India were at the receiving end at The Oval, just as they were in Johannesburg in 2003 in the World Cup final against Australia, when they lost by 125 runs, which was the previous highest margin (in terms of runs). Pakistan's opening partnership of 128 between Azhar Ali and Zaman was instrumental as they put up a big score.
Amir struck just three balls into India's reply when, after bowling two outswingers to Sharma, he had him lbw with a superb inswinger.
Should India have gone with four seamers?
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The victory, and its relative ease over an India team that not only had got the better of Pakistan in one-day matches for the past decade, winning 12 and losing only eight - and winning four of the last five since 2013 - stunned cricket fans and experts, especially coming from a Pakistan team that has played only one global series in its home country since a 2009 terrorist attack forced them to adopt the United Arab Emirates as their home turf. After the India game, we came back superbly. He edged one to wicketkeeper MS Dhoni, off Jasprit Bumrah, but made most of the opportunity since then.
If Imran Khan's world champions were cornered tigers this Pakistan team are more a bunch of Manhattan alley cats, an agreeably feisty mix of strays, old hands and kittenish brio, transformed into champions in the last two weeks by a peculiar sporting alchemy. Rohit Sharma had gone in his first over, trapped in front by a ball that nipped back. The left-arm seamer also came out with a definite plan to bowl outside the off stump to Virat Kohli, who was cramped for room, as he tried to steer the ball onto the leg side.
No matter. Next ball Kohli, working across the line, flapped a leading edge to point.
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"Rohit, Dhawan and Kohli have been in tremendous form so I was looking for early wickets - and I did it", he said. He scored 22 runs. However, all three were completely undone in the final, as Amir bowled a lethal spell.
"That's the start we needed".
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Open. "You know at the start of the week I thought five-under would maybe win this thing and I was pretty far off", Stricker said. He closed with a 5-under 67, only realizing after his par on the final hole that a birdie would have set yet another U.S.
There was no looking back after that and was liberal help from all the Indian bowlers, who erred in length, gave away needless extras to release the pressure completely.In humid conditions and on flattest of decks, Kohli made a decision to field first but his bowlers did not do justice to the faith he had shown in them. They romped home by 180 runs, outplaying on every register superstar opponents fed by a powerhouse domestic scene, but cowed here into a horribly flaccid heap of wafts and nibbles. The way they turned things around, it was unbelievable. "Obviously, the same bowlers are going to play, the same guys are going to bat".
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