Defending champions India, given 339 to win by Pakistan, collapsed to 33 for three and 54 for five against a side they had decimated by 124 runs in the opening match at Edgbaston on June 4.

They were eventually dismissed for 158 in reply to Pakistan’s 338 for four, which featured Fakhar Zaman’s 114, the left-handed opener’s maiden one-day international hundred coming in just his fourth match at this level.

Amir, who did not play in Pakistan’s eight-wicket win over England in the semi-final as he was out with a back spasm, ended up with three wickets for 16 runs in six overs.

To add insult to injury, India bowled 13 wides and three no-balls in what was a woeful day for all, save Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/44 in 10 overs).

Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Virat Kohli were sent packing by Amir in a fiery spell with three brilliant deliveries. The fate of the match was sealed. Hardik Pandya amassed 76 off 43 balls, hit half a dozen of sixes to provide a glimmer of hope, before being run-out due to a horrible mix-up with Jadeja. Pandya was angry but he was only delaying the inevitable. It was that spell which won the Pakistan the title.

But Virat Kohli proved his sportsmanship in after match presentation as he accepted the defeat and congratulated on the men in green’s team efforts.

Kohli was not only thanked by cricket lovers from across the border but also described as a gentleman. The 28-year-old’s address after his side’s 180-run loss was even praised by the cricketing community.

“I want to congratulate Pakistan, they had an amazing tournament, the way they turned things around, speak volumes for the talent they have. They proved it again, they can upset anyone on their day, disappointing for us but I have a smile on my face because we played well to reach the final,” Kohli said.

This was well received by people across the border.

“When players (Fakhar Zaman) like that get going on their day, it becomes really difficult to stop them because I think 80 percent of his shots were high-risk — and they were all coming off,” said Kohli.”As a bowler and as a captain when that is happening … sometimes you have to sit and say ‘the guy is good enough on the day to tackle anything’.We certainly tried to make them hit in areas that we felt it would be uncomfortable, but we just didn’t have anything going our way in that partnership.”

Meanwhile, reflecting on India’s tournament as a whole, Kohli insisted: “We can (still) be very proud … and we leave here with our heads held high.Credit to everyone for standing up and showing that resilience and reaching the finals — (but) we were outplayed in all departments.”

“In the end … you have to accept and admire sometimes the skill of the opposition,” he added sportingly.

Former cricketers Brendon McCullum and Shane Warne too took to Twitter to appreciate Kohli.


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