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ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Final: We played like we had nothing to lose, says Sarfraz Ahmed

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said he never expected his team would win the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 after losing to India in their opening match.
Subhasish Dutta London June 18, 2017 22:54 IST
Subhasish Dutta

Embarrassed by India in their opening match, Pakistan astonishingly turned the tables on their arch-rivals to win the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final by a crushing margin of 180 runs at The Oval on Sunday. India were the lopsided favorites to win a record third Trophy in a record fourth final, but Pakistan blew away all predictions and expectations with a win of stunning ease.

Pakistan, made to bat first for the first time in the tournament, racked up a final-record innings of 338/4, founded on a 128-run opening stand between Fakhar Zaman, who earned his maiden one-day international century with 114, and Azhar Ali, whom Fakhar ran out on 59.

India were then routed for 158 in the 31st over. Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed took the last catch and aeroplaned around the pitch with his arms out before he was swamped by teammates.

Speaking after the match, Sarfraz said he never expected to win the title after losing to India by 124 runs in their opening match. 

"Actually not (if he expected to be standing here after that loss to India at Edgbaston). After the India match, I said to the boys that the tournament doesn't finish here. Good cricket, positive cricket, and we will win. Thanks to the team management. And look we are here today. Fakhar Zaman is a great impact. Played like a champion batsman. If he plays like this, he will make his country proud. 

Sarfraz also lauded his bowlers for their impressive performance against a strong Indian batting line-up. Mohammed Amir and Hasan Ali took three wickets each, while Shadab Khan got two wickets.

"I think all credit goes to my bowlers. Amir today. Hasan Ali throughout the tournament. Imad Wasim. Shadab Khan. All bowlers. This is a young team. Credit to the team management for boosting us well. When we arrived here, we played like we had nothing to lose. My advice is to play like this. No one recognized Pakistan in world cricket, and here we are, the champions. Keep praying for us, Pakistan," he said.