On This Day: Pakistan Beat India to Win ICC Champions Trophy 2017

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ICC Champions Trophy 2017
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Ask any cricket fan in India and Pakistan about the game and then ask about the rivalry between the two nations. There is something in the energy that the countries share when it comes to the cricket field and that is what we experienced in 2017 when underdogs Pakistans beat the tournament favorites India to lift the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.

In cricket, Pakistan and India have a long-standing rivalry. Prior to this match, the two teams had played 128 times in one-day internationals (ODIs), with Pakistan winning 72 times, India 52 times, and four matches ending in a draw. While Pakistan has had the upper hand bilaterally, India has had the upper hand in global ICC tournaments, winning 13 times against Pakistan and losing twice to Pakistan. Both the non-ICC World Championship of Cricket Final in 1985 and the ICC World Twenty20 Final in 2007, both won by India, were the only times the two sides met in the finals of global events.

After winning the toss, India elected to bowl first. That clearly went south for the team as Fakhar Zaman and Azhar Ali had other plans for the day. Before Ali was run out for 59 runs off the last ball of the 22nd over, the Pakistani opening combination of the duo had put up 128 runs. Zaman scored 114 runs off 106 balls, including 12 fours and three sixes. The other Pakistani batsmen kept the score ticking over after he was out. Mohammad Hafeez hit four fours and three sixes in his 57-run innings from 37 balls. At the end of the innings, Pakistan finished on 338/4, their second-highest ODI total against India.

India got off to a bad start, with Mohammad Amir taking two early wickets.  All the big players failed to perform for the team. Their bad form continued until Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja put up an 80-run partnership in the midst of the innings before Pandya was run out. However, the tail was promptly dismissed, and India was all out after 30.3 overs.

Pakistan won by 180 runs, the highest margin of victory in an ICC One-Day International competition final. Pakistan was the ninth nation to win the Champions Trophy, and their first ICC ODI tournament championship since the 1992 World Cup, as well as their most recent ICC victory in any format since the 2009 World Twenty20.

There’s something about Pakistan’s unpredictability on the cricket field, and being a Pakistani fan can be heartbreaking at times since you never know which side of them will show up on match day. The game was one such and it was unpredictable. Pakistan blew India away and India probably learnt the biggest lesson of never taking your opponent for granted.

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