Amir, Fakhar lead Pakistan to Champions Trophy triumph

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India will look to win its third Champions Trophy title when it plays Pakistan in Sunday's final at the Oval.

This is the second match between the sub-continent rivals at this year's tournament, with India having thrashed Pakistan in their opening group outing.

With Pakistan's front-line pacer Mohammad Amir declared fit to play in the final after sitting out the previous match, he alongside new ball bowler Junaid Khan will be the key against India to provide their side with early breakthroughs. But they turned it around in style as they topped South Africa (19 runs via D/L method), and Sri Lanka (three wickets) to enter the semi-finals where they got the better of hosts England by eight wickets.

There was no way back for India, who collapsed to 158 all out with almost 20 overs of the match as they suffered their heaviest defeat by runs in 129 ODIs against Pakistan.

The South African's comments echoed those of Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood, who insisted: "History can change, and I hope we can (change it)".

The war of words had always been there, but the curses, trolls, and uncalled for verbal volleys on social media have made an India-Pakistan tie into a very ugly affair in the recent past and it isn't much different in the build up to the ICCChampions Trophy final.

As synonymous as Pakistan cricket is with the three Rs - Recovery, Revival and Renaissance - their voice got stronger and stronger as the tournament progressed. "They showed better skill, better composure than us", said Kohli.

Virat Kohli won the toss and put Pakistan in to bat first.

It was Pakistan's first global 50-over title since the 1992 World Cup and a sweet moment for a team who have been unable to host worldwide cricket in recent years due to security concerns. I said when we arrived here, we have nothing to lose and we have nothing to lose today too. India will be confident off the back of very impressive performances all round from the Top Order but also by the intense nature of their fielding lead by Captain Virat Kohli.

"They outplayed us, they were more intense and passionate on the day", he said.

India then lost two wickets for no runs in four balls to be 54 for five inside 14 overs.

Fakhar, the man-of-the-match, shared an opening stand of 128 with Azhar Ali (59).

To make things worse, that no-ball seemed to also instil confidence in Azhar Ali a well, who went off Test mode and chose to get into his one-day groove.

Any thought of the unlikeliest of victories was snuffed out when Pandya was run out by the length of the pitch after a mix-up with Jadeja.



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