2017 ICC Champions Trophy: Players, Coaches React After Pakistan Lift Maiden Title
The mercurial or unpredictable or whatever adjective you would like to add Pakistan, they were at their best on the day to walk over the line convincingly as the champions of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy on Sunday for the first time after Mohammad Amir ripped apart the famed top-order of the formidable India which further saw left-handed batsman Fakhar Zaman registering a blistering hundred to give a rousing start to Pakistan after losing the toss, as the Men in Green won the grand finale by 180 runs at The Oval on Sunday.
“Hasan Ali is a young guy and bowls with a big of heart. Every time he runs in, he wants to get a wicket. The attitude is brilliant. He is a match winner for us,” revealed bowling coach Azhar Mahmood.
Amir bowled a fiery spell to claim three crucial wickets which put Virat Kohli-led side on the back-foot while chasing down the daunting target of 339 in 50 overs, as we have had witnessed how Men in Blue openers scored the bulk of runs during the tournament.
“It has been an up and down ride. After the India game, we came back superbly. We knew we were better than that. The whole group came together and kept believing and that was a superb thing,” Head Coach Mickey Arthur said.
Pakistan’s bowlers rose to the occasion again to dominate with the ball as Amir and Hasan Ali, who has been the leading wicket-taker (13) in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy claimed three wickets each.
“We wanted to be a lot more consistent. It has been a remarkable achievement. I am happy with the brand of cricket we have been playing and want to continue the momentum,” Arthur asserted.
Leg-spinner Shadab Khan, who was a bit expensive bagged two wickets after conceding 60 runs in seven overs, as Junaid Khan contained the batsmen to pick a solitary wicket of Ravindra Jadeja.
“I want to congratulate the Pakistani people. Things like this bring us united. I’d like to thank the Indian cricket team the way they played in this tournament, and also the Indian fans who came out to support,” Shoaib Malik remarked.
The only highlight from Team India was all-rounder Hardik Pandya as he took off in a blazing fashion when India was reeling at 72 for 6 in 17 overs.
The right-handed Hardik bludgeoned three consecutive sixes of rookie legspinner Shadad to entertain the fans before bowlers wrapped the things in style.
“It’s very hard to describe (the feeling). I guess the roads will be full and they’ll [Pakistan] be celebrating even though it is Ramadan,” Malik further added.
The superlative performance with the ball, Amir bagged three wickets after conceding 16 runs in six overs, as he delivered two maidens.
“That’s the start we needed. At the start, [Virat] Kohli. Rohit [Sharma] and Shikhar [Dhawan]. They were in great form but I did it. To be honest, it is teamwork,” Amir said on his performance.
Pakistan bundled out India for 158 in 30.3 overs, as Hardik Pandya was the top-scorer for India, who smashed 43-ball 76 runs which included six maximums and four boundaries at the strike-rate of 176.74.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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