Champions Trophy summary and team of the tournament
As the tournament started, everyone thought that it was going to doom and gloom tournament as most of the group games being washed out due to rain.
Australia being the unluckiest team or should I say even whether played a fair game? Saving the Ozzies from the Kiwis and saving Bangladesh from Ozzie’s again? Let’s not get into it though.
The tournament saw one of the finest display of cricket played by number 8 side in the world. Pakistan ranked number 8 in the ICC ODI rankings coming into the tournament and blew the teams away to win the tournament. Yes, you are hearing it right. they went on to win the Champions Trophy 2017.
Teams they literally blew away from the likes of India, Sout Africa, and England. One of the majestic performances in Champions trophy may be just behind the India in 2000 tournament where they beat Australia which was the side that was unbeatable on any given day.
India and England started the tournaments as favorites to win the tournament and rightly so, given the team on the paper looked absolutely prolific. These two teams looked the most balanced side in the tournaments.
Group games were disappointing due to the weather conditions due to which there were 2 virtual quarter-finals between India and South Africa and Pakistan and Srilanka.India beat South Africa and Sri Lanka gifted Pakistan the victory by dropping dolly catches. In the other group, England were undefeated from the group and Bangladesh qualified and all thanks to England as they beat Australia and which made Bangladesh to qualify for the semi-finals, their first in the history of the cricketing generation.
Out of 4 teams in the semi-finals, 3 were from Asia. An absolute achievement for the Asian continent given the conditions never favored them.In the Semi-finals, India beat Bangladesh, in fact, it was a demolition from the batting power house. Chasing 264, India romped home with 9 wickets in hand and in just mere 40 overs. Bangladesh just did not have any answers to India batting.
In the other semi-finals, Pakistan beat the host England. Yes, how could Pakistan reach the semi-finals at least? Well, even I do not have any answers to it. In fact, the whole of the Pakistan might not have believed that they could reach the semi-finals and beat England and not just beat them destroyed them. Absolute, world class bowling from the Pakistanis where they gave no chance to any England batsmen to get settled and score runs.
Off to final, who would have ever thought that this would be an India, Pakistan final after what India did to them in the first game of their campaign. An absolute treat for the viewers, and to the whole cricketing fraternity. from the banters to real fights, this could have been a dream final for champions trophy 2017.
India won the toss and choose to field, an obvious choice for Virat Kohli who prefers chasing and his records say that as well. But, I felt India gave the match into Pakistans hand just because it’s a final and Pakistan never a chasing side. Pakistan can defend even the lowest totals by virtue of their bowling. Pakistan posted 338 and all thanks to Fakhar Zaman. Scoring a 100 against India and in the finals of ICC event what else can you wish for. Brilliant piece of batting display from him just because India had their homework done against him and he did not loose it, kept his patience. India came out to bat and incomes Mohammed Amir. A world class of pace and swing bowling from the left arm pacemen where he took the wickets of big 3 Virat, Dhawan and Rohit. Broke India’s batting into half and India could never recover from there and Pakistan won the game by 180 runs.
We had a brilliant tournament and wonderful experience of how an 8th ranked team could eventually win the tournament on the big stage.