Pakistan clinched its maiden ICC Champions Trophy title last night with a massive 180-run victory over defending champions India at the Oval in London.
It was heartbreak for the Indian fans as this time the Men in Green completely outclassed the Men in Blue and took home their first global 50-over title since their World Cup victory in 1992. Virat Kohli’s decision to bowl first at the Oval backfired badly as Pakistani bladesmen, led by opener Fakhar Zaman, answered every question the Indian bowlers had up their sleeve.
Zaman’s innings of 114, which was his maiden ODI ton, coupled with superb performances from Azhar Ali, Mohammed Hafeez and Babar Azam guided Pakistan to post a formidable 338 for 4. Paceman Mohammed Amir, who was making a return from injury, picked up from where Zaman left and gave Pakistan a dream start with the ball. He tore through the Indian top order and reduced the holders to 33 for 3.
Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan took it from there as India were skittled out for just 158 in the 31st over. Hardik Pandya was the only Indian who showed some resistance and scored a fiery 46-ball 76, comprising 4 fours and 6 maximums. His run out at a crucial moment ended it all as India not only failed to win the Champions Trophy for a record fourth time, but suffered its biggest defeat at the hands of Pakistan in the Final of any ICC ODI event.
Fakhar Zaman was adjudged man of the match, while Hasan Ali was named man of the series.