Zaman made sure his batting was the bigger talking point, as he laid into the Indian attack with a blistering maiden hundred. Zaman slammed 12 fours and three sixes during his 106-ball 112, laying the platform for Pakistan to amass 338 for 4 and leave defending champions India with a tall order in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali’s fifties at either end of the innings provided the necessary support as India’s bowling came undone.
India had come in with their plans for Zaman intact. The left-hander was deemed not as effective when the ball was aimed at his body. Bhuvneshwar Kumar stuck to the task and hardly gave anything away during his five-over spell at the start. Bumrah, at the other end, was all over the place. While Zaman found the going tough, Azhar cashed in.
Babar Azam chipped in with a fine 46 off 52 balls, while Hafeez and Imad Wasim used the long handle to great effect to push Pakistan’s score to 338. Hafeez in particular looked in prime touch, smashing a fiery fifty to deflate India.
On a day when the bowling suffered a near-collective failure, Bhuvneshwar shone well above the rest. He was superb at the start, and continued to impress at the death, finishing with 1 for 44 in 10 overs. India will be left wondering what could have been if the others had done as well as him.
Brief scores: Pakistan 338/4 in 50 overs (Fakhar Zaman 114, Azhar Ali 59, Mohammad Hafeez 57*; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 1-44) vs India.