Fast bowler Hasan Ali recalled Pakistan’s famous win against India in the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy in England, revealing how thinking about the game still gives him goosebumps. Ali, who is currently nursing a back injury, was adjudged the Player of the Series after picking up 17 wickets in the tournament and capped it off by returning figures of 3/19 as Pakistan steamrolled India by 180 runs in the summit clash.
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“Remembering the Champions Trophy win still gives me goosebumps. You cannot describe the feelings of that tournament in words,” he said in an interview on Cricket Baaz. “There were a lot of players who made their debuts – Rumman Raees, Faheem Ashraf and Fakhar Zaman, and there were a few players whose careers had just started – like me and Shadab Khan. So, it was a young team, and a new captain was handling it: Sarfraz bhai.”
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It was a series where no one gave Pakistan a chance in the tournament, let along against India in the final, a team that had thrashed them by 124 runs (D/L method) in the fourth match of the tournament. But from that defeat, the team picked itself up inspiringly en route to beating South Africa, Sri Lanka before taking down hosts England in the first semi-final. In the final, India were outplayed with the team folding for 158, chasing 339 to win.
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“Imagine, An eighth-ranked team went to a mega event and defeats the teams ranked in the top three and then beats India in the final. So, it was just by the grace of God and the way Sarfraz bhai captained the side and every single player performed, I cannot tell it in words,” Ali added.
“No doubt India were stronger on paper, and their performance was also going good, but when a team has the momentum, they can defeat any team in front of them. So everyone had the hunger to perform.”