Amir, Fakhar lead Pakistan to Champions Trophy triumph

However, the International Cricket Council are set to send a World XI to Pakistan in September.

"We played like we had nothing to lose, now we are champions", said Sarfraz. The 128 they added in 23 overs in the final was Pakistan's best opening stand in over two years.

India was asked to produce the highest successful run chase in Trophy history, and had the weapons to do it.

That team could find themselves acting as a "path-finder" for the resumption of tours of Pakistan by major cricket nations. Unorthodox in stance, he hardly uses his right elbow.

Kohli rued India's failure to string partnerships together.

This was a pure Oval batting strip, with lateral movement nearly non-existent and the batsmen looking quite comfortable.

Zaman paced his innings well, adapted well to conditions and mesmerised the out-of-sorts left-arm spinner Jadeja, especially with his square-bat shots.

How costly that no ball from Bumrah would prove to be.

Fakhar brought up his maiden century in his fourth one-day worldwide by muscling a sweep of Ashwin for his 12th boundary. He eventually departed for 114. An intended smash to midwicket ended up at point, well held by Jadeja.

Fellow opener Azhar survived run out chances on 15 and 29.They made India pay for the let-off and misses. On a flat surface both the Ravis took some stick, going for between 7 and 8.3 an over.

For India, Bhuvneshwar Kumar shined with the ball.

He overstepped the mark when he had the centurion Zaman caught behind with his score on three.

The experienced Mohammad Hafeez has been criticised of late for his slow play - so he started with a 4 to long off.

But this crazy-good Pakistan side had other ideas. A bolt that was so strong that it blew three of the favourites of this tournament away.

So when he was dropped by Azhar Ali in the slips off Mohammad Amir in the third over, huge cheers erupted around the arena. There were further stories on Virat Kohli's press conference later and celebrations by the Pakistani players. India won by 6 wickets.

Would Kohli regret putting Pakistan in? "So yeah, that s an area we certainly need to look at". But credit goes to the players.

India's wickets tumbled with alarming regularity.

Yuvraj Singh was lbw to leg-spinner Shadab and former captain MS Dhoni, the hero of many an India rescue mission, holed out in the deep. Pandya (76 off 43 balls) was dealing in boundaries at that point, having already hammered six sixes and four fours. Unheralded going into the tournament, behind Amir, Junaid Khan and Wahab Riaz, the 23-year-old made a big name for himself.

As they have done many times before, however, Pakistan suddenly found their form with wins over top-ranked South Africa and Sri Lanka before delivering an outstanding all-round display to stun previously unbeaten hosts England in the semi-finals. Previously it was Australia versus India at Wanderers in 2003. So to dust ourselves off and come back from that has been a remarkable achievement. They entered the tournament with their participation at the 2019 World Cup in doubt.

People poured into bazaars and markets in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad to celebrate the win by blaring patriotic pop songs, as youths performed wheelies on motorcycles and waved flags as they dangled out of cars.

"They had an awesome tournament".

Dejected, he was sure his team would bounce back.

  • Leroy Wright