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Kohli philosophical after Champions final collapse

19 June 2017

Fakhar, a former sailor in the Pakistan navy, underpinned his side's innings with a classy century after being handed a reprieve on just three when he was caught behind off a Jasprit Bumrah no-ball.

"Azhar Ali left stranded". Their two main spinners Ashwin and Jadeja, went for over eight an over, while barring Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the other two pace bowlers Bumrah and Pandya were just not able to keep the Pakistani batsmen in check. Despite this odd situation with nearly the entire Test playing nations continuously refusing to travel down to Pakistan for playing cricket, the performance reflected a fearless face with combination of courage and boldness of Pakistani players.

India captain Virat Kohli praised Fakhar Zaman's batting approach and said 80 percent of his "high risk shots" came off well.

Within three overs, however, their reply was in tatters as Amir produced a devastating spell of bowling.

Amir, whose career was almost ended across London by a ban and jail sentence for his involvement in a spot-fixing scan during a 2010 Test at Lord's, was in superb form after a back spasm forced him out of the semi-final win over England.

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Kohli, himself renowned for rising to the big occasion, admitted India had been outplayed. Their hopes now rested largely on the shoulders of Shikhar Dhawan who had been in fine form in the tournament but he made only 21 before nicking the inspired Amir to wicketkeeper Sarfraz.

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India were 54-5 and soon 72-6 as Shadab dismissed Kedar Jadhav cheaply. He went on to join a rare group of batsmen who had scored a century on their maiden game against India. Jadeja nicked Junaid Khan to slip for 15 shortly afterwards.

Pakistan's first global 50-over title since the 1992 World Cup reflected well on their Australian coach Mickey Arthur, who kept his squad from losing focus after their dismal display against the Indians earlier in the tournament.

"The belief just showed on the field the way they played together as a team and regardless of who you play in the finals, it's always going to be challenging because once you start thinking that it's a big game, then your mindset changes".

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"Our team has presented us with a best gift in the holy fasting month of Ramadan", said Shabbir Ali Asghar, a 14-year-old student, as he watched the final with friends on television in Rawalpindi.

Delhi's streets were all but deserted after the game ended with fans storming out of public screenings after Hardik Pandya's 76-run blitz ended with India staring down the barrel at 152-7. They entered the tournament ranked eighth in ODIs, the lowest amongst all participating sides. "Things weren't happening for them and then they win a tournament".

"When players like that get going on their day, it becomes really hard to stop them because I think 80 per cent of his shots were high-risk - and they were all coming off", added Kohli.

"Early wickets are never good, especially in a chase", Kohli said. One big partnership would have been the key to set it up nicely, but credit to the opposition.

They were trolled. They were made fun of.

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Kohli philosophical after Champions final collapse