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Kohli, Sharma collapse in high-octane Champions Trophy final

June 18, 2017 1:43 PM
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Kohli, Sharma collapse in high-octane Champions Trophy final

India's inning got off to a rocky start with skipper Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma succumbing to Pakistan's bowling attack two overs in, leaving the blue shirts at 7/2 in the second inning of the high-octane nail-biting final of the Champions Trophy at London's Oval ground on Sunday.

India won the toss and opted to put Pakistan in to bowl first. The green shirts set a daunting target of 339 for the loss of four wickets for India to chase down ─ the team's second-highest total against India.

A 128-run opening partnership between Fakhar Zaman and Azhar Ali set the mood for the first inning, with Azhar and Muhammad Hafeez both racking up half centuries, whereas Fakhar smashed 114 off 106 deliveries, and Babar Azam scored a solid 46 off 52.

The opening pair broke two records ─ one for the best score posted by Pakistani openers against India in an ICC tournament (86 runs), and the second for the best partnership against India in an ICC tournament when 100 came up for Pakistan in the 18th over.

The last time Pakistani openers scored more than 100 runs prior to the fall of the first wicket in two consecutive matches was in 2003. This is only the second time the same has happened outside Asia.

Head-to-head, the record is in favour of India against Pakistan in all ICC tournaments. However, the last time Pakistan beat India was in 2009 ─ also during a Champions Trophy match.

The game appeared to be taking a predictable turn when Bumrah seemed to have nicked Fakhar to the keeper in the fourth over. A replay revealed the bowler had overstepped the crease and it was ruled a no ball, taking the heat off the green shirts.

12 runs came off the high-yielding fourth over, which featured two boundaries, two no-balls and a wide ball, as Pakistan stood at 19 runs with the loss of no wickets.

Azhar smacked the fist six of the innings off Ashwin in the eighth over after he and Fakhar made themselves at home on the pitch.

The team had a firm grounding with 56 runs on the board by the end of the first 10 overs, as the two openers scored from both sides, turning up the pressure on the Indian side.

Just a couple of balls after 200 came up for Pakistan in the 33rd over, Fakhar was caught out by Pandya for 114 runs. He scored his maiden ODI century in style with a four off the 31st over.

Shoaib Malik left the field after Kedhar Jadhav caught him playing a mistimed shot over the mid-off in the 40th over.

In an effort to hit a boundary and reach the 50-run mark, Babar Azam played a mistimed shot straight into the Yuvraj Singh's hands and departed with 46 runs to his name in the 43rd over.

The Indian lineup remains unchanged, whereas Pakistan has replaced Rumman Raees with Muhammad Amir.

In Champions Trophy history 2013 has been the only edition in which the team batting first won the final. The other 5 finals have been won by the chasing team.

Also read: India court jails ex-envoy for spying for Pakistan


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