Pakistan set 339 for India

A lopsided opening round contest, which India won by 124 runs made many feel that Indo-Pak contests are fast losing their sheen due to lack of quality in Pakistani ranks.

Fakhar Zaman told the Pakistan physio he didn't think he would be fit to play the night before the Champions Trophy final. "This is very important victory for Pakistan cricket", he said. In between, Ajay Jadeja, Venkatesh Prasad, Hrishikesh Kanitkar or Joginder Sharma have all played their bit roles in winning big matches thereby overcoming the Sharjah Syndrome that affected the Indian teams of mid 80's and early 90's.

They were eventually dismissed for 158 in reply to Pakistan's 338 for four, which featured Fakhar Zaman's 114, the left-handed opener's maiden one-day worldwide hundred coming in just his fourth match at this level. And captain Virat Kohli has already declared that nothing extra is needed to get the same result despite the turnaround by Sarfraz Ahmed's men since then.

After India had won the toss, Fakhar, on three, was caught by wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni off a Jasprit Bumrah no-ball and the 27-year-old left-hander took full advantage to make his first global century.

On a flat deck, Kohli surprised everyone opting to field, a decision prompted by the current team's ability to chase any target.

But the two openers became more convincing and in the 20th over, bowled by Ravindra Jadeja, reached their 50s from consecutive balls - Fakhar second to the milestone from one delivery fewer when he cut his seventh four straight through the hands of Yuvraj Singh at point.

With no assistance from the pitch, their limitations were thoroughly exposed against batsmen, who were ready to use their feet. Worse, it happened in the final.

He dismissed Rohit Sharma (nought), India captain Virat Kohli (five) and Shikhar Dhawan (21) in a stunning new-ball spell. The fate of the match was sealed.

Delhi's streets were all but deserted after the game ended with fans storming out public screenings after Hardik Pandya's 76-run blitz ended with India staring down the barrel at 152-7. Pandya was livid but he was only delaying the inevitable. And what are the chances Pakistan might pull off one last upset? Jasprit Bumrah caught a nick off the eventual centurion, Fakhar Zaman.

Zaman made full use of the opportunity to punish the Indian attack on a day when it mattered most.

The final flourish was provided by veteran Mohammed Hafeez (57 off 37) with help of four boundaries and three sixes.

Together with fellow all-rounder Imad Wasim (25 not out), he shared an unbroken stand of 71 for the fifth wicket.

Fakhar left to a standing ovation and handed the baton to Babar, who saw Shoaib Malik hole out off the economical Bhuvneshwar Kumar before failing to clear the rope himself, caught off Kedar Jadhav at long off. Any sort of momentum that Ashwin was hoping to get into was flattened.

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