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Fakhar, Amir sparkle as Pakistan stun India

19 June 2017

Fakhar Zaman capitalised on a lucky escape to strike a superb 114 and lift Pakistan to a commanding total of 338 for four in the Champions Trophy final against arch-rivals India at The Oval on Sunday.

However, from the very next ball, Kohli was squared up and athletically held at point by Shadab Khan, before Shikhar Dhawan edged behind.

Earlier, Pakistan made 338 for four after losing the toss with opener Fakhar Zaman's 114 his maiden one-day worldwide hundred in just his fourth match at this level. Batting first, Pakistan set up a mammoth victory target of 339 on the back of a scintillating century by the unheralded Fakhar Zaman.

But their middle-order has rarely been tested and Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed believed his bowlers could pose problems for India, even late in the innings.

Even Golden Bat victor Shikhar Dhawan couldn't resist Amir's persistent accuracy, edging through outside off-stump, and when teenage spinner Shadab Khan successfully convinced Sarfraz Ahmed to review a "not out" lbw decision against Yuvraj Singh India's hopes were fading fast at 54-4.

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India suffered probably its most humiliating defeat with Pakistan in ODI history when it got thrashed by a whopping 180 runs in the final of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy at the Oval in England. He added 71 for in 7.3 overs with Imad Wasim (25 no off 21).

There was no way back for India, who collapsed to 158 all out with almost 20 overs of the match as they suffered their heaviest defeat by runs in 129 ODIs against Pakistan.

He shared a fluent century opening partnership with Azhar Ali (59), the pair unleashing a barrage of crisp attacking strokes all around a sun-kissed ground. "It is a mercurial team and this tournament has thrown up so many upsets so far", Hussey wrote in a column for the official website of the International Cricket Council (ICC). From then on, the Sarfraz Ahmed-led side beat Sri Lanka in a do-or-die clash following it up with a semi-final triumph over fancied England to storm into the final. Zaman and Ali scored at a rate of 5.56 in the 23 overs that they batted together. "The way they turned things around speaks volumes for the talent they have in their side", Kohli said.

An over later, Ravindra Jadeja was picked up at slips by Junaid Khan.

Caught off a no-ball on three, left-handed opener Fakhar went on to make an impressive 114.

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For a team that can't play global cricket at home due to security issues, the victory has far-reaching implications. "We have no hesitation or shame to admit we didn't play our best game today".

Babar Azam's 46 and a cameo from Mohammad Hafeez (57no off 37 balls) swelled Pakistan's tally to 338-4 off 50 overs - the highest total in the entire tournament.

Arthur conceded Pakistan were desperate to prove they could go toe to toe with tournament favourites India with the title up for grabs. "We have a young team and credit to my boys".

India, whose skipper Virat Kohli heads the tournament batting averages with a stratospheric 253, are a formidable outfit.

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