Fantastic Fakhar hits maiden ton as Pakistan post huge target

Fakhar Zaman scored a magnificent maiden international century as Pakistan set fierce rivals India a challenging target in the ICC Champions Trophy final at an electric Oval on Sunday.

Opening batsman Fakhar blasted 114 off only 106 balls with some extravagant strokes before Pakistan went on to post 338-4 - the biggest total of the tournament and their second-highest ODI total against India - from their 50 overs after being asked to bat by Virat Kohli.

Fakhar was given a reprieve when he was caught behind with only three runs to his name, but Jasprit Bumrah (0-68) over-stepped and that proved to be very costly.

The fearless Fakhar put on 128 with Azhar Ali (59) before the latter was run out when his opening partner failed to set off for a quick single, while Mohammad Hafeez smashed a quickfire unbeaten 57 and Babar Azam (46) also chipped in as Pakistan gave themselves a great chance of winning the Champions Trophy for the first time.

The left-hander was also rattled on the helmet by a short ball from Bhuvneshwar Kumar early in his highly entertaining innings, yet was undeterred by that blow, putting the India attack to the sword.

Fakhar targeted spinners Ravichandran Ashwin (0-70) and Ravindra Jadeja (0-67), hitting three huge sixes and a further 12 boundaries on a flat pitch before falling to Hardik Pandya.

The outstanding Fakhar only made his one-day international debut in the win over South Africa last week, but the 27-year-old had already made up for lost time with half-centuries against Sri Lanka and England.

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