Fast bowler Hassan Ali recalls Pakistan’s famous victory over India in the 2017 England Champions Trophy final, revealing how thoughts about the game still goose bumps on him. Ali, currently suffering a back injury, was selected as the best player in the series after winning 17 wickets in the tournament and ended up returning the 3/19 figure as Pakistan gradually forced India by 180 at the summit.
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“It’s still creepy to me to remember winning the Champions Trophy. I can’t express the feelings of the tournament in words,” he said in an interview with Cricket Baaz. “There were many players who made their debuts, including Rumman Raees, Faheem Ashraf, and Fakhar Zaman, and there were a few players who were just starting their careers, like me and Shadab Khan. So it was a young team and the new captain Sarfraz bhai was taking care of it.”
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It was a series in which no one gave Pakistan a chance in the tournament, and in the final it was a team that lost 124 gradually (D/L way) in their fourth match against India. But from that defeat, the team was inspired to beat Sri Lankan South Africa before overtaking host country England in the first semifinals. In the final, India beat 158 and chase 339 to win.
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“Imagine that the 8th place team went to a mega event, defeated the 3rd place team and beat India in the final. So it was due to the grace of God and the way Sarfraz bhai made the team captain and all players performed. I cannot speak words,” Ali added.
“Of course India was stronger on paper and their performance went well, but if the team has the momentum, any team in front of them can win. So everyone wanted to perform.”