Green Shirts put in incredible final effort to cap off a superb tournament
MOHAMMAD HAFEEZ dedicated a stunning ICC Champions Trophy success to the people of Pakistan after thrashing India at The Oval yesterday.
Fakhar Zaman hit a maiden one-day international century to set up a thrilling victory against India, who had been strong favourites to lift a second successive title.
However after being set 339 to win, India slumped to 158 all out as Hasan Ali claimed three for 19 to spark wild celebrations and an unlikely win following a poor start to the competition.
Hafeez, who made an unbeaten 57 off 37 balls, said the win was for the Pakistani public.
The former captain told Sky: “It’s a great, great team effort from where we came from because we knew after losing the first game, we were nowhere.
“And then we just showed great, great character and I am really happy because it’s all for the nation of Pakistan because they’ve been waiting for such a long time.
“We wanted to inspire the whole nation because we have been missing this for the last nine years with no cricket at home.
“I think this is something we wanted to do because the millions of people at home were waiting for this,” Hafeez said.
Pakistan haven’t played at home since an attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009, forcing them to play abroad.
Coach Micky Arthur praised his side after they bounced back from a humiliating defeat to India to beat Sri Lanka, South Africa and England.
“It’s been an up and down ride for us but I’m just so proud of the boys. We dusted ourselves off after the defeat to India at Edgbaston and came back superbly.”
India captain Virat Kohli accepted his side had been a distant second best. “I want to congratulate Pakistan and their supporters,” he said. “They had an amazing tournament. The way they turned things round speaks volumes for the talent they have.
“It’s disappointing for us but I have a smile on my face because I’m very proud of how we’ve played in this tournament.”