It looked improbable when things began but as the weeks have gone by, Pakistan has emerged as 50-50 contenders for the ICC Champions Trophy title. When things began, the Sarfraz Ahmed-led side was a bleak unit with a horrid show to present themselves to the world in the tournament that has the top-eight ranked teams in the world. In effect, their showing against India was anything but that of a champion. And yet, two weeks later, they are in contention for the trophy and have gone from dark horses for some to title challengers and with good reason.
Champions Trophy Pakistan matches result
Pakistan vs India: Lost by 124 runs (D/L method)
Pakistan vs South Africa: Pakistan won by 19 runs (D/L method)
Pakistan vs Sri Lanka: Pakistan win by 3 wickets
Pakistan vs England: Pakistan won by 8 wickets
This would undoubtedly be Pakistan’s most comprehensive and convincing win of the tournament and example that one can only take the 1992 World Cup winners lightly on their own peril. They’ve long carried the unpredictable tag and that’s what makes them dangerous – something England found out in Cardiff. Pakistan won the toss and put England in to bat and the Eoin Morgan-led side suffered a terrible middle order collapse that shaped things up beautifully in favour of the Pakistan. Once again, Hasan Ali emerged as the hero for Pakistan with another three-wicket haul. In reply, there were no dramatics this time from the Pakistan batting with Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman building the foundation which Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez added upon to get the win.