Pakistan v India talking points: Fakhar Zaman drives Pakistan’s transformation | Ali Martin

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Pakistan’s surge was complete in the Champions Trophy final, with Fakhar Zaman and Sarfraz Ahmed vital to their victory

Fakhar Zaman neatly summed up the glorious chaos from which Pakistan seems to draw its cricketing strength, having begun the Champions Trophy as an uncapped drinks carrier and ended it with a maiden one-day international hundred in just his fourth appearance, an average of 63 and a shiny winner’s medal. There was chaos along the way in the left‑hander’s 114 from 106 balls too, not least the edge behind on three off a no-ball, the four leg-byes that pinged off his helmet in the following over and some wacky running that included the mix-up that left Azhar Ali run out. But the counter-attack that followed his opening partner’s demise was breathtaking in its execution, not least the takedown of the two Ravis, Ashwin and Jadeja, that plundered the spin twins for eight fours and three sixes including one audacious straight hockey-style club off the former. A decade on from a spell as a trainee in the Pakistan navy, it has been plain-sailing for Fakhar at the start of his international voyage.

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