#PakvsInd: If the first match was a mismatch, the final was complete annihilation followed by domination

Published: June 19, 2017
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Pakistan, ranked No. 8 before the tournament, took the trophy home, India v Pakistan, Final, Champions Trophy 2017, The Oval, London, June 18, 2017. PHOTO:GETTY IMAGES

The most unpredictable team in the world, ranked bottom in this tournament, has yet again pulled it off. It has taken eight years for Pakistan to hoist an international trophy, but in doing so, they’ve blown out everyone who doubted them. Two hundred million people rejoice once again, as Pakistan rises from the ashes to beat India (emphatically, I must add), to win the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy for the first time.

The victorious Pakistan team lift the Champions Trophy, India v Pakistan, Final, Champions Trophy 2017, The Oval, London, June 18, 2017. Photo: Getty Images

This is only the third time that Pakistan have managed to beat India in an ICC tournament. Oh but this victory is unlike any other. This time, the odds weren’t even. Everyone who believes in logic and statistics expected India to win. Who would’ve thought that hardcore passion, belief and a very momentous no-ball by Jasprit Bumrah would turn the tables, and with such comprehension? Pakistan were swatted aside when the two teams met earlier in the tournament; Virat Kohli & Co didn’t know that they themselves would spark a renaissance that would bring about their own doom.

Umpire Marais Erasmus signals the no-ball that gave Fakhar Zaman a life. PHOTO: AFP

This was a complete performance. Pakistan had come into the game in extraordinary momentum, beating South Africa, Sri Lanka, and England on their way. Maybe calling them unpredictable again and again prompted a predictably positive response. The young team, most of whom haven’t played a single minute of international cricket at home, showed the whole world what hard work and big-time adrenaline can do.

They beat a team which prides itself on being a star-studded team that plays in front of their home fans most of the year around. They beat a rival which had held bragging rights since quite some time now. And they beat them in every department. They took a page out of their opponent’s batting and scored a massive 338. They improved what they were brilliant in and bowled the best batting side out to create a 180-run winning margin.

Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman added their second consecutive century opening stand, India v Pakistan, Champions Trophy 2017 final, The Oval, London, June 18, 2017. Photo: Getty Images

If the first match was a mismatch, this one was annihilation.

This trophy is not just about beating an arch-rival. It’s about what infrastructure, team management and inconsistencies this team comes from, and what they’ve managed to achieve. It’s about the elevation they’ve managed to reach and bring serenity and joyousness to a nation that craves for it. It’s about creating distortion in a monotonously inconsistent pattern.

Team Pakistan has caused an upheaval in world cricket, and rightly so. They’ve given performances to back it up. The trophy was passed from India to Pakistan. Please pass the bragging rights too!

From Rishi Kapoor to Aamer Sohail, no one anticipated that Fakhar Zaman would make India pay so dearly for a no-ball. The former navy officer smashed 117 golden runs to set the platform for a big total. Excellent contributions from Azhar Ali and Babar Azam, along with an outrageously un-Mohammad Hafeez like cameo from Hafeez set up the highest total in this year’s Champions Trophy. Kohli looked unconcerned – the best batsman in the world would pull this off, no?

Fakhar Zaman roars after bringing up his maiden ODI century. Photo: Getty Images

Mohammad Hafeez launches one down the ground. Photo: Getty Images

In comes Mohammad Amir, and he literally went through the Indian top-order. He made Rohit Sharma look like he needs to head for the nets for the entirety of his life, whilst dismissed Kohli twice in two balls (the first was a lollipop catch dropped by Ali, who was met with some poetic anger from Amir).

Mohammad Amir takes flight after picking up a wicket. Photo: Getty Images

Kohli has never looked this perplexed on a solid batting pitch. He didn’t play a bad shot, he just couldn’t deal with the sheer pace and swing that Amir had to offer. This was Amir’s time to shine, and he was calling the shots when he bowled.

Virat Kohli popped a leading edge to point. Photo: Getty Images

After, he took care of Shikhar Dhawan. Hasan Ali and Junaid Khan did what they do best, picked up important wickets in middle over with short intervals. Shadab Khan chipped in with two important scalps as well. This bowling quartet epitomises Pakistan’s win.

Hasan Ali throws his arms back triumphantly to celebrate a wicket. Photo: Getty Images

You could see they were hungry. Their celebrations were explosive, their eyes were bloodshot and drop-dead focused. They were, quite simply, hunting down the Indian batsmen, and despite Hardik Pandya’s big-hitting 50, there were no guns and barrels that could draw out an escape plan for India from this quartet.

Shadab Khan is pumped up after taking a wicket. Photo: Getty Images

Like the previous match, this win wasn’t a thrilling win. This win wasn’t a last-over finish. This was domination, and a statement of intent has been made. A 180-run defeat is magnanimous, and team India needs to do a lot of homework as they try to improve on this defeat.

Kohli wished for an India-England final, and I realise it now, that he couldn’t be more correct.

What did Sarfraz Ahmed say to his team to cause such a turn-around in form?

He sure is a realist, as when he told his players that the tournament isn’t over after defeat to India, everyone believed. One victory at a time, they clawed their way out from being lopsided to clinical. Hasan, so invigorating and effective, won the Golden Ball and the Man of the Tournament (not to mention a Hublot watch, woah).

Sarfraz Ahmed and his team pay thanks for their trophy. Photo: Getty Images

When the tournament started, Rameez Raja predicted a Pakistan-India final, with Pakistan to win. Did he truly believe it? Neither did I, Raja. But both you and I, along with the whole nation can rejoice, as this is our win. We did not cause an upset. When you put together four world class performances together, it takes the shape of a pattern.

This youthful team, led by Sarfraz and presenting an invigorating brand of cricket, has made us all so very proud. I cannot bleed greener anymore. Pakistan are champions, and the world needs to watch out. This hunger is young, this win is just a start.

Hamza Raza

Hamza Raza

The author is a LUMS graduate, a sports enthusiast, and a marketeer by heart making sports journalism investigative.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • hp kumar

    Pakistanis have won this game coz it was pay back time for india.I wont go more into detail.This is why i dont like bcci.They have their personal agenda.They can go to any length to achieve that.But even when 6 wicket was down,sadab khan’s face was nice to see after getting 3 consecutive sixes.Kohli is not a captainship material.He should resign.if he continues we will have more suffering.He is not mentally alert person.I dont see him taking moral responsibility after defeat.What he is doing instead?he is all praise for pakistan and explains how he was outclassed.Its like rubbing into indian fan’s face and a signature sign of defeated mindset.Ha and i cant believe indias defeat in cricket can give so much pleasure to pakistan or muslims of subcontinent.guys take it,we r here and we will rise again.We r growing country and definitely mistake has been committed.People who say its time we support our cricketers have no clue what they r talking.These guys dont need support .They need few days break.Uncle Dhoni,kohli and yuvraj need some rest.Meanwhile we can test our young guns.Recommend

  • MJ

    While we are all praising Pakistani bowlers and the praise is well deserved and earned, I would like as a Pakistani to mention a few observations about the Indian bowling camp.
    It was surprising to see Bumrah bowl at 92 plus mph during the finals. However he lost his line and length when he tried to generate that extra pace. B. Kumar was the pick of Indian bowlers who bowled very smart. That shows how good line and length is still the best weapon against batsmen that are dominating.
    Jadeja and Ashwin proved ordinary in front of Pakistani batsmen, specially M. Hafeez. I still think that Indian spinners bend their elbows every now and then during their overs. Not consistently but cleverly mix those balls in an over. Before you accuse me of hating, please watch the entire match (on a DVR, if you have one) and slow down their spin bowlers.
    I am not a hater, just stating the facts. I am also very impressed by the improvement that Indian pace bowlers have made. (should we thank Wasim for that?) It was a poor choice on their behalf to let Shami sit outside.Recommend

  • Amna Abbadi

    What about your you guys…Mr. Hp kumar??? Go and ask to your beloved Mr.Kapoor…and also those who have said about Father’s day…we are doing nothing just some questions were pending which we have to reply.
    Thanks
    Happy Father’s day;-)Recommend

  • Rohan

    Wasim Akram doesn’t play for India ,don’t think he ever did
    Just because shami is Muslim doesn’t mean he’s a great bowler
    Indian spinners are not chuckers like saeed AjmalRecommend

  • Rohan

    Seems like it’s an annihilation only if Pakistan wins and India losesRecommend

  • Anonymouse

    I disagree, Kohli is an outstanding captain, talking about his dismissal, that was very unexpected and no body could have predicted a turning ball on this pitch, as for him taking moral responsibility – I think it is understood, as a captain he is responsible for the teams performance, and being humble at times like these are more important traits of a world class captain. As a Pakistani, yes this is a huge win for Pakistan, yes the fans are happy, unfortunately trolls are there on both sides of the borders spouting hatred and venom, we can not judge an entire nation on the actions of a handful of these individuals. We are a growing country as well, and I hope the Pakistani team sees that and understands that they too have to continuously improve and perform. And like India, the Pakistani team also has a couple of individuals who have long overstayed their welcome in the team and I hope the board realizes that soon. What I would like to say to India is, hold your heads high!Recommend

  • Sane

    This is India, made this sports like a war. Let the game be game only in which one lose and other wins. If you carry on with your attitude this shall be war always. Pakistan team if not the best in world, then at least among the best. But, at the moment THE BEST in world.Recommend

  • hp kumar

    You Pakistani will give us lesson.our days r not that bad.Recommend

  • hp kumar

    As per your standard he is outstanding but not for us.he is being political.he focuses on India Pak friendship than cricket.i would never like a cricketer in Indian team who is befriending pakistan.india Pak cricket is not a game,its a war.its better he understands it sooner than later.problem is that even his girlfriend belongs to dubious fraternity who can’t give him proper lesson.for now as an Indian I would like him to resign.Recommend

  • hp kumar

    You Pakistanis think you r at par with India.you should learn to take it easy.otherwise you will hurt yourself.take any field you r left far behind.and you wish your father happy father’s day.i thank you for that.Recommend

  • MJ

    Thanks for updating me with a revelation that Wasim does not play for India. Also let your pace bowlers know as in several interviews and New articles they always mention getting tips and training from Wasim.Recommend

  • ab

    no issue lee lo tissueRecommend

  • Sane

    You are given lessons, but you are not good learner. You will remain hate mongers against Pakistan specially and Muslims in general. This is your choice, to be a loser all the time. You lost Champions Trophy and will be loser in future also in all sectors. Your social system is at collapse, including your internal and foreign policy. Your economy is on decline. Farmers in your country do suicide at an alarming rate. Be ostrich, keep your head in sand. Only one thing is progressing in India; hate Pakistan and hate Muslims and minorities.Recommend

  • Sane

    No we Pakistanis are not at par with India. We are far ahead. I think tissue paper industry shall prosper more in India.Recommend

  • ab

    good for you, give your solders some food. how can they fight with empty stomach.Recommend

  • hp kumar

    Go beg few bucks from China before making any statement.you people r already sold out..ha ha ..lolRecommend

  • hp kumar

    We r far ahead how?Recommend

  • Rohan

    Keep it Recommend

  • Sane

    You Indians never learn. Whole world is happy that Pakistan beat India rather crushed India. Basically the world in general hate attitude of Indian cricketers. The world is laughing at you about your reaction on this defeat. We are far ahead that we outclassed Indian team very very badly. Yes, we lost in past against India, but never reacted the way Indians doing. We remained calm and kept strengthening our team. Result is displayed.Recommend

  • hp kumar

    .once your bubble is bursted,again you will be back to square one.your cricket team is 3rd class.Recommend

  • hp kumar

    World is laughing at our reaction?our reaction is pretty normal.see what you r doing instead.this kind of celebration has never been seen in india.we do take game seriously and nothing wrong in it.but we know game is a game.that can’t be used to issue a political statement.Recommend