Pakistan are 2017 ICC Champions Trophy champions following an historic victory over India at the Oval, overcoming the previous winners by 180 runs.
England, Australia, India and South Africa were all tipped for the title prior to the tournament, but Pakistan came back from a poor start to surprise the world with a landmark win.
Hasan Ali was in fantastic form throughout the tournament, constantly limiting batsmen and taking crucial wickets. He finished the Champions Trophy with the player of the tournament honour.
During the final, it was Hasan and Fakhar Zaman who helped to seal the trophy. Zaman put up 114 runs in the final, while Hasan’s bowling limited India’s batting all day.
Pakistan started the tournament in terrible form, losing by 124 runs to a dominant India team spearheaded by Rohit Sharma’s total of 91.
Ahead of the games, fans and the media expected India to be too much for Pakistan, so to come back and win so comprehensively in the final is an outstanding achievement.
Pakistan’s determination remained strong following their loss. Captain Mohammed Hafeez and his men would not back down and overcame South Africa, Sri Lanka and England on their way to the trophy. Hasan Ali was named player of the tournament, while Zaman and Dhawan played their part in an historic win.
After all, it looked like Pakistan would be out at the quarter-final stage. At 162/7 and chasing Sri Lanka’s total of 236, it looked out of their reach until their batsmen found a way to claw back and take the game by three wickets.
While Pakistan managed to pull off a surprise victory, it easily could have been a different scenario.
At one point, It seemed like England were on their way to the trophy and entered their semi-final against Pakistan with confidence after Joe Root and Ben Stokes put in emphatic performances in big wins over Bangladesh, Australia and New Zealand.
Stokes’ total of 102 not out against Australia sent a strong message, while Jake Ball’s fast bowling proved to be a strong force on the other side of the ball. England simply couldn’t beat Pakistan on the day.
On the other hand, Australia will be extremely disappointed with their performances. They let a strong start from their batsmen fall apart on their way to a 40 run loss against England to crash out of the tournament.
South Africa were perhaps the most disappointing of all the favourites. They were soundly beaten by eight wickets by India, who impressed before facing a resurgent Pakistan in the final.