Sarfraz hopes lifting of coveted trophy ends Pakistan exile

The top order of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, and captain Virat Kohli came to the final having combined for 874 runs, more than 80 percent of the team’s tally in the tournament.

All three were gone after nine overs, five of them fierce seam bowling by Mohammad Amir, who was passed fit to play after missing the surprise semifinal victory over England because of a back spasm.

Pakistan dominated with both bat and ball to thrash a rather off-colour India by 180 runs and lift the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy on Sunday.

The 28-year-old skipper partially blamed pacer Jasprit Bumrah’s no-ball which gave opener and century-maker Fakhar Zaman – who was on three at that time – a life which helped Pakistan post a massive total.

Amir, whose career was almost ended across London by a ban and jail sentence for his involvement in a spot-fixing scan during a 2010 Test at Lord’s, was in superb form after a back spasm forced him out of the semi-final win over England.

Team: Shikhar Dhawan (India), Fakhar Zaman (Pakistan), Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh), Virat Kohli (India), Joe Root (England), Ben Stokes (England), Sarfraz Ahmed (Pakistan) (captain and wicketkeeper), Adil Rashid (England), Junaid Khan (Pakistan), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (India), Hasan Ali (Pakistan), Kane Williamson (New Zealand) (12th man).

The player of the match was, quite correctly, awarded to Pakistani batsman, Fakhar Zaman. Just two weeks ago, Pakistan were at a low ebb after crashing to a humiliating 124-run defeat against India in the group stage. Earlier, it was Hasan Ali’s three wicket haul that dented England’s momentum and restricted them to 211 runs after they were inserted into batting first. We need to move on and learn from our mistakes.We just weren’t good enough on the day. “Amir bowled brilliantly but all my bowlers bowled really well”.

Pakistan’s Babar Azam has rocketed to a career-best fifth position after gaining three positions with scores of 46 in the final and 30 not out in the semi-final.

Former Pakistan captain turned politician Imran Khan tweeted his congratulations, while former teammate Wasim Akram, one of the world’s greatest fast bowlers, said he was “over the moon”.

Pakistan then prove it’s possible to bat on a used pitch, with Fakhar making his second fifty in as many matches, as they cruise to victory with 77 balls to spare.

Yuvraj Singh was lbw to leg-spinner Shadab and former captain MS Dhoni, the hero of many an India rescue mission, holed out in the deep.

But it was wins all the way from then on, culminating in Sunday’s stunning success at The Oval – the scene of Pakistan’s first Test match victory in England in 1954.

Pandya, however, briefly raised their spirits with a quickfire 76, reaching his fifty with three successive sixes off Shadab and hitting six maximums in all before he was run out. However, his brilliant scoring was brought to an end by a running mix-up, with Pandya and Jadeja ending up at the same end.