IND v PAK: Out-of-syllabus knocks, insane spells and gym promises take centre stage

Emotions inundated social media when the high-flying Indian team took on the unpredictable Pakistan on Sunday, and these Tweets tell how the much-anticipated encounter panned out at Kennington Oval.


ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP

 

India versus Pakistan in an ICC tournament final! It couldn’t get bigger than this for cricket enthusiasts. But it turned out to be a heartbreak for Indian fans as Sarfraz Ahmed and company showed their mettle at the grandest of stages and outclassed India in all three departments to win ICC Champions Trophy 2017.

 

The highly anticipated encounter was a dream final and it was set to shatter TV ratings on Sunday evening.

 



Pakistan were put in to bat by Virat Kohli and the move almost paid off when Jasprit Bumrah got rid of their opener Fakhar Zaman, only for the ball to be called an illegitimate delivery on account of over-stepping.

 


After playing out the initial overs, Zaman and Azhar Ali showed flair and took on the Indian bowlers by scoring at a brisk rate.

 




The duo didn’t stop and demolished the Indian bowlers to all parts and completed a 100-run partnership at more than 6 per over. India started getting nervous.

 


But then, a terrible mix-up between the Pakistani openers resulted in Ali’s run out. There was hope for a turnaround.

 



But it was not to be as the Pakistani batsmen showed uncharacteristic temperament to continue scoring runs briskly. Babar Azam combined terrifically with Zaman to help Pakistan reach the 200-mark. Playing his first match against India and only his 4th ODI, Zaman completed a richly deserved century after getting a reprieve early on. What an occasion to score a ton!

 



It needed another brilliance in the field to get rid of a Pakistan batsman and Ravindra Jadeja did just that by taking a splendid catch off Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Zaman’s innings came to an end.

 



But the fall of wickets didn’t affect Pakistan’s run rate as they continued to smack the Indian bowlers.

 



Mohammed Hafeez added valuable runs with Imad Wasim towards the end and helped Pakistan reach a mammoth total of 338.

 


A billion strong were still hopeful about India’s chances.

 





It was a disastrous start for Team India to start off the run chase as Mohammad Amir picked up the wickets of India’s two superstars, Rohit Sharma and Kohli, in successive overs.

 


Yuvraj Singh joined Shikhar Dhawan in the middle and the pair tried their best to survive that ferocious spell from Amir and Junaid Khan.

 



But Amir had other ideas as Dhawan nicked one to Sarfraz before long. Two pillars of the Indian cricket team, Yuvraj and MS Dhoni, had their work cut out but the fans were still optimistic about the team’s chances.

 



But instead, it was heartbreak as the duo too departed soon leaving India reeling at 54 for 5 and fans looking for happiness elsewhere.

 


It was a now humongous task for the inexperienced Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya. They tried to take to the opposition by counter-attacking but Kedar played one shot too many and as a result was back in the pavilion before long.

 


Afterwards Pandya decided he can’t take more humiliation and played some outrageous strokes. It was a top-class knock from him as he completed his 50 in the blink of an eye, including hitting 3 sixes in a row.

 



Just when it looked like the Pakistan fielders were getting nervous, there was a terrible mix-up between Pandya and Jadeja, which led to Pandya’s dismissal and with that India’s hopes of a miraculous comeback ended forever.

 


Pakistan eventually thumped India by 180 runs to win the Champions Trophy for the first time. From the lowest ranked team in the tournament to winning it in style, it indeed was a fairytale ending for a young Pakistan side led by a gritty captain.

 


It was certainly a disappointing effort from the Men In Blue in the final but they were beaten fair and square by their arch-rivals on the big day.

 


your comments