It was a dream victory. A truly Oval victory in spirit. It was on this very ground that Team Pakistan—led by A.H. Kardar—had humbled England, arguably the strongest team of its era—- a team that was studded with stars like Hutton, Graveny, Edritch, May, Compton, Statham and Tyson. In one brilliant spell of lethal leg-cutters, Fazal Mahmood had blown away England. On the 18th of June 2017, about sixty three years later, in a lethal opening spell, Mohammad Aamir destroyed mighty India’s world-beating top order, to pave the way to a victory that is unlikely not to live in the Nation’s memory for decades to come. Not meaning thereby that it was a lone warrior’s performance that undid Kohli’s team. A brilliant century by the new-comer Fakhar Zaman and a morale-boosting fifty from the bat of Azhar Ali had set the mood of the day. A stabilizing knock by Babar Zaman, and a blitz by Hafeez had taken the match away and away from India’s record-breaking batsmen. Hassan Ali had yet again shown his class and Shadaab had picked up a couple of key wickets to ensure that there were celebrations worldwide in the Pakistani homes and streets.
Even the skies of the Occupied Kashmir echoed with the cries of Pakistan Zindabad.
Pakistan needed this victory as was made abundantly clear by General Bajwa’s announcement that the green-shirted battlers had earned an Umra trip.
Team Pakistan had won not through any fluke. On its way to the Final, it had beaten South Africa, Sri Lanka and most importantly the favourites England.
There are some lessons to be learnt from this tournament. The Karachi media lobby should now end its campaign against Azhar Ali and Hafeez. There is no point in sowing the seeds of discord on regional grounds in a team that has played as a team. There are three ex-captains playing under Sarfaraz, and all the three—- Hafeez, Azhar and Shoaib Malik have contributed heart-warmingly. Remember Shoaib’s lusty blows in the South Africa encounter. Without his quick 16 runs, Pakistan would have been knocked out of the tournament on D/L method.
Let us relish the feel of being world-beaters.