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It will be India against arch-rivals Pakistan once again in the ICC Champions Trophy. It is only the second time that the two teams are meeting in the final of an ICC tournament. While India were one of the favourites to reach this stage of the tournament and more, Pakistan have defied expectations by being one of the two teams left standing in England.
India and Pakistan had played each other in the final of the 2007 ICC World T20. It was a match that turned out to be one of the many classic encounters that the two sides have had across formats. India batted first and made a total of 157 for Pakistan to chase. Their total was powered by a 54 ball 75 from Gautam Gambhir and a lower order surge led by a young Rohit Sharma.
The hero of the match, though, turned out to be pacers Irfan Pathan and Joginder Sharma. Pakistan kept the scoreboard ticking but also kept losing wickets. RP Singh and Irfan Pathan ended with three wickets apiece. MS Dhoni then tossed the ball to Joginder Sharma for the last over of the match in which Pakistan needed 13 to win. The pacer repaid the faith laid on him by his skipper as he took the wicket of Misbah-ul-Haq off the third ball and India won the inaugural World T20I title.
In the 2017 Champions Trophy group match, though, it was a far more uneven contest. India batted first in a rain-affected match that gave them just 48 overs to bat from. Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawana and later Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh ensured that they made the most of it and made a total of 320 for Pakistan to chase. It was further curtailed to 289 off 41 overs due to further rains. They ended up falling 124 runs short of that target. But Pakistan have since recovered well, recording victories against South Africa, Sri Lanka and England. The latter was a statement of intent as they blew away England who were one of the tournament favourites.