Zaman: I thought I would miss the final

Zaman struck a career-best 114 to lead Pakistan to Champions Trophy glory

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman has revealed that he was concerned he would miss the Champions Trophy final against India on Sunday.

Zaman withdrew from Pakistan’s training session on Saturday as he felt unwell. He then proceeded to tell the team’s physio that he was unsure if he would be fit enough to participate in the final.

However, after being given medication to settle his stomach, Zaman woke up at 7am on Sunday and declared himself fit.

“When we came for practise I wasn’t feeling good,” Fakhar told ESPNcricinfo. “I hit five or 10 balls and said to the coach, ‘I don’t want to practise today as I’m not feeling well.’

“I went back to the dressing room and told the masseur and physio that I didn’t feel good and couldn’t work.

“We went back to the hotel and they treated me very well. Our physio, Shane Hayes, was with me the whole night. I said to him, ‘I can’t play tomorrow,’ but he gave me protein and glucose tablets and said ‘You will play tomorrow.’

“I woke in the morning feeling good. I sent him a message at 7am saying, ‘Thanks, Shane. I’m feeling good’.”

During the match, Fakhar was caught behind off the bowling of Jasprit Bumrah when he was on three runs, but he was given a reprieve as Bumrah had overstepped and bowled a no-ball.

The 27-year-old took full advantage of his extra life and went on to score his maiden hundred before ultimately being dismissed for a career-best 114, during which he clubbed 12 boundaries and three sixes.

Fakhar ended up being named Man of the Match as Pakistan demolished India by 180 runs to win their first-ever Champions Trophy.

“I’m feeling very lucky,” he said. “It worked really well for me. Sometimes you get dropped or survive because of a no-ball but you don’t go on and score too many runs.

“At the start they were bowling very well. So I tried to play ball-to-ball. But when I saw there was no swing or movement off the wicket, I started to play my shots.”

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