Mohammad Hafeez: Champions Trophy triumph is for all of Pakistan

Vincent De Villiers
Junho 20, 2017

Amir bowled Pakistan to a shock victory over India in the Champions Trophy Final at The Kia Oval yesterday - less than five miles from his darkest moment as a sportsman. Pakistan has won their first ever Champions Trophy title, thrashing India by 180 runs. The pre-match verbal jousting was not without the banter of Indian celebrities.

With his bat tucked under his arm, Fakhar begins the long walk back to the pavilion as the Indians celebrate grabbing their first wicket with only four Pakistan runs on the board. "These two lads, plus Shadab Khan, are the future of Pakistan cricket and I sincerely hope they will only go in the upward direction from here".

After the initial response from Pakistani fans, Rishi made a decision to tone down his verbal attack but decided taunt Pakistani fans by bringing the issue of terrorism into the fray. He said: "Not just today, not just tomorrow, this day will be remembered in Pakistan for years to come". The previous highest was registered by Australia when they thrashed India by 125 runs in the 2003 World Cup final in Johannesburg. Talk about sweet but cold revenge.

Only The Indian Express full-throatedly acknowledge that Pakistan had out-classed India on Sunday.

On Fakhar Zaman, he said: "He's a great impact player, in his first ICC event, he played like a champion, he can be a great player for Pakistan".

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Pakistan, once a cricketing powerhouse, has watched its world ranking slide as top teams have refused to tour the conflict-prone country, forcing the home side to play all worldwide matches overseas. "We've been through [his past] before but what I do know is that Amir is a big-match player. After losing the first game, we had no chance to lose again", said Hafeez, who played an important role in the win with a classy 57 not out.

The Champions Trophy final was the second India vs. Pakistan match of the tournament.

"Once we put up a strong total, I was more than million percent sure India can't beat us today", said Zahra Mehmood, a housewife.

Meanwhile, reflecting on India's tournament as a whole, Kohli insisted: "We can (still) be very proud ... and we leave here with our heads held high". Alongside a photo of the hockey team, the paper featured an image of Kidambi Srikanth, who won the Indonesia Superseries Premier badminton tournament earlier in the day. In the 1992 World Cup, 23-year-old Inzamam-ul-Haq slammed 60 off 37 balls in the semifinal against New Zealand to help Pakistan win. "We need to move on and learn from our mistakes", Kohli said.

"Hardik played well. Small margins can be massive in cricket". The two historic rivals also met twice in 2016, but both times in T20 matches. It was after Ali's dismissal in the 23rd over, for a 71-balll 59 - via a run out, that Zaman - playing his fourth global innings, switched gears and set Pakistan on course for a sizable total.

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