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Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said that the team played like they had nothing to lose and came out on top. Pakistan won their maiden ICC Champions Trophy title by beating arch-rivals India in the final by 180 runs. “We played like we had nothing to lose, now we are champions,” said Sarfraz.
Pakistan had started the tournament on a dismal note, losing to India by 124 runs. “After the India [group] match I said to my boys, the tournament is not finished yet. We played very well and now we have won the final,” said Sarfraz. On the day, Pakistan set India a target of 339 to win.
Their total was largely powered by a strong opening 128-run partnership between openers Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman. Azhar was dismissed after making a half century but Fakhar Zaman went on to make his maiden ODI 100. “He’s a great impact player,” said Sarfraz on Fakhar, “In his first ICC event, he played like a champion, he can be a great player for Pakistan.”
But it was the bowlers that took Pakistan home. Despite the strong total that they made, the might of the Indian batting line-up meant that Pakistan needed a good start early on to stand a chance. Mohammad Amir gave them just that dismissing Rohit Sharma in the first over even before India got off the mark. He then went on to dismiss Kohli for just 5 runs and took the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan. The Indian top three were hence back in the hut before the end of the 10th over. “All credit goes to my bowlers, Amir, Hasan Ali, Shadab (Khan), Junaid (Khan), (Mohammad) Hafeez, they bowled really well,” said Sarfraz.
Pakistan went on to dismiss India for 158, thus winning by 180 runs. “It’s a young team, credit goes to my boys, this tournament can be a great booster for us,” said that Pakistan captain, “It’s a very proud moment for me and my country, and thanks to the nation for supporting us.”