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5 Key Moments That Led to Pakistan’s Champions Trophy Victory

Here’s a look at the five key moments in Pakistan’s triumph over India in the Champions Trophy final.

Updated
Cricket
4 min read
5 Key Moments That Led to Pakistan’s Champions Trophy Victory

Pakistan decimated India by 180 runs at The Oval in London on Sunday to clinch their first-ever Champions Trophy title.

First, the batsmen put the match in Pakistan’s favour with a whopping score of 338/4 and then the bowlers – especially Mohammad Amir (3/16) and Hasan Ali (3/19) wrapped up the Indian innings in 30.3 overs (India: 158 all out).

Fakhar Zaman was the star of Pakistan’s batting line-up. He played a brilliant innings of 114 runs off 106 balls. The 27-year-old, who scored his maiden ODI century in the final, strung two important partnerships of 128 runs and 72 runs with Azhar Ali and Babar Azam respectively.

Here’s a look at the five key moments that helped Pakistan win the Champions Trophy title.

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1. Sarfraz Ahmed Loses Toss

Azhar Ali (L) and Fakhar Zaman (R) chat during the Champions Trophy final. (Photo: AP)
Azhar Ali (L) and Fakhar Zaman (R) chat during the Champions Trophy final. (Photo: AP)

India have done well chasing down targets so captain Virat Kohli opted to put his rivals in to bat first after winning toss.

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz said that he would also have elected to field if he had won it.

We wanted to bowl first. But the toss is out of our control. Hopefully, we can post more than 300.
Sarfraz Ahmed said at the toss

Losing the toss turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Pakistan posted a mammoth total of 338/4 in their 50 overs.

2. Pakistan Opener Zaman Caught by Dhoni Off a No Ball

MS Dhoni talks to Jasprit Bumrah while Pakistan’s innings in the final. (Photo: AP)
MS Dhoni talks to Jasprit Bumrah while Pakistan’s innings in the final. (Photo: AP)

With his bat tucked under his arm, Fakhar begins the long walk back to the pavilion as the Indians celebrate grabbing their first wicket with only four runs on the board for Pakistan.

The celebrations swiftly change direction, however, when replays on the big scoreboard show that Jasprit Bumrah had over-stepped the line and Fakhar is called back to the crease.

It proved to be a costly no ball as Fakhar went on to score his first international century.

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3. Kohli Fails to Capitalise After Being Dropped

Virat Kohli walks back to the pavilion after getting out for 5 runs. (Photo: AP)
Virat Kohli walks back to the pavilion after getting out for 5 runs. (Photo: AP)

The Indian captain had come into the match with an astonishing aggregate of 253 runs in this year's tournament, having been dismissed only once in four matches.

So when he was dropped by Azhar Ali in the slips off Mohammad Amir in the third over, huge cheers erupted around the arena.

But, Amir ensured that Ali’s dropped catch didn’t turn into a costly mistake as he dismissed Kohli in the very next delivery.

His departure proved to be a bad omen for the Indians as the only other time he had been dismissed in this year's Champions Trophy – against Sri Lanka in the group stage – the holders also lost the match.

4. Amir’s Spell

Mohammad Amir celebrates a wicket with his teammates. (Photo: AP)
Mohammad Amir celebrates a wicket with his teammates. (Photo: AP)

Amir, once vilified for his role in the 2010 Pakistan spot-fixing scandal which led to him serving a prison term in London, was at his brilliant best when he produced a devastating opening spell.

He removed India's top three batsmen – Rohit Sharma (0), Shikhar Dhawan (21) and Kohli (5).

After leaving India reeling on six for two following the dismissals of Sharma and Kohli, Amir's figures read 1.4 overs, four runs and two wickets.

His transformation into a hero was complete as his final tally was six overs, two maidens, 16 runs and three wickets.

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5. Hardik Pandya’s Run Out

Hardik Pandya was the top-scorer for India with 76 runs. (Photo: AP)
Hardik Pandya was the top-scorer for India with 76 runs. (Photo: AP)

Pandya came to the crease with India teetering on 54/5 after Yuvraj Singh and former captain Dhoni departed in quick succession.

He raised hopes of pulling off a one-man Indian Houdini act as he hit three successive sixes to reach his half century. But just when it seemed that he was blazing towards a first international century, he was run out after a mix-up with Ravindra Jadeja in the 27th over.

India still had three wickets in hand but the deafening cheers from the Pakistan fans made clear that the end was nigh.

India lost their last four wickets for the addition of only six runs.

(With inputs from Reuters)

Follow all the updates from the ICC Champions Trophy here.

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