Most of the team members have left London to reach their respective hometowns. Fans are eagerly waiting to welcome them with warmth and happiness. They are still celebrating but in a decent manners unlike others. Excitement levels are boost up, and why not? This is the biggest victory after the title of 1992 World Cup. Fans were in tears, as they have been waiting for this trophy for so long. They were supporting them in good and bad both, that’s the sign of real cricket fans. Blurry eyes, extreme happiness, wide smiles, shaky bodies; yes these are Pakistani fans. The team in cream blazers with trophy, were looking the coolest and smartest.
The way Pakistan made a comeback after loosing the very first match of the tournament against their rivals India by 124 runs, was remarkable. At the start of the tournament, Pakistan looked the weakest team. But with their brilliance, first they were in top two in group stages, then beat England in semifinal and finally won the final, this is the unpredictability of team Pakistan.
There has been no international cricket at home for last few years. Beaten the unbeaten team of the tournament, along with that also defeated 1st ranked team and outclassed India by 180. That’s incredible. Rightly said; “You can take cricket out of Pakistan, But you can’t take Pakistan out of cricket.”
Pakistan did not only completed the target, but hit best shots, scored 6s, blown the bales, took the wickets and capture the catches beautifully. Team was full of energy and played really well, outclassed India in all departments. They firstly set the big total, fought till the end, that was what slightly missing in Pakistan team for last three matches. Pakistan is one of the team that have won all three ICC events that is World Cup (in 1992), World T20 tournament (in 2009) and Champions Trophy (in 2017). This team surely deserves an appreciation and respect. Team accomplished what Pakistani were looking for, with the start of this event and that is a trophy.
This victory should purely be dedicated to those cricket fans, who have been waiting for this for so long and haven’t missed a single match, supported team in thick and thin. Don’t support them in good days, if you can’t do the same in bad days.
Let’s have a glance at the statistics of the match. 8th ranked team with no international cricket for last few years at home created and broke many records. Nobody expected this brilliant performance from team Pakistan. Being Pakistani, we were hoping for good performances. Obviously, you can’t take out patriotism from us. Yes, we bleed green, supported, are supporting and will be supporting this team no matter what. Rohit Sharma once called Amir an ordinary bowler. His words were; “He is just a normal bowler. It’s not as if he turns up and blows everyone away.” And look at his performance in this match
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli – three of the top 5 scorers in the Champions Trophy 2017, were cleaned up by Amir in the first 10 overs. Rohit has faced 49 balls by it in which he just scored 19 runs and got dismissed 3 times with an average of 6.33. India were completely off color. They were outstanding throughout the tournament. They always set up a big total on the board, or otherwise chased the target easily. Let’s have a look on their totals in this tournament. Vs Pakistan 319/3 in 48 overs Vs Sri Lanka 321/6 in 50 overs Vs South Africa 193/2 in 38 overs (target was 192) Vs Bangladesh 265/1 in 40.1 overs (target was 264) But yesterday, against Pakistan they were all down for 158 in reply to 338 runs. That’s the lowest total by India in the history of Champions Trophy. This clearly shows, only Pakistani bowling is capable of doing so. Pakistan has also shown to all that they are not only good in bowling but they can score a big total too.
Critics, I must say biased critics, used to make fun of our domestic tournament Pakistan Super League. So, this is a clear message to them that you can’t achieve in 10 years what we have gotten in just 2 seasons – confident Shadab Khan, all-rounder Fakhar Zaman, gem Ruman Raees and Hassan Ali. These are our future, be scared.
Fakhar was nervous and uncomfortable in the start but once Azhar Ali, being a senior player took responsibility and started hitting, which made Fakhar comfortable and then he started to attack India. When 50 runs partnership came up between Fakhar and Babar Azam, there were 40 runs of Fakhar Zaman which shows how much aggressive he was. He was outstanding, he scored the first century from Pakistan in this tournament. Along with that, it was the first century by any Pakistani to be scored in the final. He was the second player to hit a century from the present squad after Shoaib Malik. Shoaib Malik also scored his century against India back in 2009, that match was also won by Pakistan by 54 runs. So, whenever Pakistan’s batsman scored a century in Champions Trophy, Pakistan hasn’t lost that match.
Hasan Ali with the ball was superb. He debuted last year, took 13 wickets, became highest wicket taker and received a golden ball in his very first ICC mega event. He was also named as the player of the event. Not only this, he moved to top 10 in ICC ODI bowlers ranking. He is at 7 right now.
18 years Shadab Khan – the youngest player to play the final of ICC ODI event, took the wicket in his first over of the final match. At this age, he was confident, handled the pressure of big match and made a smart decision of review. Batsman was declared not out by on field umpire, he took the review confidently, he was so sure about that and was given out by the third umpire.
Pakistan once scored 300+ (before this match) in Champions Trophy that was also against India. Now, Pakistan managed to score their highest total in Champions Trophy, 338. Last highest score was 302/9 against India. Not only this, it’s the highest score by any team in Champions Trophy 2017. If India would win the match, then would be the highest ever successful chase in any ICC final. But unfortunately, they couldn’t make it possible. Still, the highest run chase record is held by India against Sri Lanka.
Pakistan jumped from eighth to sixth position in ODI ranking and left Bangladesh and Sri Lanka behind. Babar Azam also jumped three positions up and is now at fifth from eight. Mohammad Hafeez is now ranked 20, he should be now more consistent to improve his ranking. Azhar Ali jumped eleven positions and secured thirty first position in ICC ODI Batsmen ranking. Whereas, Sarfaraz Ahmed dropped down 1 position and now is at thirty two. Mohammad Amir jumped 17 and Junaid Khan jumped 10 positions, now they are at twenty first and forty seventh position respectively. Surprisingly or luckily, Wahab Riaz also moved to sixty position by increasing one ranking.