SOUMI­TRA BOSE

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - World -

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

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