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History made

Pakistan cricket team made history at The Ovals by thrashing arch-rivals India by 180 runs to complete their trophy cabinet; adding the ICC Champions Trophy to the 1992 World Cup win and the 2009 T20 World Cup win. The victory was all the more astounding considering that Pakistan came into the tournament with a young and inexperienced team that was ranked 8th below even Bangladesh. Pakistan also had a mini crisis on its hand as they were missing the trio of Sharjeel Khan, Muhammad Nawaz and Muhammad Irfan, all three of whom were embroiled in a match fixing probe.
Pakistan’s opening game of the tournament was also against their opponents of the final, India. Back on that day Pakistan were hammered by India both in batting as well as bowling. The dominance of Indian side on that day was such that there were calls for the complete overhaul of the team.
The pessimism was understandable as Pakistan’s faced two must win games ahead, the first of which fell against the world’s number one ranked side South Africa. It was on this day when Pakistan’s luck changed. Pakistan made couple of changes to the team and fresh blood in the form of Fakhar Zaman and Fahim Ashraf was added to the team. The result was a surprise victory against South Africa, this was followed by a nervy victory over Sri Lanka in which the team barely crossed the finish line.
Pakistan was the first to book a place in the final and when their opponents India were confirmed there was unusual nervousness among the fans. Despite their far better head to head record against Indian in ODI’s Pakistan has a shockingly poor record against India in ICC tournaments. However, all that changed on Sunday as Pakistan routed India on their way to claiming the ICC Champions Trophy.
The youngsters like Fakhar Zaman, Hassan Ali and Shadab Khan were aided by the redemption seeking Muhammad Amir and old pros like Muhammad Hafeez. Skipper Sarfraz, opening batsman Azhar Ali, pacer Junaid Khan and the rest of the team all stepped up. Pakistan was on their A game and the result was a trouncing that no one even dreamt of.
The win has provided Pakistan with a belief that they can once again rule the format in which once they were considered the most deadly team. The young blood coupled with some experienced players under the captaincy of Sarfraz can achieve much in the future.
Pakistan’s trouncing of India has provided them a platform to achieve far greater things.

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