Today, we saw the final match of the tournament played between India and Pakistan. What a magnificent performance with both bat and ball displayed by the Pakistani team today, as they are the winners of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. They dominated the match from start to finish as they totally demolished the Indians.
At the toss India’s captain Virat Kohli opted to have a bowl first. Pakistan got off to a pretty quick start with openers Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman. These two displayed confidence and were well disciplined in their batting, stroking the ball nicely into the boundary, just a beauty to watch. Both batsmen made half centuries, until India struck as there was a horrible mix up with the batsmen. On trying to get a quick single both Ali and Zaman were on the same end, and with the brilliant fielding from Jasprit Bumrah , Ali departed on 59 runs breaking the 128 runs opening partnership. Zaman continued to flourish the Pakistani’s innings with Babar Azam as nothing was working for the Indian bowlers. This match was Zaman 4th international innings, which was a very special one as he got his first ODI hundred inclusive of 12 4s and 3 6s with a strike rate of 107.54, what an impressive performance. Finally, Hardik Pandya got the wicket that the Indians wanted, as Zaman skied one, this catch looked somewhat difficult to take however Ravindra Jadeja made it look so simple.
Eventually, Pakistan only lost 4 wickets and put on a massive total at the end of their 50 overs, ending on 338-4. India surely had to go hard in the opening overs if they were going to get to this target successfully. Once again starting of for the Pakistani bowlers was Mohammed Amir and he didn’t disappoint, trapping Rohit Sharma lbw with the 3rd ball of the 1st over. He came back in the 3rd over and claimed the wicket of the dangerous Virat Kohli, after he was dropped with the previous ball. Amir continued to cripple India’s lineup as got the wicket of the inform batsmen Shikhar Dhawan,India now 3-33. India’s demise continued as their ship was sinking quite rapidly. Batting at 6-72, Hardik Pandya tried to give some hope to the Indians as he got into groove with his batting. At this point India surely had a chance to get back into the game, however this was short lived. Yet another run out, no communication and hesitant running between Jadeja and Pandya lead to the dismissal of India’s top scorer and only hope Pandya. He departed on a well played 76 runs including 4 4s and 6 6s. India lost their remaining 3 wickets in the space of 6 runs, ending on 158 all out in 30.3 overs.
Standing at number 8 in the ICC ODI rankings, the unpredictable Pakistanis came out victorious at the end. They played a well all rounded, disciplined and confident cricket today, totally deserving of the victory.
Now that this tournament has concluded, the Women’s World Cup rolls into action from June 24th.