What is the story:
Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman has said his ‘heart sank’ after he edged a Jasprit Bumrah delivery to MS Dhoni in the final of the just-concluded Champions Trophy when he was batting on just 3. But fortunately for the left-handed batsman, replays showed the bowler had overstepped, giving the batsman a reprieve. From there on, there was no looking back for the Pakistan batsman as he took the Indian bowlers to cleaners to compile his maiden ODI century.
“When I was caught behind, my heart sank,” he told Tribune. “I was stunned and slowly started making my way back to the dressing room with all my hopes and dreams crushed. I kept thinking how could I lose my wicket here, I was supposed to score big, not get out on three.”
“When the umpires stopped me, it was like a new hope. It felt like a new life. I thought to myself if this is a no ball then today is surely my day,” he added.
Zaman’s arrival changed Pakistan fortunes in the tournament:
The Men in Green had begun the tournament in a disastrous fashion, losing the tournament-opener by a whooping margin of 180 runs against arch-rivals India. However, Zaman’s introduction in the playing XI from the second game onward changed the fortunes of the team as the left-handed batsman played a key role in Pakistan’s historic Champions Trophy triumph. Pakistan defeated South Africa, Sri Lanka, England and eventually India to cap-off their fairy-tale turnaround in the tournament.
Fakhar began his campaign with a quickfire 31 against South Africa and followed it with half-centuries against Sri Lanka and England before scoring a magnificent 114 in the title-decider to propel his team to 338. In reply, India were all out for just 158 as Pakistan won the Champions Trophy for the first time.
The no-ball certainly played a big part in deciding the outcome of the match. India had entered the final as the firm favourites and an early wicket would have surely put them on top but Zaman fully capitalised on the reprieve and laid the foundation for a big total by sharing a 100-plus stand with opening partner Azhar Ali.