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5 talking points from Pakistan’s miracle win


Pakistan beat India by 180 runs on Sunday in their first-ever final appearance in the Champions Trophy and won their first-ever silverware at The Oval courtesy an all-round show.

Here is what everyone will be talking about in the next few days.

Never write off Pakistan

They qualified for this by the skin of their teeth. They entered it as the lowest-ranked side in the tournament. When asked who will win this tournament, almost all experts agreed on one answer — anyone but Pakistan.

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There is a reason that ‘unpredictable’ tag refuses to let go of this side.

This is Pakistan’s greatest-ever sporting achievement

In 70 years, Pakistan have pulled off some miraculous achievements in various sports. There have been the World Cups and Olympic medals in hockey and the World Cup and World T20 in cricket but never have Pakistan punched above their weight quite like they did here.

The hockey team almost always entered a tournament as one of the favourites, while Pakistan boasted the likes of Wasim Akram, Imran Khan and Javed Miandad back in 1992.

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This team had an inexperienced skipper, an unsettled bowling attack and a woefully mediocre and out of form batting line-up.

Yet here they stand, champions of the world.

Fakhar etches his name in history

Nothing ever writes your name in Pakistani folklore than a century against India. Nothing quite grants you immortality like scoring that century in a winning cause at better than a-run-a-ball in the final of an ICC world event.

Fakhar Zaman rode his luck early on but he slowly became more and more unplayable for India. By the time he was finished, Pakistan were well and truly in the driver’s seat. Laughable to think he was not played in the first match, with Ahmad Shahzad preferred to him. Since then he scored two half-centuries and one century in his four innings.

Pakistan have the best bowling attack in the world

It has been some time since that statement was uttered or written. It is now time to do so again. In Mohammad Amir and Junaid Khan they have two of the finest new-ball swing bowlers around. In Hasan Ali, the deadliest middle-overs pacer in the world.

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Add to the equation, 18-year-old leg-spinner Shadab Khan, ruthlessly accurate Imad Wasim. With the likes of Rumman Raees waiting in the wings, this is well and truly the world’s most formidable bowling attack. They proved as much in this tournament.

India well and truly out-played

The match was over after 10 overs on the Indian innings. Zaman had powered Pakistan to 339, and Amir had just run through India’s top three of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli — three of the top four run-getters in the tournament.

Pakistan batted better than India, they fielded better than India and they bowled better than India. The favourites were emphatically second best in all departments. The only thing that went India’s way was Kohli winning the toss.

The post 5 talking points from Pakistan’s miracle win appeared first on The Express Tribune.

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