Indians were outplayed by Pakistan in the ICC champions Trophy final to lift the title. They were 8th in the ICC ranking and barley made to the tournament but end result was “no one has expected”.
Indian team was never in the game. They were dominated by Pakistan in their innings and their top order was sent back to pavilion even before the first 15 overs got over.
Rohit Sharm was out in the first over for none, Virat Kohli followed and Shikar Dhawan also returned to pavilion after scoring 21 runs. Hardik Pandya gave India a little hope but was also sent back at 76. His wicket was the final nail in the Indian coffin. India had to chase 339 but fell short by 180 runs.
As cricinfo’s S Rajesh wrote, 180 The margin of victory for Pakistan, the biggest in the final of any ICC ODI event. 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). This is the fifth-highest margin in any final; the largest is 245, and India were at the receiving end there too, against Sri Lanka in the Coca Cola Champions Trophy in 2000.
73.71 The difference between Pakistan’s batting and bowling averages in the semi-finals and final of this tournament: they scored 92.16 runs per wicket, and conceded only 18.45 runs per dismissal. They scored 6.34 runs per over, and conceded only 4.59 per over. These numbers indicate their utter dominance in the two biggest games of the tournament, against two of the toughest opponents: they beat England by eight wickets with 77 balls to spare in the semi-finals, and thrashed India by 180 runs in the final.
Earlier the opening pair added 128 and were separated only by a run out. Azhar Ali had progressed just as quickly as Fakhar, however a slight mix-up when the two batsmen found themselves at the same end. Fakhar might have been distraught at this mix-up, which had culminated in the sacrifice of a senior player. Instead he seemed galvanised.
Fakhar played all Indian bowlers confidently and added 114 runs to Pakistan total of 338. No one had imagined 3 weeks ago when he was debuted against South Africa. He was equally supported by Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez who scored 57 from 37 balls. In last 10 over Pakistan scored 91 and Pakistan reached 338. The target of 338 had never been achieved in the final of ICC tournament.
Pakistani young side side has players who yet to play on their home soil, had performed in a miracle way that no one can imagine. The Ramadan “card” played in their favour again (Ramadan Muslims holy month of fasting) similarly as in 1992 world cup. It was holy month of Ramadan in which under Imran Khan won the world cup in 1992 and it was Ramadan again in 2017 when Pakistan won again under Sarfraz Ahmed.