The eighth edition of the ICC Champions Trophy culminated in the final event on 18 June 2017, which was held at The Oval in London. The eagerly awaited contest showcased cricket adversaries Pakistan and India, both trying to attain the esteemed championship. Pakistan confidently earned their place in the final match by decisively defeating the hosts, England, by 8 wickets in the initial semi-final on June 14th at Cardiff, Wales. This decisive victory marked Pakistan’s inaugural appearance in the Champions Trophy final. India, who were the previous champions, advanced to the final match through a comfortable 9-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the second semi-final held on June 15th in Birmingham. This impressive win marked their fourth appearance in the final of the prestigious Champions Trophy tournament.
Pakistan demonstrated exceptional competence and resilience, ultimately emerging triumphant with a resounding 180-run lead, representing the most significant margin of victory in the final of an ICC ODI tournament. Pakistan, despite being perceived as the lowest-ranked participant in the tournament, achieved victory, thereby elevating them to the esteemed group of seven national teams to have secured the Champions Trophy. The aforementioned triumph holds considerable importance given that it signifies the team’s initial triumph in the ICC ODI tournament since their victories in the 1992 World Cup, and consequently represents their most recent attainment of an ICC title in any format after securing the 2009 World Twenty20 championship. Fakhar Zaman, a Pakistani cricketer, was bestowed the admirable Man of the Match award in recognition of his exceptional performance, achieving the noteworthy score of 114.
Shikhar Dhawan, the acclaimed Indian cricketer, was bestowed with the coveted Golden Bat accolade for his impressive display of batting prowess, having amassed a whopping 338 runs over the course of the tournament. Alternatively, Hasan Ali of Pakistan was bestowed with the Golden Ball award in recognition of his laudable performance, which featured the capture of 13 wickets. Hasan Ali has secured the esteemed accolade of Man of the Series through his exceptional and notable contributions.
India and Pakistan - a historic clash
Before the culmination of the aforementioned conclusive match, the opposing teams had previously engaged each other on 128 separate occasions in the One Day International (ODI) format. Among the plethora of matches held, it was observed that the nation of Pakistan claimed victory in a total of 72 instances, while their rival India emerged triumphant in 52 matches, and the remaining four encounters were inconclusive. Pakistan has enjoyed a favorable position in bilateral matches against India in cricket. However, India has been dominant in international tournaments sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC), winning 13 matches against Pakistan. In contrast, Pakistan has only secured two victories over India in such events. It is of note that the two teams had previously engaged in competitive matches during the finals of international tournaments twice, specifically in the non-ICC World Championship of Cricket Final in 1985, and the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 Final. In both instances, India emerged victorious.
In the context of the Champions Trophy, both teams have encountered each other on four occasions, resulting in each team winning two games. The most recent victory for Pakistan in the tournament was attained in the year 2009. Subsequently, India has achieved seven uninterrupted triumphs over Pakistan across all International Cricket Council (ICC) tournaments, with the exception of a defeat in a home series in the year 2012. “On 4 June 2017, India emerged victorious by 124 runs, according to the Duckworth-Lewis method, during their most recent encounter in the group stages of the ongoing Champions Trophy. " In the lead-up to the decisive match, a significant portion of the pre-match examination centered on the impending clash between India’s potent batting lineup and Pakistan’s formidable bowling attack. This was due to the recognition of these facets as the primary strengths of each team, with both demonstrating exceptional prowess throughout the tournament.
The Road to the Finals
Pakistan, ranked eighth in the International Cricket Council’s One Day International (ODI) Championship at the outset, encountered an arduous beginning in the tournament. However, they demonstrated a steady upturn in performance with each subsequent match. The team experienced a disconcerting setback in their inaugural contest, as they succumbed to India by a margin of 124 runs whilst delivering a lackluster performance. Nevertheless, they displayed a remarkable comeback during their subsequent match against the formidable South African team, ultimately clinching a triumph of 19 runs under the principles of the Duckworth-Lewis system. Exploiting the preceding thrust, Pakistan was confronted with a captivating and imperative one-off match against Sri Lanka in their concluding group stage fixture that culminated in a triumphant outcome, with a victory margin of 3 wickets. The attainment of this vital victory substantiated their place in the semi-finals, consolidating their standing as the second-ranked team in Group B, determined by net run rate, while India occupied the lead position in the group.
In the semifinal match, England, having maintained an undefeated record and benefitting from the home field advantage, were deemed as formidable contenders. The team of Pakistan exhibited their exemplary skills with the bat and ball, thereby achieving a comprehensive triumph with a convincing 8-wicket victory, leaving a substantial margin of almost 13 remaining overs. The exceptional execution of Pakistani cricket players has opened doors to their maiden entry in the Champions Trophy final, thus surpassing anticipated outcomes and demonstrating their tenacity.
India, who entered the tournament as the defending champions and garnered significant attention as one of the frontrunners, jointly commanded the limelight along with England. The team achieved the third position in the International Cricket Council One Day International Championship Rankings. During their initial group appearance, India exhibited their superiority by achieving a resounding victory over their long-standing adversaries Pakistan, with an outstanding 124-run lead. Notwithstanding their commendable achievement of scoring 321 runs, the team experienced a setback in their second match against Sri Lanka. The triumph of Sri Lanka’s chase, the pinnacle of run accumulation in the history of the Champions Trophy, culminated in a defeat of India by seven wickets.
With a strong determination to secure their position in the semi-finals of the competition, India confronted South Africa in their concluding group match. The team exhibited a formidable performance, emerging victorious by means of a comfortable margin of eight wickets, thus consolidating their position at the summit of Group B on the basis of their attainment of two triumphs and a higher net run rate in comparison with Pakistan. During the semi-final match, India encountered Bangladesh and demonstrated their superior performance yet again, attaining a favorable 9-wicket triumph. India’s triumph has paved the way for a highly anticipated championship clash with Pakistan, reigniting their storied rivalry on a significant platform.
The 2017 ICC Champions Trophy epitomized the formidable competition between Pakistan and India, renowned cricketing juggernauts. At the onset of the tournament, Pakistan, holding the eighth rank, surpassed preconceived notions by persistently enhancing their showings, culminating in their progression throughout the competition. The team’s successful triumph over England during the semi-final match served as the notable achievement that led to their inaugural qualification for the Champions Trophy final. In contrast, India, the reigning champions and preeminent candidates, demonstrated their superiority during the initial rounds, culminating in an exhilarating final confrontation against Pakistan. The situation was arranged for a grand confrontation between India’s formidable group of batters and Pakistan’s impressive assembly of bowlers. The momentous culminating match of the International Cricket Council One Day International tournament witnessed a captivated global audience and resulted in Pakistan’s impressive triumph by a staggering margin of 180 runs, marking their greatest margin of victory in an ICC ODI final. The aforementioned tournament brought into focus the longstanding cricket-based conflict between the aforementioned nations and engendered moments that were truly remarkable for followers of the sport. Such occurrences served to emphasize the profound importance of this occasion in the annals of cricketing history.