• In the final of the eighth edition of ICC Champions Trophy, a resurgent Pakistan has set a competitive target of 339 runs for defending champions India, who would like to regain the coveted title which they won under the dynamic leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in 2013.

    While batting first after losing all-important toss on a placid surface, the all-round top-order performance from unpredictable Pakistan posted 338 for four in the 50 allotted overs.

    Coming at number five, Mohammed Hafeez played a crucial knock to see Pakistan crossing past 300-run mark alongside left-handed batsman Imad Waseem with ease.

    The right-handed batsman Hafeez remained unbeaten on 57 off 37 balls which was comprised of four boundaries and three sixes.

    Moreover, Wasim remained unbeaten on 25 off 21 balls as his cameo included a four and six respectively.

    Touted as a star batsman, Fakhar Zaman, who struggled on short-pitch deliveries, has brought up his maiden century by playing some quality strokes in the middle-overs after finding padded-up boundaries of edges following the start of proceedings of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final.

    And for India the pick of the bowler was

    Cruising at 267 for three in 42.2 over, Babar, who looked settled was caught by Yuvraj Singh at the long-off, on the bowling off part-timer Kedhar Jadhav when the ball took the outside edge of the bat.

    Shoaib Malik came to bat and scored 12 off 16 balls which saw him posting 47 runs for the third wicket alongside Babar Azam.

    The experienced campaigner Malik was dismissed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar when he tried to go for a maximum, as the ball lobbed up in the air to find Kedhar Jadhav completing a simple catch at the deep cover region.

    For the second wicket, Zaman knitted 72 runs for alongside Babar Azam. The Mardan-born batsman smashed 114 runs from 106 balls which included 12 boundaries and three sixes at the strike-rate of 107.55.

    In 34th over, a live wire in the field Ravindra Jadeja took a brilliant running catch on the bowling of Hardik Pandya after Zaman tried to go downtown as the ball got big on him.

    Coming to the bat, Pakistan openers looked a bit nervous at the start as promising prospect Fakhar Zaman was caught off a no-ball by wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on the bowling off Jasprit Bumrah when Pakistan’s score was 8 in 3.1 overs.

    Following the shaky start, the 27-year-old left-handed batsman Zaman found himself in sort of a groove as he rotated the strike alongside settled Azhar Ali.

    Pakistan lost the first wicket at the score of 128 on the final delivery of 23rd over which saw Ali scampering down the ground for a single, but Zaman was unmoved which further saw Jasprit Bumrah fumbling in the 30-yard circle, before collecting the ball in his second attempt to wicket-keeper Dhoni, who affected an easy run-out.

    Ali scored 59 off 71 balls which included solitary six and six boundaries.

    Earlier, on the super Sunday morning, Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to field first against resurgent Pakistan.

    Tahir Ibn Manzoor is a staffer at Sportzwiki.com, who follows cricket like food after listening to running commentary on a transistor radio when he was only eight, and penned down the scorecard when he turned 11. He Tweets @TahirIbnManzoor

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