to assert himself; like his team-mate, he was outwitted.

Even spinner R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja failed to shine in the crucial final.

Player of the Tournament and Golden Ball victor Hasan Ali, the quick, took three wickets as well.

India were reduced to 72 for 6 when Kedar Jadhav miscued a pull off Shadab. Hardik Pandya delayed their party for some time, but like their fans, India had a day to forget. There were two more off Fakhar, who had been pressed into service as an emergency left-arm spinner because of an injury to Imad Wasim. He hammered six sixes in his 43-ball-76 and appeared to have breathed life - however little of it - back into the contest.

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