ISLAMABAD (AP) Pakistan’s media on Monday showered praise on the country’s cricket team for its remarkable victory against archrival India to clinch its maiden Champions Trophy title.
Led by Fakhar Zaman’s aggressive 114 off 106 balls, Pakistan scored 338-4 at The Oval on Sunday after India won the toss and surprisingly opted to field first. In reply India was bowled out for only 158 with nearly 20 overs to spare.
”Pakistan champion, rolled over Indian team,” leading Urdu language Daily Jang said in a front page headline.
Seamers Mohammad Amir and Hasan Ali took three wickets apiece to lead the Pakistan bowling attack in the country’s first appearance in the final of the one-day tournament, dubbed a mini-World Cup.
”India couldn’t even make half of the score, whole team booked in 30.3 overs,” the Daily Jang said.
It was a stunning turnaround for Pakistan, which was ranked eighth in the eight-team competition and lost its opening group match against India by 124 runs.
Under Sarfraz Ahmed’s captaincy, Pakistan beat South Africa and Sri Lanka in the remaining group matches before surprising host England in the semifinals. Ali, the right-arm seamer, took 13 wickets to win the player-of-the-tournament award
”All hail the champs,” screamed the English-language Express Tribune in its lead front page story.
Daily Dawn hailed Amir’s three wickets in his opening spell, which included the key wicket of Virat Kohli, while describing Fakhar’s century in only his fourth ODI as scintillating.
”Pakistan break jinx, trounce India in dream final,” the Dawn headlined in its lead story.
The News said Pakistan ”sizzled at the sun-baked Oval” to record their first major victory in the 50-over format since winning the World Cup 25 years ago.
”The stars aligned for Pakistan on a bright Sunday in South London when they cut their old rivals down to size to win their maiden Champions Trophy crown,” The News said.