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20 June 2017, 11:05 | Charlene Valdez
Pakistan wins Champions Trophy, crushes archrival India
Victorious Pakistan players dominated the Champions Trophyteam of the tournament which was announced on Monday (Tuesday NZ time) with their captain Sarfraz Ahmed named captain of the side.
Fast bowlers Junaid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hassan shared 28 wickets between them in the tournament, while wrist-spinner Rashid finished with seven wickets with an economy rate of 4.73.
Pakistan gained four points to move to 95 points as their wins over higher-ranked opponents in the tournament included the one in the final against India and an eight-wicket semi- final victory over England.
Joe Root represented semi-finalists England for his aggregate of 258 runs while Ben Stokes was rewarded for his all-round contribution.
Sarfraz's side thrashed title-holders India by 180 runs in a remarkable final at The Oval on Sunday having been the lowest ranked of the eight nations at the outset of this one-day worldwide tournament - which they started with a 124-run defeat to India.
After a heavy opening loss to India, they beat top-ranked South Africa and Sri Lanka to reach the last four, where they stunned hosts England before outclassing India in Sunday's final.
Meanwhile, people on social media suddenly seemed to be interested in the long-forgotten sport hockey and congratulatory messages flooded the platform after the Indian hockey team defeated Pakistan by 7-1 at the World Hockey League semi-final.
"To be appointed as captain of the Team of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, which includes some of the finest and most attractive cricketers of this generation, is the ideal icing on the cake", Sarfraz said in an International Cricket Council statement.
Pakistan's triumph in the Champions Trophy has pushed them to sixth in the ICC ODI rankings, and closer to direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup in England. "It has been an ultra-quick turnaround from no-hopers to champions for the Pakistan players and the manner in which the team won the match was really impressive", said Afridi in a column for ICC. Fakhar Zaman's innings and Hassan Ali's spell with the ball played crucial roles in the win. "I am confident that the faith and trust of the Pakistan cricket team will be strengthened with this performance of the side", Sarfraz said.
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