Fakhar’s natural game has plundered Pakistan domestic cricket for five seasons. Zaman (114), playing his first ODI against India, fourth in his career, went after the bowlers trying to play the inside-out shots.
Fakhar targeted spinners Ravichandran Ashwin (0-70) and Ravindra Jadeja (0-67), hitting three huge sixes and a further 12 boundaries on a flat pitch before falling to Hardik Pandya.
Sarfraz Ahmed’s side suffered a shambolic 124-run loss to India on DLS in their first match a fortnight ago but closed the campaign a team transformed with their fourth win in a row.
Fakhar hit 12 fours and three sixes before skying a catch off Hardik Pandya but Pakistan had the flawless platform to make the highest total in a Champions Trophy final.
India lost their last four wickets for the addition of only six runs.
Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali also chipped in with half-centuries on the way to setting India a target of 339 – the highest ever ODI total scored by Pakistan in a final.
They came into the final against India at the Oval as the outsiders and when India won the toss and chose to chase it was felt like Pakistan would need to post close to 350 to just have a chance.
Speaking about that ICC-sanctioned tour, Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said: “Hopefully that paves the way for the future”.
“I want to congratulate Pakistan first, they had an awesome tournament”.
The ICC Champions Trophy has always been generous to participating teams.
It appeared India, chasing 339 to win, had had a lucky break when Kohli, the world’s leading one-day global batsman, was dropped on five by first slip Azhar Ali off Amir.
“We played like we had nothing to lose, now we are champions. They proved it again, they can upset anyone on their day, disappointing for us but I have a smile on my face because we played well to reach the final”, Kohli said. He ended up with a knock of 76 runs off 43 balls.
But the run-out the pair had threatened arrived when Fakhar’s failure to respond to Azhar’s call saw the former ODI captain fall by a distance despite an ungainly throw by Bumrah to wicket-keeper MS Dhoni.
Back home, streets were deserted in the federal capital Islamabad and Rawalpindi – and in big cities across the country – as fans watched Pakistan thrash defending champion India by 180 runs at The Oval. On a lifeless wicket, Pakistan got a muchneeded lifeline early on in their innings and they kicked off from that point.
“Despite losing early wickets we were looking for a big partnership to set up the game nicely”. “We can’t take anyone lightly but they were more intense and passionate on the day”. We didn’t take them lightly.