Sport

Champions Trophy fairytale comes true for Pakistan

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed celebrates after claiming the catch to dismiss the last of the Indian batsmen in the ICC Champions Trophy final at The Oval in London.
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed celebrates after claiming the catch to dismiss the last of the Indian batsmen in the ICC Champions Trophy final at The Oval in London. Kirsty Wigglesworth

CRICKET: Bottom-ranked Pakistan have completed a fairytale run at the Champions Trophy tournament in England, thrashing arch rivals India by 180 runs in the decider.

Pakistan produced a breathtaking display at London's Oval in the climax of the tournament featuring the world's top eight one-day international nations.

They racked up 4-338, with Fakhar Zaman making a dashing 114, the left-handed opener's maiden hundred in just his fourth match at this level.

Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman hits out during the Champions Trophy final against India.
Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman hits out during the Champions Trophy final against India. Kirsty Wigglesworth

Mohammad Amir then reduced India to 3-33 with Rohit Sharma out for a duck and Virat Kohli, the world's leading ODI batsman, falling for just five.

There was no way back for India, who collapsed to be all out for 158 with nearly 20 overs remaining.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed was stunned after the win, all the more astounding considering Pakistan had been belted by India by 124 runs in their tournament opener at Edgbaston on June 4.

"When we arrived here (in England), we were No.8 and now we are the champions,” Sarfraz said.

"I think great things went for me and my team and my country.”

Pakistan players celebrate winning the ICC Champions Trophy after crushing India by 180 runs in the final.
Pakistan players celebrate winning the ICC Champions Trophy after crushing India by 180 runs in the final. Kirsty Wigglesworth

Sarfraz said he hoped the win would serve as a catalyst for the full return of international cricket to his homeland.

With the exception of Zimbabwe's tour two years ago, Pakistan have had to play all of their 'home' matches outside their own country since a 2009 terror attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore.

"Hopefully this win, everyone will remember, not just for today, not just for tomorrow but for a very long, long time,” Sarfraz said.

"I hope this win will boost Pakistan cricket and hopefully all the (major) playing nations will come to Pakistan.”

Topics:  champions trophy cricket one-day international pakistan v india safraz ahmed


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