Amir spell destroys India

Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir (right) ripped through the Indian top order at The Oval in London yesterday, claiming three wickets, including that of skipper Virat Kohli.
Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir (right) ripped through the Indian top order at The Oval in London yesterday, claiming three wickets, including that of skipper Virat Kohli.PHOTO: REUTERS

Pakistan claim maiden Champions Trophy with convincing 180-run win over arch-rivals

LONDON • Mohammad Amir removed all of India's top three batsmen as Pakistan stunned their arch-rivals with a remarkable 180-run win in cricket's Champions Trophy final at The Oval in London yesterday.

Title-holders India, set 339 to win, collapsed to 33 for three and 54 for five against a Pakistan side they had thrashed by 124 runs in their tournament opener at Edgbaston on June 4.

They were eventually dismissed for 158, with 19.3 overs to spare.

Hasan Ali, who kick-started Pakistan's revival in their group win over top-ranked South Africa, ended the match when he had Jasprit Bumrah caught by gleeful captain and wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed.

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Left-arm fast bowler Amir, whose career was almost ended on the other side of London's River Thames by a ban and jail term he received for his part in a spot-fixing scam during a 2010 Test against England at Lord's, finished with three for 16.

He trapped Rohit Sharma leg before wicket for nought with a swinging delivery and removed India talisman Virat Kohli with another fine ball which the captain could only edge to point for five.

Kohli, the world's top-ranked one-day batsman, had been dropped off the previous delivery in the slips and the India fans looked shell-shocked as he trudged off.

Their hopes then rested largely on the shoulders of opener Shikhar Dhawan who had been in fine form in the tournament but he made only 21 before nicking the inspired Amir to Sarfraz.

Earlier, Fakhar Zaman's maiden one-day international hundred was the cornerstone of Pakistan's 338-4.

Caught off a no-ball on three, left-handed opener Fakhar went on to make an impressive 114.

He shared a first-wicket stand of 128 with Azhar Ali (59) and then put on 72 with Babar Azam (46) for the second wicket.

Fakhar hit 12 fours and three sixes before skying a catch off Hardik Pandya but Pakistan had the perfect platform to make the highest total in a Champions Trophy final.

India paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar, with an economical 1-44 in 10 overs, helped atone for some wayward bowling by his team-mates in an innings featuring 13 wides and three no-balls - nearly three extra overs.

But Pakistan veteran Mohammad Hafeez's quickfire 57 not out, including three sixes, took Pakistan well beyond 300.

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

India's star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had a return to forget, his 10 wicketless overs costing 70 runs.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 19, 2017, with the headline 'Amir spell destroys India'. Print Edition | Subscribe