Pakistan surprised the whole cricket world with a convincing win over arch-rivals India in the final of ICC Champions Trophy 2017. The green brigade received immense praise and adulation for their fantastic performance in the coveted event.
Former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara has hailed Pakistan's opening batsman Fakhar Zaman and pacer Mohammad Amir's heroic performance in their victory over India in the Champions Trophy final on Sunday.
Pakistan dominated with both bat and ball to thrash India by 180 runs and lift their maiden ICC Champions Trophy title at The Oval on Sunday with Fakhar and Amir playing crucial roles for the green brigade.
Fakhar slammed 114 runs off 106 balls to help Pakistan post a formidable total of 338/6. His innings consisted of twelve boundaries and three sixes.
Amir then smashed away the Indian top-order batsmen with a superb opening spell of six overs during which he made a three-wicket haul conceding only 16 runs.
"Zaman batted freely and aggressively. Mixing attacking boundary options and smart strike rotation, he anchored the Pakistan total with the most important innings of his life. Ably supported by Azhar Ali, and a telling cameo from Mohammed Hafeez, the final total of 338 was a daunting one."
"If captain Sarfraz Ahmed had come in earlier instead of Imad Wasim to lead the final charge, perhaps the total would have even gone beyond 350," Sangakkara wrote in his column for the International Cricket Council (ICC), describing the heroics of Fakhar's batting.
"Mohammed Amir, returning after his back spasms, proved once again why he is one of the finest pace bowlers in the world right now by ripping the heart out of the Indian batting," he added.
Sangakkara also said that India's chase was off-colour right from the start and felt that the Indian batsmen played on the backfoot.
"India was a bit lacklustre in their chase once Kohli was dismissed. Yuvraj Singh seemed timid and slow. Hanging back to the fast bowlers as if expecting every delivery to be a bouncer and only showing intent to the slower spinners," he said.
"The dangerous Dhoni was bounced out and Jadeja failed to sacrifice himself to allow the incredibly exciting Hardik Pandya to take India towards an unlikely victory," he added.
(With IANS Inputs)