"The Champions Trophy 2017 has been a memorable event and Pakistani fans will remember it for a very long time indeed".
India have never lost to Pakistan in the final - or a knockout game - of a major ICC tournament. It was formalities for Pakistan after that and they clinched the win by bowling out India for 158 in the 31st over.
This year also, albeit with a share of luck, Pakistan morphed from just-about qualified team - they beat Zimbabwe to edge past the West Indies as the eighth team in the competition - to the surprise packages who punched above weight and overawed the mighty England in the semi-final with elan. A full house along with an estimated global TV audience of around 365 million - the third highest for a cricket match - tuned in and witnessed history.
Mehboob Hasan, who lives in the city of Etawah in Uttar Pradesh, threw his weight behind Virat Kohli's men, who were favourites to win the title considering they had thrashed Pakistan by 124 runs in their opening clash.
Pakistan, ominously made to bat first - the team batting first lost six of the seven previous finals - racked up a final-record innings of 338-4, founded on a 128-run opening stand between Fakhar Zaman, who earned his maiden one-day worldwide century with 114, and Azhar Ali, whom Fakhar helped to run out on 59. The way we showed character, this is for the nation.
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed took the last catch and aeroplaned around the pitch with his arms out before he was swamped by teammates. They have been waiting for this for a long, long time. Fakhar scored 114 off 106 balls.
Mohammad Hafeez and Babar Azam also chipped in with handy contributions towards the end of the innings and helped their team go past 300 marks.
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India were asked to produce the highest successful run chase in Trophy history, and had the weapons to do it.
But Sharma was out lbw for a duck off the third ball, Kohli hit out for 5, and Dhawan, the player of the 2013 tournament and a candidate for this one, edged behind on 21.
"But I am more happy and delighted for players like Fakhar Zaman and Hasan Ali, who impressed their peers through their talent and performances, and found their way in the side".
Amir picked up three wickets for 16 runs from his six overs.
But Desmond Haynes (93 not out) and Brian Lara (retired hurt 88) were too strong for the Pakistani bowlers to even take a wicket as they won with 19 balls to spare. "We were outplayed in all departments".
This was Pakistan's first ICC title triumph since their 2009 World Twenty20.
If India are to emerge victorious on Sunday, it would be like the 1985 Benson & Hedges Cup in Australia, where they first defeated Pakistan in the group stages and then upended them again in the final. We just weren't good enough on the day. The way they turned things around, it was incredible.
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