World Media

Pakistan a serious contender for 2019 World Cup, feels Afridi

Pakistan a serious contender for 2019 World Cup, feels Afridi

Pakistan delivered a splendid all-round performance against India, winning the finals by massive 180 runs at the Kennington Oval to lift their maiden Champions Trophy title.

Pakistans Fakhar Zaman was picked as Dhawans opening partner after the youngster aggregated 252 runs in four matches at an impressive strike-rate of 113.

The Black Caps didn't win any of their three games in the tournament.

After Kohli won the toss and, surprisingly, opted to field first, Pakistan posted an imposing total of 338 for four featuring Fakhar Zaman's maiden one-day worldwide hundred, an innings where he might have been run out for one and was caught off a no-ball on three.

"To be appointed as captain of the team of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, which includes some of the finest and most attractive cricketers of this generation, is the flawless icing on the cake", said Sarfraz in a statement.

Amir was involved in the spot-fixing scandal that blighted the Lord's Test against England in 2010.

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India captain Virat Kohli could do little more than praise an opponent who did everything right on the day, reported the ICC.

"We can be very proud of that as a unit and we leave here with our heads held high because we understand the kind of expectations and pressures we face as a team".

Sometimes, even when we are disappointed, there turns up a moment when fans and others watching get a chance to smile.

"Fakhar is a great impact player, he played like a champion batsman today".

Amir bowled brilliantly today but all my bowlers bowled really well.

"What I do know is that Mohammad Amir, he's a big match player", said South African Arthur.

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Pakistan had entered the tournament ranked eighth on the ICC ODI Team Rankings, but courtesy its victories against higher-ranked sides, finished in sixth place, which means it now looks well set to qualify automatically for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

Amir struck just three balls into India's reply when, after bowling two outswingers to Sharma, he had him lbw with an inswinger.

They were eventually dismissed for 158, with 19.3 overs to spare.

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

Jadeja nicked Junaid Khan to slip for 15, Hasan had Ashwin caught by Sarfraz and Hasan forced Bumrah to lob another catch to the wicketkeeper, who pouched it gleefully to complete Pakistan's first Champions Trophy win.

Hardik Pandya cheered India fans in a capacity crowd as he hit three sixes off successive balls to bring up a dashing fifty. But just when it seemed that he was blazing towards a first worldwide century, he was run out after a mix-up with Ravindra Jadeja.

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