Fakhar Zaman's first one-day global hundred laid the foundations for Pakistan's formidable total of 338-4.
India were then routed for 158 in the 31st over. Leg-spinner Shadab took a wicket with his sixth ball when Yuvraj Singh (22) was lbw, although it needed a Pakistan review of an original not out decision. On a lifeless wicket, Pakistan got a much-needed "life" early on in their innings and they kicked off from that point.
Fakhar shared an opening stand of 128 with Azhar Ali and, after a mix-up that saw Azhar run out, sprang to life.
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Azhar and Muhammad Hafeez both racked up half centuries, whereas Fakhar smashed 114 off 106 deliveries, and Babar Azam scored a solid 46 off 52.
It was, all too briefly for India, eight for one when Fakhar went after a wide one from Jasprit Bumrah and edged behind, only to be reprieved by the no-ball call. Ravindra Jadeja (8-0-67-0) and Kedar Jadhav (3-0-27-1) leaked 164 runs in 21 overs and scalped just a wicket.
It was compelling shot-a-ball viewing, with several not necessarily dispatched in the intended direction.
Azhar had to go, with his partner static in the non-striker's crease, after Bumrah pulled off an unexpectedly brilliant stop at midwicket. He was eventually out when he sliced medium-pacer Pandya to Jadeja, running back from point. Hardik Pandya gave the stunned India fans in a capacity crowd something to cheer as he hit three sixes off succesive balls to bring up a dashing fifty.
"The final overs usually involve a lot of pressure and especially if you are playing against India".
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They came into the final against India at the Oval as the outsiders and when India won the toss and chose to chase it was felt like Pakistan would need to post close to 350 to just have a chance.
The photo has gone viral over social media right before the big game and it only is spreading some good positive vibes ahead.
"I think this is a great achievement for me, my team and my country". After the India match, I said to the boys that the tournament doesn't finish here. "They seemed overawed against India and looked out of depth but, now in the final, it could be a totally different Pakistan team", he further added. Let us know in the comments and poll below. A team that nobody believed would come back to London, except to board a flight back home early.
"We've got to play to our strengths, and our strength certainly is with the ball".
"The way they turned things around for themselves speaks volumes of the talent that they have in their side".
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