Pakistan demolish holders India to win Champions Trophy

The stars aligned for Pakistan on a bright Sunday in South London when they cut old rivals India down to size to win their maiden Champions Trophy crown.

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed hailed his side's character and belief as they delivered a brilliant performance to hand defending champions India a 180-run thrashing in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy cricket tournament here on Sunday.

Amir, whose career was almost ended on the other side of London's River Thames by a ban and jail sentence for his involvement in a spot-fixing scan during a 2010 Test at Lord's, made a brilliant comeback after a back spasm forced him out of the semi-final victory over England.

Fakhar Zaman found the flawless time to post a maiden ODI hundred and lay the platform for Pakistan's imposing 4-338 against India in the Champions Trophy final at The Oval.

"Fakhar is a great impact player, he played like a champion batsman today. We thought one big partnership would have set it up nicely", Indian captain Virat Kohli said.

Actor Ranveer Singh, who was among those who tweeted ball by ball updates of the match, tweeted, "Proud of you boys!"

Hardik Pandya smashed 76 off 43 balls, hit half a dozen of sixes to provide some entertainment, before being run-out due to a disgusting mix-up with Jadeja. "So you have to accept losses, you have to accept that the other team has outplayed you and they've shown better skill than you, they've shown better composure in pressure situations than you".

Just two weeks ago, Pakistan were at a low ebb after crashing to a humiliating 124-run defeat against India in the group stage.

"Early wickets are never good, especially in a chase", Kohli said.

India was the lopsided 4-9 favorite by English bookmakers to win a record third Trophy in a record fourth final, but Pakistan blew away all predictions and expectations with a win of stunning ease.

After man of the match Fakhar finished on 114, Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Amir ripped the heart out of the India batting line-up with the wickets of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli.

"Hopefully this win, everyone will remember - not today, not tomorrow, but for a very long, long time", said Sarfraz, the wicketkeeper who held the final catch that sparked wild celebrations. Amir dismissed Dhawan, the tournament's leading scorer with Sarfraz taking a simple catch behind the stumps.

India continued to lose wickets at the regular intervals.

It was the culmination of an impressive tournament from Pakistan who improved as the tournament went on after their poor opener against India.

Azam played a mediocre shot after a sensible innings on the excellent batting strip and he, the openers and a belligerent Mohammad Hafeez completely neutralised the world-class spinners of India, Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, as their two overs produced 137 runs.

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