Fakhar Zaman century helps Pakistan set record run chase against India

Revelation and redemption helped Pakistan turn world cricket's order upside down as Fakhar Zaman's maiden one-day global century and Mohammad Amir's brilliant new-ball spell underpinned a landslide 180-run win over India in the Champions Trophy final.

Pakistan, put in to bat by Virat Kohli, made 338 for four, with opener Fakhar Zaman (114) getting his maiden ODI hundred.

Pakistan had come into the tournament as the lowest-ranked team and lost heavily to India in their opening group match but they beat South Africa and Sri Lanka to make the semi-finals where they knocked out hosts England.

Admitting that the match between India and Pakistan is always "special", the 32-year-old backed his side to continue to play in the same manner as they have performed so far and emerge victorious. "Amir bowled brilliantly today but all my bowlers bowled really well".

Pakistan coach Micky Arthur: "It's been an up and down ride for us but I'm just so proud of the boys".

In reply, India's chase never took off and they kept losing wickets at regular intervals.

He shared a fluent century opening partnership with Azhar Ali (59), the pair unleashing a barrage of crisp attacking strokes all around a sun-kissed ground.

Azhar, often criticised for slow-scoring, completed a 61-ball fifty with a single off Ravindra Jadeja and later in the same over Fakhar followed him to the landmark in 60 balls when he cut the left-arm spinner for four through Yuvraj Singh at point.

Hardik Pandya smashed 76 off 43 balls, hit half a dozen of sixes to provide some entertainment, before being run-out due to a awful mix-up with Jadeja.

While there were mixed reactions to the final result of India's loss and Pakistan's win on Twitter regarding cricket, Tennis star Sania Mirza has congratulated both the countries for their victories in cricket and hockey games.

Mohammad Hafeez - with a 34-ball 50 - and Babar Azam chipped in too to ensure Pakistan turned the promise into substance. Amir, Hasan Ali picked up three wickets each.

Then one ball after Kohli, the world's leading ODI batsman, was dropped at slip off Amir, the bowler had him caught at point by Shadab Khan.

Shadab picked up his second wicket when Kedar Jadhav, on nine, gave Sarfraz a simple catch and India appeared to be crumbling meekly at 72 for six.

But veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez's quickfire 57 not out, including three sixes, then took Pakistan well beyond 300.

Actors Sidharth Malhotra, Dia Mirza, Soha Ali Khan, music composer Vishal Dadlani and many other celebrities have also tweeted their support for Team India.

"Rohit, Dhawan and Kohli have been in tremendous form so I was looking for early wickets - and I did it", said Amir.

The Pakistani bowlers, who have done very well since after the early India match, came in with all guns blazing. "We have no hesitation or shame to admit we didn't play our best game today".



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