Pakistan Legendary Champions

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Nawaz, Marriyum felicitate nation, team over historic victory

Observer Report

Oval, London
Pakistan thrashed favourites India by 180 runs to clinch the Champions Trophy title in a thrilling competition at London’s Oval ground on Sunday A maiden ODI century by Fakhar Zaman and a breath-taking spell of new ball bowling by fast bowler Mohammad Amir helped Pakistan crush arch-rivals India in the final as they lifted the ICC Champions Trophy for the first time. India captain Virat Kohli won the toss and opted for bowl first, but his decision back-fired as the Men in Green took full advantage of the perfect batting conditions by posting a mammoth 339-run target in their allotted 50 overs. The star of the show was young opener Fakhar, who scored a whirlwind 114 off just 106 balls with the help of 12 fours and three sixes. He was well-supported by fellow opener Azhar Ali (59) and veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez (57 not out), who contributed timely half-centuries. The green shirts set up a daunting 339-run target with a loss of four wickets for the men in blue, but Indian batting collapsed under a calculated bowling attack, with all men out for just 158 runs in the 31st over. The score is Pakistan’s second-highest against India. The last time Pakistan beat India was in 2009 – also during a Champions Trophy match. The green shirts’ total was bolstered by a solid 128-run opening stand between Fakhar Zaman and Azhar Ali which set the mood for the first inning. Fakhar, who scored his maiden ODI century in style with a four off the 31st over, was awarded Player of the Match. The opening pair broke two records – one for the best score posted by Pakistani openers against India in an ICC tournament (86 runs), and the second for the best partnership against India in an ICC tournament when 100 came up for Pakistan in the 18th over. The last time Pakistani openers scored more than 100 runs prior to the fall of the first wicket in two consecutive matches was in 2003. This is only the second time the same has happened outside Asia. Azhar and Muhammad Hafeez both racked up half centuries, whereas Fakhar smashed 114 off 106 deliveries, and Babar Azam scored a solid 46 off 52. Hardik Pandya was the top-scorer for India with 76 runs before he was run out by Hasan in the 27th over after a mix-up with partner Ravindra Jadeja. The left-hander scored 54 runs off 32 balls, the fastest half-century in a world One Day International (ODI) final. Left-arm fast Muhammad Amir kicked off Pakistan’s bowling attack, taking three crucial early wickets – those of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan. Two overs into the match, opener Sharma succumbed to a LBW, whereas skipper and heavy-hitter Kohli was caught out by Shadab Khan, and Dhawan was caught out by Sarfaraz Ahmed. Hasan Ali matched Amir’s three, taking the wickets of MS Dhoni, Ravichandran Ashwin and JJ Bumrah. India’s lineup remained unchanged for the match, whereas Pakistan replaced Rumman Raees with Muhammad Amir. Amir had been ruled out of Pakistan’s semi-final against England due to a back spasm during a practice session. In Champions Trophy history, 2013 has been the only edition in which the team batting first won the final. The other 5 finals have been won by the chasing team.Squads Pakistan: Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (w + c), Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Junaid KhanIndia: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (capt), Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (wkt), Hardik Pandya, Kedhar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jaspreet Bumrah. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Sunday congratulated the nation over Pakistan’s classic victory in the ICC Champions Trophy’s final match against India. The prime minister highly appreciated the entire team for playing extraordinarily and defeating the opponent team with a heavy margin. “Players and management of the team deserve the nation’s profound gratitude and appreciation for their remarkable performances displayed today,” PM’s Office media wing in a press release quoted the prime minister as saying. The prime minister further said the Pakistani team proved to be one of the best cricket teams in the world. The cricket team has provided an excellent opportunity for the entire nation to rejoice in the holy month of Ramazan, he added. The prime minister expressed the confidence that the Pakistani cricket team would continue to put in their best in all formats of the game in the days ahead. Meanwhile, Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb on Sunday congratulated the nation and the national cricket team over historic victory in final of ICC Champions Trophy final against arch rivals India.  In her congratulatory message, the minister said that such a comprehensive victory was the result of excellent team work in which the batsmen, bowlers and fielders contributed to the best of their abilities. The victory was manifestation of the fact that green shirts could beat the best teams of the world. She said that the cricket team by winning the prestigious Champions Trophy had given the Eid gift to the nation in advance. Congratulating the team she said, “The Green Shirts rise to the hopes of millions around the world and the message is resounding, there is no equal.. congratulations PAKISTAN , Sarfraz and the boys – well done Team Pakistan ????!!!Historic Win”. The minister said that the team, which did not get an ideal start in the tournament, worked very hard under the leadership of newly appointed captain Sarfraz Ahmed and turned the tables on India by trouncing them with such a big margin. She said that the credit for the victory went to the team as well as the management. The entire nation was praying for their victory, she added. The MOS said that sports and cultural activities were a source of strength for any nation as they promoted healthy and positive thinking that leads to peace and tranquility in a society. Therefore, it was imperative to invest heavily in promoting sports, particularly cricket which was a passion for every Pakistani. The team won mainly due to the performance of young cricketers which underlines the need for continuous efforts to hunt for fresh talent. Meanwhile, in a tweet she said, “Green shirts have risen to the hopes of millions around the world. Message is resounding there is no equal. Congrats to entire nation, Sarfraz and boys.”  Later on talking to PTV, she said that today we witnessed a rare sense of unity and solidarity among the nation and the historic win against India had further cemented that spirit. She said that the same spirit and unity was needed to surmount the challenges that the country was confronted with. Marriyum said that winning the champion Trophy was indeed a matter of great pride for all Pakistanis living across the globe as it was a result of the strenuous efforts and sheer hard work by the whole team, she said. PSL helped produce new talent which has played a remarkable role in winning the trophy, she added. She said that PM Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had a vision to make Pakistan a peaceful, prosperous and respectable State and under his dynamic leadership the country was witnessing progress and advancement in all spheres of the national life.

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