Pakistan 'pressure' got to India, says Kohli

Pakistan thrashed India by 180 runs to win this year's edition of the Champions Trophy at The Oval on Sunday, with a worldwide television audience of millions watching the stunning final. India started its campaign by comprehensively defeating Pakistan and got so badly intoxicated with the triumph that when they needed to repeat the heroics in the final, the whole team crumbled like a pack of cards.

Communities gathered around TV screens throughout the country on Sunday night to share the moment as Pakistan won its first ever Champions Trophy, just weeks after being written off following a loss in the tournament's opening match - also against India.

There was no way back for India, who collapsed to 158 all out with almost 20 overs of the match as they suffered their heaviest defeat by runs in 129 ODIs against Pakistan.

Fakhar Zaman wrote himself into Pakistan folklore with a century in the Champions Trophy final but afterwards revealed he thought he would be unavailable to play the day before due to illness.

After man of the match Fakhar finished on 114, Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Amir ripped the heart out of the Indian batting line-up with the wickets of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli.

Australian cricketing legend Adam Gilchrist has credited Pakistan's adaptability and perseverance in the face of domestic challenges as key to their rout of favourites India in the Champions Trophy.

Pakistan 'pressure' got to India, says Kohli

In March, Giles Clarke, the president of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and head of the ICC's Pakistan task force had said that they want to give Pakistan fans the chance to see the world's best players in live action.

South Asian neighbours India and Pakistan have a history of hostile relations - and have a famous rivalry on the cricket pitch as well.

India, looking to retain the Champions Trophy, went down without a fight as they collapsed to 158 all out and Amir felt his spell was crucial.

"In Sarfraz (Ahmed), it now has a captain who can perhaps take the team to unprecedented glory in the years ahead", opined Afridi. "So, hopefully, this win will boost Pakistan cricket and all [cricket] playing nations will come to Pakistan", the Dawn quoted Sarfraz, as saying. I said to him "I can't play tomorrow", but he gave me protein and glucose tablets and said "You will play tomorrow".

"In the end. you have to accept and admire sometimes the skill of the opposition".

  • Julie Sanders