Dominant India outplay Pakistan in World Cup clash in Manchester
Calling it the ‘mother and father of all cricketing battles’ or the ‘biggest game of the tournament’ have proved to be hollow phrases, merely to over hype the India-Pakistan match.
India 336 – 5 ( Rohit Sharma 140, Virat Kohli 77, KL Rahul 57; Mohammad Amir 3-47)
Pakistan 212 – 6 (Fakhar Zaman 62)
Result - India won by 89 runs (D/L)
It is no longer a contest for India, a much smarter and superior side of the two, as expected, completely outplayed its arch-rivals, in the World Cup fixture at Old Trafford.
The match turned into a nightmare for Sarfraz Ahmed’s men, who having come in as underdogs are placed ninth among ten teams in the World Cup points table. An 89-run defeat – based on Duckworth-Lewis method - against India has surely finished them off as a semi-final contender. It is all over for Pakistan, although they still have another four matches to play.
Winning the toss was the correct choice for Pakistan captain, Sarfraz Ahmed but the bowling attack lacked the cutting age in this pressure game. Asif Ali and Shaheen Afridi, had been replaced with two slow bowlers Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan in Pakistan line-up. It was soon evident that the Old Trafford wicket was full of runs with the ball coming on to the bat and a lightning outfield.
KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, two elegant right handers, opening in an ODI for the very first time, had enough short balls dished out, particularly by Hasan Ali, who was punished, to get the scoreboard moving. Pakistan failed to breakthrough in the first powerplay as India were placed comfortably 53-0 in 10 overs. Rohit’s fifty only needed 34 balls as Shadab’ s opening over went for 17.
The two run out opportunities went begging and the total reached 100 in 17.3 overs and Pakistan were early on the back foot. A pulled six off Shoaib Malik saw Rahul pick up his fifty off 69 balls and India were 146-1 from 25 overs at the half stage
Rohit has three ODI double hundreds to his name and once again played so well in a big game of the World Cup. India’s 200 arrived in 34.2 overs – an ideal platform – for a formidable total by going big in the last 10 overs. A 350 plus total was there for the taking for India.
Severe on anything short or off-line, Rohit Sharma played a majestic innings, without ever needing to push hard. He was in complete control and it is a mystery for a batsman of his class not to have succeeded in Test cricket, just as yet. He was livid with himself at getting out for a superb 140 off just 112 balls, having smashed 14 fours and 3 sixes against a bowling attack that had no answer to this great ODI player.
Rain interrupted India’s progress when it had Kohli to provide the finishing touches, at 305-4 after 46.4 overs. On resumption of play, the Indian captain was dismissed after a typically assertive 77 off just 65 balls, by Mohammad Amir, who was the only impressive Pakistan bowler today with 3-47 off his10 overs. India’s final total of 336-5 off 50 overs has posed a great challenge for their opponents.
Feeling his left hamstring, Bhuvneshwar Kumar walked off the field after bowling 2.4 overs and by the 14th over of Pakistan innings, a confirmation came of his no longer taking any part in the game. His replacement Vijay Shankar, with his first ball trapped Imam-ul-Haq leg-before for India’s first breakthrough.
Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam steadily took Pakistan to 102-1 off 21.4 overs as the second wicket stand held key for their side. Just when the pair aimed to break loose, both were dismissed by Kuldeep Yadav – Babar (bowled on a chinaman) and Fakhar (sweeping). It got even worse when Hardik Pandya prized out experienced Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik of successive balls. India had ripped the heart out of Pakistan top order in claiming four front-line batsmen for 12 runs, within 20 balls.
Pakistan 140-5 after 30 overs and with the asking run-rate now having climbed beyond 10 runs an over, the result of Match 22 of the World Cup was not in doubt. When rain returned to the ground at 6.20pm, Pakistan had limped to 166-5 after 35 overs and then then finally 212-6 in 40 overs, resulting in a convincing World Cup victory, for much fancied India.
India - Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli(c), Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni(wk), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
Pakistan - Fakhar Zaman, Imam ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed(c)(wk), Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hassan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir
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