With India taking on Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy final on Sunday, fans have been vociferous in supporting their respective teams on social media. If Zaman announced his arrival in global cricket with a match-defining knock, Pakistan cricket s enfant bad Amir finally managed to sing a redemption song that he has been longing for.
Their defence of the title they won in England in 2013 foundered against the team who began the campaign ranked below all other competing nations at eighth, and lived up to that billing in an opening group match in which they lost to their greatest rivals by 124 runs.
Put in to bat by Kohli, Pakistan rode on an aggressive 114 from youngster Fakhar Zaman, who made the most of an early reprieve.
India have beaten Pakistan in all three meetings to date in the knockout stages of International Cricket Council tournaments - but with Mohammad Amir expected to be available again after the back spasm which ruled him out of the last-four clash against England in Cardiff, Azhar's hopes are high. Two balls later, he edged Bumrah to the 'keeper and walked off. Replays, however, showed that the bowler had overstepped, and how India were made to rue that slight over-exertion. "But (we have told him) if he has any doubt, he should let us know". "We're now moving forward". No one recognized Pakistan in world cricket, and here we are, the champions.
Like Pakistan, India have tried to treat the final as just another game.More news: Verizon Closes The Yahoo Deal; Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Resigns
"It is massive", insisted Azhar.
With Pakistan's front-line pacer Mohammad Amir declared fit to play in the final after sitting out the previous match, he alongside new ball bowler Junaid Khan will be the key against India to provide their side with early breakthroughs. Imad Wasim. Shadab Khan.
India, whose skipper Virat Kohli heads the tournament batting averages with a stratospheric 253, are a formidable outfit.
He removed India's top three batsmen - Rohit Sharma (0), Shikhar Dhawan (21) and Kohli (5).
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed took the last catch and aeroplaned around the pitch with his arms out before he was swamped by teammates.More news: GOP Lawmaker Scalise Still Critical Though Doctors `Encouraged'
Hasan Ali, un-Pakistani-esque in his line-and-length bowling style but someone who ran in with characteristic aggression, took three to make sure India could not rebuild.
It started on a wrong note when a lovely delivery from Jasprit Bumrah was nicked by an edgy Zaman only to be called no-ball due to overstepping. The major worry for India would be Ravichandran Ashwin, who had hurt his knee during practice on Saturday.
Virat Kohli, meanwhile, was gracious in defeat.
In this buildup, Arthur said they've focused much less on India and more on reinforcing what they do well.More news: Taliban storm Afghan police compound, kill 5 police
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