This is the second time Pakistan have won a global title in the 50-over format after their triumph at the 1992 World Cup.
Their confidence was dented when they suffered a thumping loss to arch-rivals and neighbours India in their opening match of the campaign and the limp performance put Pakistan’s chances of reaching the semi-finals in severe jeopardy.
It was then over to Amir, who quickly dispelled the predictions of many that India could pull off a tournament and ground-record run chase – in the process silencing the majority support in a sell-out crowd for this high-profile showdown as their team folded to 158 all out in 30.3 overs. Captain Virat Kohli also left early leaving Indian fans disappointed. Off the third ball he faced, he inside edged a ball just past the stumps.
Fakhar should have been out for 3 in the fourth over, caught behind, but Jasprit Bumrah delivered a no ball. Zaman scored a ton.
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. Worse, it happened in the final.
Amir, who received a five-year ban from all cricket and served three months in prison following a conviction for spot-fixing in 2010, removed Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. The fate of the match was sealed.
As the final wicket fell, Oval, immersed in a Sea of Green, was euphoric in its celebration along with those eleven on the field. “No one goes out there to throw their wicket away or get out”. He took his guard and also took his time before unleashing a breathtaking innings of 114 off 106 balls. The stand between Pandya and Jadeja saw India score 80 runs in less than 10 overs, but it ended in comical fashion with the pair being involved in a big mix up. Pakistan veteran Mohammad Hafeez’s quickfire 57 not out, including three sixes, then took Pakistan well beyond 300. Amir struck just three balls into India’s reply when, after bowling two outswingers to Sharma, he had him lbw with a superb inswinger. We dusted ourselves off after the defeat to India at Edgbaston and came back superbly.
Especially both the spinners looked clueless with no help from the pitch. Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni were out to Shadab Khan and Hasan Ali respectively as the challenge petered out, and the result turned into a foregone conclusion.
Jadeja was guilty of not varying his pace.
Jhadav hit a brilliant shot towards the boundary of the bowling of Hasan Ali however was caught by Sarfraz as the ball edged off his bat and flew in the air to fell safely in skipper’s gloves.