Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Sarfraz Ahmed: 'The win will be remembered for a long, long time'

Sarfraz Ahmed: 'The win will be remembered for a long, long time'

Fakhar Zaman's thrilling ton and Mohammad Amir's three dismissals of India's top order led Pakistan to a stunning 180-run victory against their arch-rivals in the Champions Trophy final at The Oval on Sunday.

"Today's win shows that no one is favorite when it comes to India v Pakistan match in global cricket", said a beaming Mohammad Ashraf, who distributed candies among people on a street in Rawalpindi.

This was Pakistan's largest margin of victory, by runs, in 129 ODIs against India, surpassing their 159-run success at Delhi in 2005. Zaman (114), playing his first ODI against India and fourth overall, went after the bowlers trying to play the inside-out shots.

Coach Micky Arthur praised the spirit of his side after they bounced back from a humiliating defeat to India at the start of the tournament to beat Sri Lanka, South Africa and England before the final.

Instead Amir wreaked havoc at the start of the reply, trapping Rohit Sharma lbw with his third ball and then inducing a leading edge from Kohli one ball after the skipper had been put down at slip by Azhar.

India captain Kohli conceded Pakistan were worthy winners and, while he claimed to be proud of his players, his admission that the new champions played with more passion was a damning indictment. He ended up with a knock of 76 runs off 43 balls. As Virat Kohli said in the post-match conference, it was just the probing, aggressive bowling display by Pakistan that did the Indian batting in.

Azhar smacked the fist six off the innings off Ashwin in the eighth over after he and Fakhar made themselves at home on the pitch.

"The teams that might have taken Pakistan lightly in this event will never dare to repeat such a mistake again and whatever the lead-up to the 2019 World Cup may be like; Pakistan will be a serious contender for the trophy". He had Ashwin caught by Sarfraz and forced Bumrah to lob another catch to the wicketkeeper, who pouched it gleefully to complete Pakistan's first Champions Trophy win.

As soon as the sun set and people broke their religious fast, large numbers came out to watch Pakistan seamers squeezing India in its run-chase. Pakistan has reached the Champions Trophy final for the first time. "But for a guy like Zaman, it becomes really hard to stop players like him, because I think 80 per cent of his shots were high-risk and they were all coming off". "I want to congratulate Pakistan, they had an awesome tournament". "Twenty-five extras is a bit too much in a game like that, and that's something that we certainly need to take care of in the future. They outplayed us, they were more intense and passionate on the day".

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