Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim dedicate maiden Champions Trophy triumph to billions of Pakistanis

first_imgFirst-time finalists Pakistan hammered arch-rivals India by 180 runs to clinch their maiden Champions Trophy title at The Oval on Sunday. Put into bat Pakistan posted a mammoth 338/4 with Man of the Match Fakhar Zaman scoring his maiden hundred and top-scored in the match with 114 while Azhar Ali 59 and Mohammad Hafeez (57*) also made significant contributions.In reply India’s chase was derailed by Mohammad Amir, who removed the top-three batsmen – Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan – inside the first 10 overs. Hassan Ali also took three wickets in the middle overs, including the final one off Jasprit Bumrah to ensure an emphatic win for Pakistan.Hassan took the Golden Ball award for finishing as the highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 13 scalps in five matches at 15.69, while Dhawan got the Golden Bat for scoring 338 runs in five games at 67.60 with one hundred and two fifties.Most of the Pakistani players were at a loss for words after the victory but they all thanked and dedicated the trophy to the people back home.Imad Wasim – “It’s unbelievable (feeling). Nothing gets bigger than this. Seems like we are playing in Pakistan and thanks to all those who supported. I am sure the roads are full in Pakistan, people will be celebrating and I can’t wait to get back. We sat down together after the first game. We were down and out, but we discussed that we need to do something to turn things around. People wrote us off, but this is an incredible win.”advertisementShoaib Malik – “In words, it’s very hard to describe (the feeling). I guess the roads will be full (in Pakistan) and they’ll be celebrating even though it is Ramadan. I want to congratulate the Pakistani people. Things like this bring us united. I’d like to thank the Indian cricket team the way they played in this tournament, and also the Indian fans who came out to support. We were okay (when asked if he was under pressure before the start of the match). Being a senior cricketer, the other players look up you. Credit to all the players. This performance was exceptional.”Hassan Ali – “I wasn’t in the side last year but I relied on hard work and self belief. I have learnt from the beginning that fitness is important. The tournament was good for me. I hope I continue like this. The final wicket vwas a very special moment; I don’t have words.”Mohammad Amir – “That’s the start we needed. At the start, Kohli. Rohit and Shikhar.. they were in great form but I did it. To be honest, it is a teamwork. After the South Africa game, the way we played. That game gave us the momentum.”Mickey Arthur – “It has been an up and down ride. After the India game, we came back superbly. We knew we were better than that. The whole group came together and kept believing and that was a superb thing. We wanted to be a lot more consistent. It has been a remarkable achievement. We have got a group of young players. We are on the right track, everything is going right at the moment. I am happy with the brand of cricket we have been playing and want to continue the momentum. We have got two years until 2019. We have got enough points and now we do not have to go through qualifyings, we want to work hard from here. We have to identify the players we want to take forward.”Azhar Mahmood – “He (Hasan Ali) is a young guy and bowls with a big of heart. Every time he runs in, he wants to get a wicket. The attitude is brilliant. He is a match winner for us. Young guy coming into the side (Fakhar Zaman). It is more self belief than physical and technical thing. Fakhar Zaman is a brilliant guy up the order. He puts pressure on the opposition. If there is a guy like him who can go up there get some runs for us, that is just brilliant.”Pakistan were the lowest-ranked team in the tournament but they surprised everyone and made a stunning comeback after losing their opening match against India by 124 runs. They then went on to beat South Africa, Sri Lanka and tournament favourites England to reach the final where an all-round performance saw them overwhelm Virat Kohli’s Team India.last_img

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