Pakistan rout India to clinch Champions Trophy

Ross Houston
June 20, 2017

Indian skipper Virat Kohli has defended Hardik Pandya's action after his unfortunate dismissal in the final against Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.

Since the departure of captains Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan from the 50-over format in 2015, Pakistan slumped to ninth in ODI rankings and barely managed to qualify for the Champions Trophy, contested by the top eight sides in the rankings.

Their hopes now rested largely on the shoulders of Shikhar Dhawan who had been in fine form in the tournament but he made only 21 before nicking the inspired Amir to wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed. With their inability to host top worldwide sides on home soil due to security concerns and a spot-fixing controversy blighting their domestic T20 league, Sunday's win provided the country's cricket fans with some much-needed cheer.

Dhawan and Hassan had already won the Golden Bat and Gold Ball trophies for finishing as the most successful batsman and bowler, respectively, while Tamim was selected after driving Bangladesh to its maiden semi-final in a major ICC event.


"We played like we had nothing to lose, now we are champions".

"All credit goes to my bowlers, Muhammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, they bowled really well".

Pakistan's victory on Sunday was all the more astounding given a 124-run defeat by India in their tournament opener at Edgbaston on June 4.

With Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman also coming of age, Pakistan's batting lineup appears to have the right blend of youth and experience, boosted by the solidity of former captains Azhar, Hafeez and Shoaib Malik.


The side includes four Pakistanis, three Indians, three Englishmen and one Bangladeshi, with Kane Williamson of New Zealand as 12 man. England's Ben Stokes, of course, was born in New Zealand.

"Small margins can be massive but we've only lost a game of cricket, we need to move forward and learn from our mistakes".

"We've got a group of young players who are fantastic".

With the exception of Zimbabwe's tour two years ago, Pakistan have had to play all of their "home" matches outside of the country since a 2009 terror attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore. We have got enough points and now we do not have to go through qualifying, we want to work hard from here. "That's the aim at the moment".


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