The biggest cricketing clash of the year, the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, has finally ended. It ended along with the dreams of millions of Indian cricket fans who wanted their team to lift the cup. June 18, 2017, will be historic yes, but not for something in our favor. The day that was, witnessed one hell of a game and resulted in India’s defeat by a big 180 run difference. This final match was awaited since the time India reached the semis. Pakistan, after scoring a massive 338 runs, clinched the title away from the defending champions India and won their first ICC Champions Trophy Final.
England had hosted four world cups and two Champions Trophy before this, but batting was never as simple as this time in these conditions. In a tournament that had only 15 matches, ten batsmen registered centuries and helped their respective nations in getting big scores on the board. However an interesting feature of the tournament was that most of the best innings came in partnerships, and often two batsmen didn’t bat in the same tempo and with the same finesse. Be it Tamim Iqbal of Bangladesh or Ben Stokes of England, Shikhar Dhawan of India or Fakhar Zaman of Pakistan, the batsmen put a great show for the cricket fans and spectators all around in this most hyped sports event of the world.
The bowlers weren’t that bad either, though Pakistani bowler stood apart from the rest and took 13 wickets in 5 matches in this tournament. JR Hazlewood of Australia took 9 wickets in 4 matches and Junaid Khan took 8 wickets in 4 matches. The only good thing about the Indian side were our openers Shikhar Dhawan (338) and Rohit Sharma (304), who were the top scoring batsmen in this competition. While India touched their peak form a match early (their semi-final win over Bangladesh was flawless), Pakistan timed their run perfectly. Even in the final, they didn’t quite hit the ground running India had their chances in the opening hour of the game but once they did, there was no stopping them.
At the end of the day, Pakistan emerged victorious after defeating all the big teams South Africa, Sri Lanka, England and India in the last and it did speak volumes of the talent they have as a cricket playing nation. In spite of all the trolls and memes circulating on the social media platforms, they were a better side than ours on that particular day and what Lord’s is to India, Kapil Dev and the Class ‘83, Oval will be to Pakistan, Sarfraz and this Class of ‘17. Over the years, India beating Pakistan in big tournaments had become inevitable. But it all changed this English Sunday and for good.