Mohammad Aamer claimed the wicket of Indian skipper Virat Kohli © Getty Images
Mohammad Aamer claimed the wicket of Indian skipper Virat Kohli © Getty Images

Pakistan know how to script folklores. Pakistan know how to beat the odds. Pakistan entered the eight-team tournament as the side ranked eighth. Less than three weeks later, they are out there on the the podium in white jackets, holding the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. Pakistan thumped arch-rivals India by 180 runs to lay their hands on the Champions Trophy for the first time. Pakistan now have the World Cup, Champions Trophy, World T20 and ICC Test Mace in their cabinet. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Pakistan, ICC Champions Trophy 2017 – Final at The Oval

With 338 on the board, a fit Mohammad Aamer, in-form Junaid Khan and Hasan Ali, and the teenage wonder Shadab Ali, the odds favoured Pakistan when they walked out to defend in the high-pressure clash. But India had Kohli, a master in run-chases, a man who has made big chases look like a stroll in the park. And to butt in another but, Pakistan had enough reason to hope. Aamer’s record against Rohit and Junaid’s against Kohli were menacing. FULL BLOG UPDATES

Aamer, who had missed out the semi-final due to back spasms, came into the XI in place of his replacement Rumman Raees. The city of London had tarnished Aamer’s image seven years back when he got caught in the ugly spot-fixing fiasco. A year back, it was here where he made his Test comeback. In the same city he produced one of his finest spells to help Pakistan live one of their finest moments in their cricketing chronicles.

Aamer’s first spell proved to be the decisive factor. Rohit was trapped leg-before, plumb, off the third ball of the Indian innings. In the third over, Aamer induced a thick edge of Kohli, but Azhar Ali dropped it at first slip. Kohli looked to execute his trademark flick off the next ball only to get an edge; it flew to Shadab Khan at point. Aamer continued his surge and dismissed the in-form Shikhar Dhawan in the ninth over. India were reduced to 33 for 3 after 9 overs.

Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni ignited hopes at the wicket. They have done it in the past. Would they rekindle memories of 2006? No. Yuvraj was trapped plumb off teenaged leg-spinner Shadab. The original decision was ‘not out’ but a confident Shadab forced skipper Sarfraz Ahmed to review. It was a successful one. Yuvraj departed for 22, Dhoni followed him scoring 4.

India were reduced to 72 for 6 when Kedar Jadhav miscued a pull off Shadab. Then Hardik Pandya brought back the word ‘hope’ in the Indian camp. Pandya slammed 6 sixes including 3 consecutive ones off Shadab. He registered the fastest fifty in an ICC ODI event final, going past Adam Gilchrist’s 33-ball record. Pandya got to the mark in 32 balls and his blitz was put to an end due to a misunderstanding with Ravindra Jadeja. Pandya departed for a 43-ball 76, and that was the final nail on Indian hopes.

Hasan Ali added 3 more wickets to his tally, ending the tournament with 13 wickets — the joint-most in a Champions Trophy edition with Jerome Taylor. India folded in the 31st over for 158.

Kohli had earlier won the toss and put Pakistan in on a fresh wicket that proved to be a belter. Helped by extras, missed run out opportunities and no-balls, the Pakistan openers registered 128 after Azhar fell for 59. However, the charge was initiated by Fakhar Zaman, who slammed his third fifty-plus score only in his fourth ODI and ended up registering his maiden hundred. The middle-order supported Zaman’s effort: Babar Azam (46), Mohammad Hafeez (57*) and Imad Wasim (25*) all chipped in with important contributions.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Jadeja gave away 137 from their 18 overs and went wicketless. Ashwin’s figures of 10-0-70-0 was the most conceded by a spinner in an ICC ODI event final. To India’s solace, in World Hockey League semi-final, India beat Pakistan 7-1 on the same day, while Shrikant Kidambi clinched the Indonesian Open title in badminton.

Brief scores:

Pakistan 338 for 4 in 50 overs (Azhar Ali 59, Fakhar Zaman 114, Babar Azam 46, Mohammad Hafeez 57*; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 1 for 44, Kedar Jadhav 1 for 27) beat India 158 in 30.3 overs (Hardik Pandya 76; Mohammad Aamer 3 for 16, Hasan Ali 3 for 19, Shadab Khan 2 for 60, Junaid Khan 1 for 20) by 180 runs.

Man of the Match: Fakhar Zaman.
Man of the Tournament: Hasan Ali.
Golden Bat (Most Runs): Shikhar Dhawan.
Golden Ball (Most Wickets): Hasan Ali.