Pakistan clinch Champions Trophy in stunning victory over India

2017-06-19 11:21 GMT+8
Editor Julius Gill

Pakistan upset India by winning their first ever International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy title in a thrilling final at London's Oval ground on Sunday. 

Pakistan set up a massive 339-run target with a loss of four wickets for India, but the Indian men in blue collapsed under a fierce bowling attack in the 31st over with just 158 runs.

Pakistan's victory was unlikely as it comes at a time when cricket is in crisis at home. The Pakistan Cricket Board is facing financial loss, and several Pakistani cricketers have been accused of match fixing.

This is the second time that Pakistan has posted such a big total against India. The win was even more of a surprise because Pakistan struggled to even secure a place in the semi-finals and had not beaten India since 2009.

Chasing a target of 339 runs, India relied on their captain Virat Kohi, considered one of the best chasers in the world. But Sunday’s game was different. An ICC event has never witnessed such a high total being successfully chased, and India has also never chased a score like this outside home.

Mohammad Amir of Pakistan celebrate the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan of India during the ICC Champions Trophy Final match between India and Pakistan at The Oval in London on June 18, 2017. /VCG Photo

Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir produced a brilliant spell of bowling that reduced India to six for two in just the first three overs. India, who just days before had beaten Pakistan in the opening game of the tournament, could not recover.

Pakistan is thought to be an unpredictable side, and they displayed the same unpredictable nature in the tournament.

Indian fans at The Oval ground in London even departed early as the scale of the approaching drubbing dawned on them.

In the Indian capital New Delhi, some fans watching an outdoor screening at Connaught Place, a central landmark in the city, chanted nationalist and anti-Pakistan slogans but fell silent as the game neared its climax, before drifting away, dejected.

Pakistani cricket fans cheer after Pakistan defeated India in the Champions Trophy finals, in Lahore, Pakistan June 18, 2017. /VCG Photo

The cricketing rivalry between Pakistan and India has been transformed into one of the world's greatest sporting enmities over the years.

Former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis once said matches between the two countries were neither sport nor war, but "somewhere in between."

Outbursts of hostile rhetoric and political clash between New Delhi and Islamabad have fanned the strife over the decades, despite the two nations' shared cricketing tradition before their violent separation on the creation of Pakistan at the end of British colonial rule in 1947.

(With inputs from Reuters)

Copyright © 2017