Pakistan's path to Champions Trophy glory


Pakistan's path to Champions Trophy glory

"It has been an ultra-quick turnaround from no-hopers to champions for the Pakistan players and the manner in which the team won the match was really impressive", said Afridi in a column for ICC.

Sarfraz said, "I think this is a great achievement for me, my team and my country". This is the least we could do, " said Pakistan's batsman Mohammad Hafeez.

Zaman's score of 114 ─ his maiden ODI century ─ is the fourth highest by a Pakistani batsman in a World Cup or Champions Trophy match, and the first 100 for Pakistan in a final of either series. "I took my time to begin with, you look at the wicket, and then play your natural game".

"I was telling somebody the other day that I've had five semi-finals with South Africa and never got to a final".

Pakistan's players celebrate their victory over India on the pitch after the ICC Champions Trophy final cricket match between India and Pakistan at The Oval in London on June 18, 2017.

But the fans on Pakistan side are over the top in their victory celebrations and also furious in the case of a defeat to India.

Pakistan, who had lost all three of their previous matches against India in the knockout stages of International Cricket Council tournaments and started this event the lowest ranked of all the eight teams taking part, were now on the brink of a sensational win.

So when he was dropped by Azhar Ali in the slips off Mohammad Amir in the third over, huge cheers erupted around the arena.

He was picked for the Champions Trophy squad, missed the opening loss to India so didn't have any nightmares to process, then scored 31, 50, and 57 to cement his place.

He continued: "I was feeling very lucky".

Amir struck just three balls into India's reply when, after bowling two outswingers to Sharma, he had him lbw with a superb inswinger.

"A guy like Zaman, when players like that get going on their day, it becomes real hard to stop them because I think 80 percent of his shots were high-risk and they were all coming off", Kohli said.

"Yes, we have shown the composure in pressure situations most often in this tournament, but that is no guarantee that you're going to do it every time".

"Credit to everyone for standing up and showing that resilience and reaching the finals - (but) we were outplayed in all departments. Indians were relying heavily on their star studded top-order of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli and Amir dismantled the trio in a sensational burst", he added. "People were just doing the normal things that they do in any practice session and that's the kind of approach we have following throughout the tournament".