The lowest ranked team in the ICC Champions Trophy has beaten the defending champions and one of the biggest giants of world cricket. Sport has the ability to churn out the biggest of fairytales, doesn’t it?
India won the toss and chose to bowl first, a straightforward decision, considering India’s fiery batting line-up. That was the only thing that went as per plan for Virat Kohli’s men. Jasprit Bumrah caught a nick off the eventual centurion, Fakhar Zaman. However, the decision was reversed, thanks to a huge no-ball bowled by the 21-year-old. Pakistan went on to score a mammoth total of 323 for 4 and put immense pressure on defending champions.
India had a nightmare start to their batting innings with Mohammad Amr and Junaid Khan breathing fire and releasing bullets one after the other. Amir’s sensational bowling spell dismissed Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan in quick succession. India could never recover after that and spiralled to an almost-shameful total of 158/10.
Let us look at how the world reacted to Pakistan’s first ever Champions Trophy title:
India and Pakistan players:
Virat Kohli: "Indeed (disappointing). Congos to Pakistan. The way they turned things around, it was amazing. They can upset anyone on their day. I have a smile on my face because I am very proud of the boys. Credit to Pakistan; they outplayed us. They were more intense and more passionate. With the ball, we could have had more wicket-taking opportunities. Sometimes, the opposition does play very well.
Sarfraz Ahmed: "After the India (group) match, I said to the boys that the tournament doesn't finish here. Thanks to the team management. And look we are here today. Fakhar Zaman played like a champion batsman. I think all credit goes to my bowlers. Amir today. Hasan Ali throughout the tournament. This is a young team. When we arrived, we played like we had nothing to lose. No one recognized Pakistan in world cricket, and here we are, the champions. Keep praying for us, Pakistan."
Mohammad Amir: That's the start we needed. At the start, Kohli. Rohit and Shikhar.. they were in great form but I did it. To be honest, it is a teamwork. After the South Africa game, the way we played. That game gave us the momentum.
Shoaib Malik: In words, it's very hard to describe (the feeling). I guess the roads will be full (in Pakistan) and they'll be celebrating even though it is Ramadan. I want to congratulate the Pakistani people. Things like this bring us united. I'd like to thank the Indian cricket team the way they played in this tournament, and also the Indian fans who came out to support.
Imad Wasim: "It's unbelievable (feeling). Nothing gets bigger than this. Seems like we are playing in Pakistan and thanks to all those who supported. I am sure the roads are full in Pakistan, people will be celebrating and I can't wait to get back.
Mickey Arthur: It has been an up and down ride. After the India game, we came back superbly. We knew we were better than that. The whole group came together and kept believing and that was a superb thing. We wanted to be a lot more consistent. It has been a remarkable achievement.
Hasan Ali: I wasn't in the side last year but I relied on hard work and self belief. I have learnt from the beginning that fitness is important. The tournament was good for me. I hope I continue like this. The final wicket was a very special moment; I don't have words.
Egg on my face Pakistan ... but delighted to have been proved wrong ... Fantastic Cricketing country and your team have been outstanding ..— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) June 18, 2017
Congratulations Pakistan on a really comprehensive victory today. Well played, deserved winners and a great result for Pakistan cricket.— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) June 18, 2017
I was hoping a team in green and gold would win. Seems there was a mix up in countries though— Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) June 18, 2017
Well done Pakistan, congrats Mickey
This performance will be remembered long by both Indian and Pakistani fans :) Pakistan 've made this #CT17 truly memorable— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) June 18, 2017
Well played @TheRealPCB great team effort and played like no tomorrow. well deserved. India had a great tournament but faulted today.— Mahela Jayawardena (@MahelaJay) June 18, 2017
Good reflections from Kohli at presentation— David 'Bumble' Lloyd (@BumbleCricket) June 18, 2017
Incredible turnaround by Pakistan, from being tormented in the 1st game to be the tormentors.What a great leveller life is,Congratulations— Kartik Murali (@kartikmurali) June 18, 2017