There was something different about the latest Pakistan and India fixture right from the beginning. The usual animosity was replaced with relative geniality. Saurav Ganguly was defending Pakistan against Amir Sohail’s comments, Indians were standing up for Sarfaraz Ahmed against people making fun of his English and most Pakistanis were simply glad to be in the final – let alone think about winning it.
Everybody knew that India was going to win it and Pakistan was simply there to complete the formality of playing the finals of the Champions Trophy. The entire nation expected the worst when Fakhar Zaman nicked a ball outside his off stump for a regulation catch for MS Dhoni and he held on to the ball like it was Sarfaraz Ahmad’s baby.
But then everything changed – Indians showed that they also had no balls and Fakhar Zaman got a free hit instead of a lot of free s**t from fans. Boy! Did Fakhar Zaman make the most of the respite? Even Azhar Ali was hitting the ball all over the park. At one point, Azhar had 29 of 32 balls and Fakhar Zaman had 16 of 29 balls – finally proving the multiverse theory as clearly this match was being played in some parallel alternative universe.
Jasprit Mumrah, wait no Bumrah, could not do much with the ball but he managed to get Azhar Ali run out. Was a typical Pakistani batting collapse going to follow? Fakhar Zaman just caused his senior pro to be run out – was he going to go into his shell? Will we lose all momentum?
The answer was no to all of those and our star boy showed that he would not be weakened.
Fakhar got his century, but the real heroes were Ahmed Shehzad and Wahab Riaz. If they had not sacrificed their place in the team then we would have never performed this well in the tournament.
Clearly, the power of Ramazan was in full force and God was on our side. Pakistani fans dreamed of a 350, but then Fakhar Zaman got out and Hafeez came out to bat. Now Pakistanis started hoping for just 300, but this match was not being played in a universe where anything made sense. Mohammad Hafeez started hitting the ball for fours and sixes – a sight that has not been seen since the dawn of man.
It seemed like none of the Indians was fasting because they were eating so many boundaries. The Pakistani fans were singing “Bumrah Bumrah maar par gayee Bumrah, aayai ho kis India say, oh…oh…oh… tum mmmm mmm?”
Pakistan ended with a score of 338 – a team you could not see scoring 250 a fortnight ago had now taken its arch rivals to the cleaners. Could they now do it with the ball? Even if they could not, this was a performance the entire nation could be proud of!
If only there was a live camera somewhere on Rishi Kapoor that most of Pakistan could have watched and enjoyed. He must have had a gun pointed towards the Indian batsmen threatening to kill them if they lost.
Mohammad Amir to Rohit Sharma, ball comes back in, huge appeal and OUT!
Sports write the best stories. A man who was banned for years after playing a match in the same city was back in London and he was on fire. In a match that is also defined by a no ball. Kohli was out there.
Nasser Hussain said it perfectly when he said that those two balls defined Pakistan cricket for him. Azhar Ali drops Virat Kohli and the very next ball Mohammad Amir has Virat Kohli out again, caught at point – whatever you say about us, you cannot hold us down. Pakistan is the most resilient nation on earth.
Virat Kohli had only been dismissed once in the series so far, and Mohammad Amir had him out twice on two balls – that is Pakistan for you. Even Wasim Akram remembered his glory days watching Mohammad Amir bowl!
The wickets kept falling and Virat Kohli’s face kept getting more sullen. As must fun as it was watching the match, it was, even more, fun to watch Kohli’s face in the dressing room.
Ranked Number 8 in the world, no international cricket since 2009, barely qualified for the Champions Trophy and yet Pakistan had India 56-5 in the finals. It was a routine after that – despite a cameo by Hardik Pandya – this was always going to be Pakistan’s match.
I almost feel like we deliberately play poor cricket in the group stages to give other teams a false sense of superiority. They underestimate us and then BOOM…we beat them in the finals.
We were even winning the Twitter banter battle – say what you want about Aamir Liaquat, he really does commit to a joke. He was on television making ‘katakat’ for Rishi Kapooray.
The Dil, Dil Pakistan and Jazba Junoon songs were on and it was time to celebrate. Pakistan finally managed to pull off the most unbelievable victory in recent times. A team that was down and out a week ago managed to win the trophy against all the odds in the greatest of upsets against their arch rivals.
“Haan Bhai…Saray hee har gaye phir!!! Sab losers hay aaj? English bol lo tum log, Trophy toh hum jeet gaye.”
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