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India-Pakistan Finale @ Champions Trophy

So, to those who were wondering why there was no blog immediately after the finals,
this is why. I always wrote immediately after the match. Midnight. Fresh off the boat kind. But this particular final, every time I took the pen, (read laptop/google docs), I felt this surge of emotions go through me. I read somewhere that distancing is necessary for creative effort. That I should not trust the impulse for immediate action if it is much too intense.
It’s been two days since we lost to Pakistan. In the finals of the ICC Champions Trophy.
By 180 runs. Sigh. And it still hurts. OK. Trying to be unbiased. ( Kinda hard isn’t it? Especially if it is an India-Pakistan Match?)
So here’s what happened.
India came into bat with a target of 339. It is a mighty peak to conquer for the best teams. The pressure of the number alone can get a team hassled big time. And that is probably what happened with the Indian batsmen. Within five minutes a beautiful straight on the middle and leg stump traps Rohit. One down. And then Kohli gets caught at point. Two wickets down before score reaches double digits. That is trouble.
Enter  Dhawan. He tried his best. Hit a couple of fine shots. Yuvraj tried to give him company at the other end. After two much-needed boundaries, Dhawan edged to the wicketkeeper. Ten overs saw India at 47/3. By this time, the hockey world saw India Beat Pakistan. People who had switched to hockey to feel good now were forced to come to cricket. There was the alternative of switching off the idiot box. Wonder how many did that.

While Dhoni tried to find his bearings, Yuvraj was adjudged LBW by DRS (Umpire Decision review System). And then Dhoni left the scene. Pakistan was not just on a roll, but very much on the path to victory. It seemed like just a matter of time. In a matter of an hour, India was all out. Pakistan thrashed India by 180 runs to seal the CT title.
Earlier in the day, India won the toss and put Pakistan to bat. A wrong decision in hindsight? Hard to tell. The match begins with a maiden over. It all looks well for India. And then Fakhar Zaman was edged and taken. But wait… No Ball. The worst timing, if ever there was one. Life. This life proved to be very expensive as Zaman went on to hit a century (114 of 106 deliveries). He was supported sufficiently by Azhar Ali’s 59 and Babar Azam’s 46. Mohammad Hafeez’s 57 further helped Pakistan reach the mammoth total that could have stumped India Psychologically. The rest was just waiting to happen.
Pakistan outclassed India on the day that mattered. The relationship between the players seems to be doing pretty good though. Snaps of Dhoni with Sarfaraz’s son has been doing the rounds. Virat Kohli praised their performance without any hesitation. It is nice to see, I suppose. Sports indeed has no boundaries.

Pakistan now would like more teams to visit them. It is a good wish considering that they have proven to be world class. They shattered all previous notions and have defeated the best sides of the world. They deserve to enjoy their moment. And they are.

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