When Pakistan was galloped by 124 runs in their tournament-opener by India just a couple of weeks ago, nobody would have given them a chance to advance ahead of the group stage let alone winning it.
However, Pakistan’s knack of being unpredictable more often than not was on full display in the tournament, as they thrashed widely touted favourites India by a whopping margin of 180 runs in the final on Sunday (June 18) to win their maiden Champions Trophy.
Pakistan, led by Fakhar Zaman’s maiden ODI century, set up a daunting 339-run target with a loss of four wickets but the in-form batsmen of India came a cropper during the all-important match and fell like a pack of cards against a disciplined bowling attack.
Mohammad Amir’s fiery first spell had India reeling at 33 for three with their holy trinity of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli back in the hut. India never recovered from those early setbacks and was eventually out for just 158 runs in the 31st over.
The win over the arch-rivals makes it all more pleasing for Pakistan and the Pakistanis have left no stone unturned to celebrate this historic moment. As per reports in Daily Mail, the Pakistanis celebrated the famous with fireworks and jubilatory volleys of gunfire. The traffic in Pakistan’s big cities came to a halt, as young men took to roads to dance to the beat of drums. The chants of ‘Pakistan Zindabaad’ was heard all over, as the celebrations only increased with the passage of time.
— PTV Sports (@PTVSp0rts) June 18, 2017
“I was not expecting that Pakistan will win the match, it was an unbelievable turnaround,” a Karachi-based stock broker was quoted as saying by the news outlet.
The win is also special for the cricket-crazy Pakistani fans who have been devoid of international cricket since the terrorist attack on Sri Lanka team in 2009. No international team has visited the country since then except Zimbabwe who toured Pakistan in 2015 for a limited-overs series.
“The country needed this victory at a time when everything has been going wrong for so many years,” an Islamabad-based lawyer said.