Pakistan’s victory on Sunday was all the more astounding given a 124-run defeat by India in their tournament opener at Edgbaston on June 4. “We thought one big partnership would have set it up nicely”, Indian captain Virat Kohli said.
“It’s a great team effort”.
Lauding Pakistani batsmen, the great cricketer said that they played every ball the way, it deserved.
“The way we showed character, this is for the nation”.
They were eventually dismissed for 158 in reply to Pakistan’s 338 for four, which featured Fakhar Zaman’s 114, the left-handed opener’s maiden one-day worldwide hundred coming in just his fourth match at this level.
Chasing 339, India’s top-order were undone by some brilliant bowling from Mohammad Amir who dismissed the in-form trio of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Shikhar Dhawan.
With victory by 180 runs in the final, Sarfraz Ahmed lifted their first 50-over trophy since the 1992 World Cup.
“The team exhibited a heart touching performance proving all predictions wrong by winning a major title after a long gap of two and a half decades”, said Waqar Younis, Younis Khan, Misbahul Haq and Muhammad Yousaf while talking to this agency on Monday.
“It was about the team doing well and we have done well to be in the final”, Kohli said. “They motivated us”, explained Sarraz, also Pakistan’s captain when they beat India in the 2006 Under-19 World Cup final in Colombo.
“That was an aberration”.
“We can be very proud of that as a unit and we leave here with our heads held high because we understand the kind of expectations and pressures we face as a team“.
But Pakistan skipper Ahmed said that his team never lost confidence even after the drubbing by India to open the Champions Trophy tournament.
“Credit goes to my boys”.
Pakistan pace bowler Hassan Ali and rookie opener Fakhar Zaman are among those to make huge gains.
“Amir bowled brilliantly today, but all my bowlers bowled really well”.
Widely written off after an abject display in their opening group match against the same opponents, the lowest-ranked team going into the tournament suddenly rediscovered their mojo.
Kohli said: “I congratulated them in the post-match presentation and I would do the same here because they deserved to win”.
“I want to congratulate Pakistan, they had an awesome tournament, the way they turned things around, speak volumes for the talent they have”. “They were more intense and more passionate”.
“Everyone desires composure, not just me”. Whatever the result, we have to go forward and play more games after.