Pakistan cricket wasn’t at its best level in the start of 2017 but with the passage of time it recovered startlingly and left everybody awe struck. Pakistan cricket team reached many mile stones this year and made their country proud. Cricket also made its way back into Pakistan home grounds. Let’s take you down a memory lane
It all started with Pakistan touring Australia. Australia clean-sweeped Pakistan in tests and won the ODI series by winning 4 matches out of 5 while Pakistan only overcame Australia once. The starting wasn’t overwhelming for neither the team nor the fans.
Next Pakistan Cricket team went to West Indies to play against them. Pakistan proved as a strong team by winning the t20 series by 3-1. Pakistan also didn’t disappoint its fans in the ODI series and won it 2-1. The last but not the least comes the test series, Pakistan played boldly and defeated the Windies for the first time on their own soil in the last test which was also the decider of the series. The legends Misbah Ul Huq and Younis Khan got a perfect ending to their career as they deserved. Pakisatn cricket team left for the champions’ trophy on a happy note.
Pakistan cricket team went to play champions trophy as the most underrated team because it was a team whose participation was not confirmed in the year 2016, a team whose aggressive opener and a talented bowler got banned, a team whose only hard hitter was forced to send back because of lack of fitness, a team whose exceptional fast bowler who was the highest wicket taker in the second edition of PSL was not selected because of a very imperative issue of fitness. A team whose captain was all new and it was his first ICC tournament as a leader, A team whose number of players were playing their first ICC tournament, A team who was underestimated, A team who was mocked but it was a team of young blood, a team of determined players who aimed to win the tournament for their fans who were deprived of joy.
The matches started and the big day of fourth june came for which every cricket fan around the world was waiting. It was Pakistan vs India. Pakistan once again couldn’t overcome the Indian team and failed to chase the total of 319 and could only score 168 runs. Every Pakistan cricket fan was thwarted but still they hoped for a better performance.
The next match was against the number one ODI team, the South Africans. Pakistan as known as the unpredictables didn’t let the strong South African batting score more than 219 and as Pakistan was ahead of the target by D/L method, they won the match and restored the lost confidence.
The third match was the do or die match if the team wanted to qualify for the semifinals. It was to be played against the brothers the Sri Lankans. Pakistan bowling once again showed its magic and Sri Lanka team could only put up a total of 236 runs. Pakistan batting did bring many heart attacks to the fans but at the end the captain won the match like a boss. Pakistan was into the semifinals of champions’ trophy.
The fourth and the semifinal match was against the starters of cricket the England team. The England batsman could not show their charm against Pakistan bowling attack and they could only score 211 runs in an imperative match. Pakistan chased down the target quite easily. Pakistan fans were immensely proud of their team performance as they qualified for the finals.
The awaited day came, It was the day of arch rivalry between Pakistan and India. This time Pakistan batsmen displayed their batting skills with focus and intelligence and put up a total of 338 runs. Pakistan bowlers were at their best as the whole Indian team was out for 158 runs. Pakistan team officially was the champions’ trophy winner. They defeated their arch rivals and that too in a title final. This phenomenal victory was celebrated for days not only in Pakistan but around the globe by the cricket loving Nation “Pakistan” and will be cherished for years to come because a No 8 team was leaving as real Champions.
Pakistan opened the door to international cricket when World XI consisting of talented players toured Pakistan. Three T20 matches were played in Lahore Gaddafi stadium. Pakistan team won the series 2-1. The team embraced the trophy in front of their own home crowd.
The last comes the series against Sri Lanka. Pakistan team played the test series against the Sri Lanka team. The test team suffered defeat when Sri Lanka won the series 2-0. Pakistan came back stronger and played remarkably by winning the ODI Series 5-0. The first two T20 matches were played at Abu Dhabi and Pakistan team once again reached the expectations of their team, the third and last T20 match was to be played at Lahore. Sri Lanka team finally came back to Pakistan home grounds. Pakistan team defeated the Sri Lanka team in the final match and won the series 3-0. The team proved to be the same team that won the champions trophy.
In 2017 Pakistan cricket team proved to be the real champions. They won the series, reached a milestone by winning the champions trophy, and continued their form. Pakistan jumped to ‘No 1 ranking’ in T20 Format, Hassan Ali was declared ‘No 1 ODI bowler’ while the senior player Muhammad Hafeez remained on ‘No 1 ODI all-rounder’, Imad Wasim was acknowledged as the ‘No 1 T20 bowler’. Not only Pakistan team made the country people contented and proud by their pleasing performance but international cricket coming back to Pakistan was an awe-inspiring experience. All is summarized in one line: “It was a happy year for Pakistan Cricket”