Mohammad Amir bowled Pakistan to their first ICC Champions Trophy at The Oval on Sunday. Even if Man of the Match Fakhar Zaman’s pugnacious maiden ODI century set up Pakistan’s impressive 338 for four, it was Amir who delivered those three killer balls that virtually ended India’s fight in what finally turned out to be a onesided final.
“What have you done, Virat?” read one placard held up by a disappointed Indian fan after Pakistan crushed India by 180 runs to script the biggest-ever victory in a Champions Trophy final.
The elderly fan was surrounded by a sea of green as most Indian supporters, who never believed Pakistan could win, had left the stadium after India plummeted to 152 for 7 following Hardik Pandya’s run out for a 43-ball 76. Pandya pummelled the Pakistan attack with gay abandon and his four fours and six sixes (mostly against the spinners) gave the Indian dressing room its only moment of joy on a bad day at office.
More importantly, Pandya’s breezy innings highlighted how India’s top batsmen squandered a great opportunity to give Pakistan a run for their money.
No matter how many runs a Rohit Sharma or Shikhar Dhawan score, Virat Kohli remains the heart of India’s batting. Sunday was the first time Mohammad Amir got the better of Kohli in a limited-over international.
The 25-year-old Amir will never forget his 54th ODI wicket in a hurry because that paved the way for Pakistan’s march towards victory. So far, Kohli has faced 24 balls and scored 20