India win toss, elect to field


Amir bowled brilliantly but all my bowlers bowled really well. In Mickey Arthur, there was a coach whose future was hanging by the thread. The team did not look back. But for Pakistan, everything is possible.

Who could have imagined this outcome after India crushed Pakistan at Edgbaston in the group phase? Perhaps out of shame.

The champions trophy final is to begin on Sunday at 3 pm. "Pakistan fans can not believe the journey their team has taken", he said. They entered it as the lowest-ranked side in the tournament.

Fakhar shared a fluent century opening partnership with Azhar Ali (59) and unleashed a barrage of attacking strokes all around a sun-kissed ground to give Pakistan real hope of upsetting the defending champions.

But at 200 for two, Pakistan were well-placed for a big score, with Hafeez bringing up the 300 when he pulled the generally admirable Kumar for six.

India's top three batsman - Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, and captain Virat Kohli - came to the final having combined for 874 runs, more than 80 percent of the team's tally in the tournament. Without such moments of incompetence in what was otherwise a spectacular allround performance, there is no chance we could plausibly accept that this is the same side that lost their opening match to India by 124 runs. If Zaman announced his arrival in global cricket with a match-defining knock, Pakistan cricket s enfant awful Amir finally managed to sing a redemption song that he has been longing for.

Instead Amir wreaked havoc at the start of the reply, trapping Rohit Sharma lbw with his third ball and then inducing a leading edge from Kohli one ball after the skipper had been put down at slip by Azhar.

Golden Ball (Most Wickets): Hasan Ali.

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A few words on Aamir (three for 16).

In the stands Pakistani fans let abuses fly and Indians were rejoicing.

Pakistan produced an all-round show to beat Indian convincingly and lift their maiden Champions Trophy title.

However, from the very next ball, Kohli was squared up and athletically held at point by Shadab Khan, before Shikhar Dhawan edged behind. Aamir was running towards fine-leg, arms wide open, punching air and sliding along the turf like a football striker, before the rest in green were all over him. India had won the tournament in 2013 by beating England.

A quarter-of-a-century ago, Pakistan came from the brink of elimination to win the World Cup, inspired by captain Imran Khan telling them to "fight like cornered tigers".

But even by their own standards, their rise in this edition of the Champions Trophy was phenomenal. "We're now moving forward". "We have surely improved". It is little wonder then the team has taken the most wickets in this tournament so far. But after each small step they took, a huge tumble followed. Seven years after the spot-fixing scandal in the Lord's Test, he has redeemed himself on England's soil. Up stepped Shadab, an 18-year-old seeking to master cricket's most hard art: wrist-spin bowling. When he became eligible to play again, Ali and Mohammad Hafeez protested during a practice session. By the time Jadeja took a well-judged catch off Hardik Pandya to remove Zaman, the team s total had reached 200.

Earlier, Pakistan made 338 for four after losing the toss with opener Fakhar Zaman's 114 his maiden one-day worldwide hundred in just his fourth match at this level.