The Men in Blue (India) produced a thoroughly professional performance as they thrashed arch-rivals Pakistan by 9 wickets in their 2nd Super 4 game to almost confirm their place in the final of the tournament. Both Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma smashed exceptional centuries as they chased the total down with utmost ease in the end. Earlier in the day, it was some impressive performance by the Indian bowlers which restricted Pakistan to a mediocre score of 237 runs.
Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman didn’t start briskly. Fakhar was finding the middle of the bat. However, he failed to find the gaps and get the much-needed boundaries in the powerplay overs. After a 24 runs partnership between Fakhar and Imam, it was a great piece of the decision taken by MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma to go for a review jointly.
India produced a sensational all-round performance
Yuzvendra Chahal trapped Imam right in front of the stumps. The on-field umpire, however, ruled it in favour of the batting team. After getting the nod from MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma went for the review and replays shows the ball would have crashed onto the top of the off stump. Fakhar Zaman played a few lusty shots before falling to Kuldeep Yadav.
Shoaib Malik played a great knock and was instrumental in helping Pakistan go past the 200 mark quite easily. He carried on from where he left in the match against Afghanistan. Malik smashed 78 of 90 deliveries which helped Pakistan rebuild their innings. He shared a great partnership with Sarfaraz Ahmed and ensured Pakistan reached a competitive total.
The Indian bowlers were quite superb in the death overs and eventually restricted them to a below par score of 237 runs. For India Jaspirt Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal bagged 2 wickets each to have a dominating first half. In the 2nd innings, it was all about Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. Both smashed magnificent centuries as India romped home by 9 wickets in the end.
It was a superb display of batsmanship by both the openers. Rohit Sharma was dropped when India hadn’t scored 50. However, he made full use of his opportunity and went on to smash an unbeaten century which ensured India thrashed Pakistan by 9 wickets. Shikhar Dhawan kept thrashing the Pakistan bowlers all around the park while Rohit Sharma was the anchor. However, he smashed 7 fours and 4 big sixes during his unbeaten knock of 111.
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan looked in complete control of proceedings. They produced a special display of batsmanship and shared a 210 runs stand between them. Shikhar Dhawan showed yet again why he is regarded so highly in the limited overs version. Dhawan was in complete control of proceedings. He smashed 16 fours and a couple of sixes during his knock of 114.
Here is what Man of Match Shikhar Dhawan said at the post-match presentation
Enjoyed my game and I’ve been in good touch and just wanted to make the most of it. It’s a good batting track and I have enjoyed the way I was batting. It was sensible and liked the balance of it. Pakistan got a good bowling attack and I knew that as openers we have to stay because they have got good pace and once I got set and I kept carrying on. As I’ve mentioned I wanted to be sensible with my shots and I’ve thrown it away in the past and I have learnt the lessons the hard way.
That’s good for me and it’s nice to have that balance. When you play 20 overs it get easy. The plan was not to lose wickets in the first 10 overs and you might not get runs easily early on Rohit played an amazing knock today and he’s very good at converting those 50s into 100s and that’s something I’ve learnt from him. It’s good that we both value our wicket. Last game we both scored runs but didn’t have the hunger and we knew we shouldn’t be missing out on big knocks and I’m glad we did the job for the team today.