Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

It was difficult to counter Zaman's batting style: Virat Kohli

It was difficult to counter Zaman's batting style: Virat Kohli

Fakhar Zaman's thrilling ton and Mohammad Amir's three dismissals of India's top order led Pakistan to a stunning 180-run victory against their arch-rivals in the Champions Trophy final at The Oval on Sunday.

Fast bowler Amir ripped out India's top three batsmen before the defending champions subsided to 158 all out with 19.3 overs to spare.

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.

Amir trapped Rohit Sharma lbw from the third ball, before captain Virat Kohli was dropped and then dismissed in successive balls.

What actually happened was that newbie opener Fakhar Zaman, playing his fourth global innings, hit 114 from 106 balls in one of the highest-pressure cricket matches of the decade, before a bristling middle order grew the total to 338 for 4, with hitherto unsuspected power and skill.

Also, during the course of the opening partnership between Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman, it was clearly evident that both batsmen had a problem with the short pitched delivery. Azhar Ali got run out after he scored a good innings of 59 runs of 71 balls.

Zaman was lucky early in his innings as he survived a caught-behind off the bowling of Jasprit Bumrah with the Indian pacer having overstepped.

Hardik Pandya smashed 76 off 43 balls, hit half a dozen of sixes to provide some entertainment, before being run-out due to a terrible mix-up with Jadeja.

Meanwhile, reflecting on India's tournament as a whole, Kohli insisted: "We can (still) be very proud. and we leave here with our heads held high".

Pakistan's biggest ODI win over India in terms of runs was largely down to Fakhar Zaman's century.

Fakhar departed for 114 runs, just a couple of balls after 200 came up for Pakistan in the 33rd over.

India, on the other hand, who played to their potential throughout the tournament, were struggling against the disciplined Pakistani batting lineup and failed to utilise the conditions completely.

MS Dhoni couldn't save India as leading wicket-taker Hasan Ali took care of him with a short ball that he skied to Imad at deep square leg.

After winning the toss, Indian skipper Virat Kohli said that they are not taking Pakistan for granted and are looking forward to put their best foot forward.

In just his fourth match at this level the 27-year-old Fakhar - who had already posted two ODI fifties - completed a 92-ball hundred including two sixes when he swept Ashwin for his 12th four.

India got their man finally thanks to a fine catch by Jadeja running back from point after a skewed big hit at Pandya.

But Pakistan veteran Mohammad Hafeez's quickfire 57 not out, including three sixes, took Pakistan well beyond 300.

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