Pakistan are at it again.

The doctors of dealing with cricketing adversity have advanced to the Champions Trophy final against India at The Oval in London tomorrow night.

Three successful chases against South Africa, Sri Lanka and England followed a 124-run Duckworth-Lewis wilting against India in pool play.

At home, Pakistani fans are grappling with myriad corruption allegations from their Super League in February, and match-fixing accusations also fester elsewhere.


They have played a solitary one-day international series at home - against Zimbabwe in 2015 - since the March 2009 terrorist attacks endured by the Sri Lankan players on their bus in Lahore.

They have had players jailed for match-fixing and banned for chucking in the interim. They have been frozen out of securing any Indian Premier League riches. Their coach Bob Woolmer died in mysterious circumstances during the 2007 World Cup.

Yet they have again advanced to the showpiece of a world tournament.

The last one they won was the 2009 World T20 in England, weeks after those Lahore attacks. Pakistan have no peer when it comes to adapting, rebuilding and surviving in international cricket.

Charles Darwin would have stroked his beard and applauded.

Their ability to perform in front of sparse foreign crowds, albeit with a healthy expatriate component in the United Arab Emirates, remains a marvel of the sporting age.

The flair and joie de vivre displayed when they hit a vein of form creates compelling narratives.

Think Inzamam-ul-Haq hurtling them to victory in the 1992 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand; Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis reversing-swinging in tandem; or the batting elegance of Younis Khan across his career.

This tournament suggests the current side boasts their share of match-winners.
Fledgling pace bowler Hasan Ali nullified South Africa with three for 24 from eight overs; Fakhar Zaman lived up to his name in his debut series with 50 off 36 balls against Sri Lanka; Rumman Raees took two for 44 from nine overs on ODI debut against England after a late call-up when Mohammad Amir suffered a back spasm.

To these eyes, no cricketing contest matches the rivalry between Pakistan and India when you consider the political, economic and social impact of the 1947 partition.

Of their 124 completed ODIs, Pakistan have won 72 and India 52. They are 2-2 in Champion Trophy encounters, but Pakistan have never beaten India in six World Cup or five World T20 fixtures.

If Pakistan secure victory tomorrow it will be a further catalyst to the have-nots of the game that anything is possible.