On June 18 in 2017, Pakistan lifted their first-ever Champions Trophy when they defeated arch-rivals India by 180 runs in the final. Batting first, Pakistan rode on a brilliant century from Fakhar Zaman (114), and half-centuries from Azhar Ali (59) and Mohammad Hafeez (57*) to put a strong score of 338/4 in fifty overs. Mohammad Amir, then, wrecked havoc on the Indian top-order, removing Rohit Sharma (0), Shikhar Dhawan (21), and Virat Kohli (6) cheaply to put the side under instant pressure.
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India eventually failed to recover from the early blows, and even as Hardik Pandya played a strong cameo (76 off 43 balls), it was barely enough to take the team close to the target. The side was bowled out on 158 in 30.3 overs, with Amir and Hasan Ali taking three wickets each.
On the fifth anniversary of Pakistan’s dominant win over India in the final, the side’s captain in the tournament – Sarfaraz Ahmed – revisited the win. He also shared a never-heard-before anecdote on the win.
“We started our journey with the match against India, and following the game, we had a very long team meeting. There were senior players, coaches, captains. We talked about how we could win, about our combination, about our attitude on the field. What we realised is that we have to change our attitude if we have to win. As a captain, I said one thing in that meeting, ‘Now, we will only return to Pakistan wearing the white coats (winning the Champions Trophy’,” Sarfaraz said in a video posted by the Pakistan Cricket Board on their official YouTube channel.
“Before the final, I said that we don’t have to take any pressure. As a captain, I was very confident before the final. We had the momentum.
“They say, when you’re thinking good and doing good, things fall into your place. The same happened with Fakhar Zaman. He had a dream that he got out on a no ball. Luckily, the same actually happened the next day in the final! Azhar also gave us the momentum, and Fakhar took it forward and scored a century,” Sarfaraz recalled.