India and Pakistan are half way through the final touchdown of the Champions Trophy 2017. While the Indian team struggled to restrict the Pakistani batsmen, the latter were skillfully tackling the deliveries only to ceaselessly send the ball beyond the boundaries. However, there was one name that single-handedly dominated the first innings of this big final. Fakhar Zaman, the opening batsman of Pakistan scored his maiden century and received tonnes of appreciation from the entire cricket fraternity.
Zaman's twelve fours and three sixes contributed to his brilliant 112 runs in 106 balls and allowed Pakistan to put up a total score of 338 on board. He was not included in the Pakistani squad for their first match against India.
He scored his century from 92 balls in his third match of the tournament and successfully built pressure upon the defending champions. Team India will now have to chase down the second highest score in the history of Champions Trophy in order to defend their title.
Here are five unknown facts about the 27-year-old:
#1 Fakhar Zaman moved to Karachi in 2007 and joined the Pakistan Navy as the sailor. He was a part of the Navy for a year and occasionally played inter-department cricket matches. After a year, he focused his attention entirely to cricket and never looked back.
#2 Zaman remained an uncelebrated part of the domestic cricket for five years. In 2013, he met former Pakistani cricketer Younis Khan who advised the then 23-year-old to play for his own region Mardan and represented Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Abbottabad Falcons and Balochistan in inter-region cricket tournaments.
#3 In the 2016 edition of the Pakistan Cup, he scored 297 runs in five games including two fifties and a century at an average of 59.4. It made him the second highest run-getter in the tournament.
#4 In the Qaid-e-Azam trophy 2016-17 he scored 663 runs in the competition at an average of 51, including 170 in the second innings of the final despite the game being dominated by double twin centuries by former Pakistan skipper, Salman Butt.
#5 He has an average of 42 in first class and 49 in list A. His fantastic performance earned him a spot in the Lahore Qalandars franchise in the Pakistan Super League, 2017. His 56 runs in 33 balls against the Karachi Kings offered a glance of the class his game beholds. This quickly earned him a call up to the Pakistan's ODI squad for the Champions Trophy and the rest is history.
As an additional fact, we would like to mention that the last time Fakhar scored a century in the final, his team Khyber Pakhtunkhwa went on to win the title. It will be interesting to see if The Indian Cricket team can work to turn the table in their favour as they set to chase the big score.