It is often said that, bigger the clash, it brings out the best of a player and the Indian opener, Ro-Hitman Sharma (as he is famously called) proved the saying right by showing his class in the massive arch-rival clash against Pakistan at the Old Trafford in Manchester. He notched up his second hundred of the tournament and laid down a strong platform at the top along with new opening partner in KL Rahul. Towards the end, Virat Kohli looked set to take India towards a huge total before the rain gods decided to make an uninvited entry and halted the action. However, when the play resumed, the Pakistani bowlers did make a definite comeback by bowling well at the death.
Rohit and Rahul join hands for solid opening foundation
Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss and unsurprisingly elected to bowl first because of the rain threat looming large. The two Indian openers, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul came out with a set plan against the Pakistani bowlers. They decided to play out the in-form and dangerous Mohammad Amir and attack the rest of the bowlers. Thus, Rohit started playing the role of the aggressor, smacking Hasan Ali for 12 runs in the sixth over. They brought up the half-century partnership in just the 10th over and there was no looking back from that point.
Rohit notched up his half-century in the 12th over and he was once again looking in a fabulous touch. On the other end, Rahul, who was playing for the first time against Pakistan in a tournament such as the World Cup, also batted really well to score a vital innings of 57 runs and stitched an excellent 136-run partnership with Rohit before getting out in the form of a soft dismissal. However, he had done a great job in laying down a solid foundation at the top.
Rohit racks up his 2nd WC 2019 ton
Even after losing his partner, Rohit never lost his focus and kept playing his natural aggressive game at the other end but now with a new partner in skipper Virat Kohli. The in-form Indian opener racked up his 24th ODI hundred off just 85 balls and this was Rohit’s second ton of the competition. He continued to make merry against the Pakistani bowlers after the hundred and played a sensational innings of 140 runs off 113 balls that included of 14 fours and 3 sixes. Rohit stitched a fantastic partnership of 98 runs along with Kohli, before getting dismissed in the 39th over.
The stage was set for a massive first innings total and this is why Hardik Pandya was given a promotion in order to up the ante. He was looking in a decent touch, playing an important cameo of 26 runs before falling victim while attempting a big shot. But Kohli stood tall like always and brought up another amazing fifty, before Pakistan made a slight comeback with the wickets of Pandya and then of MS Dhoni as well. Amir picked up two quick wickets to stop the aggressive run-flow.
The showers halted the play in the 47th over and when the game resumed Kohli was the first one to be dismissed for a well-made 65-ball 77. Amir bowled extremely well at the death to restrict India to 336 in 50 overs. He registered brilliant figures of 10-1-47-3.
India 336/5 in 50 overs (Rohit Sharma-140, Virat Kohli-77, KL Rahul-57; Mohammad Amir 3/47, Wahab Riaz 1/71) vs Pakistan.