Champions Trophy victory lifts Pakistan to number six in ODI ranking

The Pakistan cricket team celebrates its Champions Trophy triumph

Leading the batting for the young Pakistan side - which had fallen easily to India by 124 runs in a group stage match on June 6 - was 27-year-old Fakhar Zaman who recorded his maiden century in only his fourth global innings.

Team Pakistan entered in the Champions Trophy being the lowest ranking team of the eight competing sides - however, its fascinating victories against South Africa, Sri Lanka, England and India alleviated its position to number six.

India captain Virat Kohli defended his decision to bowl on a flat track and said a lucky reprieve for centurion Fakhar Zaman proved to be a costly one in the Champions Trophy final against Pakistan here on Sunday.

Fakhar capitalised on a lucky escape to strike a superb 114 and lift Pakistan to a commanding total of 338 for four and fast bowler Amir ripped out India's top three batsmen before the defending champions subsided to 158 all out.

Yet few would have expected them to dish out a 180-run hammering to India in Sunday's final at The Oval, leaving head coach Arthur to express his amazement at the scale of their revival. "Fakhar is a great impact player, he played like a champion batsman today", Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said at the presentation ceremony.

"The way they turned things around for themselves speaks volumes of the talent that they have in their side. They were more intense and more passionate". Credit to Pakistan. They outplayed us.

"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".

Shortly after Pakistan s Muhammad Umar Bhutta netted a consolation goal, India completed the scoring through Akashdeep Singh, who claimed his second of the match.

"All the boys worked very hard, after losing that first match, the way the boys made the comeback is remarkable", said Sarfraz. Talking about his bowlers, Kohli said, "With the ball, we could have had more wicket-taking opportunities".

Only Hardik Panya put together a significant innings for India with 76 off of 43 balls, but after the top three combined for only 26 - including Sharma's first-over duck - India would need far more to make the game competitive.

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