India cruised to comprehensive seventh World Cup win of 89 runs ( by Duckworth Lewis method) against arch-rivals Pakistan at Manchester on Sunday. The Men in Blue came up with a dominating performance to take down their opponents. India posted a massive score of 336 runs and then followed it with a great bowling performance despite been one bowler short.
India vs Pakistan – Pakistan’s innings:
Pakistan has not let off the hook as India’s bowling openers kept a tight grip on the proceedings. However, India suffered a huge blow in the fifth over when their pack leader Bhuvneshwar Kumar pulled his hamstring and could not take any further part. But India got a wicket on the first ball Vijay Shankar bowled in his World Cup debut. Imam-ul-Haq was plumbed in front and Shankar was able to borne fruit of the good work done by Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Meanwhile, Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam were able to get back Pakistan into the contest. The southpaw batsman took the aggressive role and played some fine shots. The pair added 104 runs for the second wicket partnership to keep Pakistan stay neck to neck with India.
Kuldeep Yadav turned the match on its head.
However, a collapse soon followed which saw Pakistan’s four wickets crumble in a matter of 12 runs. Kuldeep Yadav bowled the ball of the match when Babar Azam got a faint edge on to the stumps. Subsequently, Fakhar Zaman top edged to short fine leg and India was right on top again.
Mohammad Hafeez found Vijay Shankar at deep square leg when the right-hander flicked Hardik Pandya. Shoaib Malik continued his dismal form going as his played on to the stumps to get out for a golden duck. Thus, Hardik Pandya had two wickets in two balls and Pakistan was behind the eighth-ball.
India vs Pakistan – India’s Innings:
India got off to a fine start as Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul batted at the top of their game after Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and decided to bowl first. Rohit Sharma was the aggressor whereas KL Rahul took a backseat to the assault. The Indian vice-captain timed the ball with perfection and found the middle of the bat from the get-go.
The right-hander pierced the gaps and the Pakistan bowlers didn’t have any to Rohit Sharma’s attack barring Mohammad Amir who was able to keep him quiet. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul batted with aplomb with some miss understanding while running between the wickets.
Rohit had a new opening partner and the lack of communication was palpable when KL Rahul sent back his partner when Rohit was on 32 runs. Furthermore, there was one more mishap but India was able to hold on.
Rohit Sharma was on song.
The Indian openers added a fine alliance of 136 runs as both of them batted at the top of their game. However, the partnership was put paid by Wahab Riaz when KL Rahul could not time his cover drive and gave a simple catch to short cover.
However, Rohit Sharma kept going strong as continued his attack on the Pakistan bowlers. Rohit Sharma completed his 24th ODI hundred and his second of this World Cup to keep up his dream form going. Sharma played a blistering knock of 140 runs off 113 balls On the other hand, Virat Kohli was also able to hit the ground running.
Kohli converted the ones into twos as ran like a cheetah between the wickets. The Indian captain made most of the big outfield and once again looked at his best. Kohli scored 77 runs and also became the fastest to 11000 ODI runs in 222 innings. However, India could not add the finishing touches as they would have liked. Men in Blue could only add 51 runs in the last six overs.