The Men in Blue kept their World Cup record in-tact, beating Pakistan for the record seventh time, by a clinical 89-run margin at the Old Trafford in Manchester. India posted a massive first innings total on the back of Rohit Sharma’s scintillating knock and vital fifties from Virat Kohli and KL Rahul. In the second innings, Pakistan did give a slight scare but then once again they boiled up in the pressure of a World Cup game against India and suffered a huge batting collapse and with that lost the game as well. With this victory, India have now climbed to the third spot on the points table.
Rohit’s staggering knock propels India to 336
After losing the toss and being put in to bat first, India got off to a sensational start as the new set of openers, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul provided a solid foundation at the top. They showed great composure and brilliant temperament to put up a fabulous opening partnership of 136 runs before Rahul got out for a vital 78-ball 57 in the 24th over. However, his dismissal didn’t put much of pressure on Rohit and he kept playing his natural aggressive game at the other end. He racked up a phenomenal hundred off just 85 balls showing his class in such a big game.
Rohit compiled an excellent stand of 98 runs along with skipper Virat Kohli before falling victim to Hasan Ali, but not before racking up sensational innings of 140 runs off 113 balls. After Rohit’s dismissal, Kohli then carried India’s progress further in the innings and scored a brilliant knock of 77 runs off just 65 balls.
Towards the end, India looked well set to post a huge total, but the Mohammad Amir bowled an amazing late spell to pick up three crucial wickets of Kohli, Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni and with that restricted India to 336 in 50 overs.
Kuldeep and Pandya combine together to rally Pakistan
Pakistan got off to a disappointing start in the big chase as their opening batter Imam-ul-Haq got out cheaply to Vijay Shankar in just the fifth over with 13 runs on the board. India also suffered a healthy blow as their premier swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar was forced to leave the field after sustaining a hamstring injury on his left leg. After Imam’s early wicket, Babar Azam joined hands along with Fakhar Zaman to bail their team out of the troublesome situation. The duo showed good amount of composure to tackle the quality spells from the Indian new ball bowlers and stitched an excellent partnership of 96 runs.
Both of them got set and also started to play some aggressive shots, but then came a massive moment in the game as Pakistan suffered a huge middle-order batting collapse. They first lost Babar, Fakhar who was playing at 62 also got out quickly and with that the collapse triggered. Pakistan lost four crucial wickets for just 12 runs and with this crumble, they also fell backwards in the chase. The duo of Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav bowled amazingly well to rattle the Pakistani middle-order.
After that collapse, Pakistan never recovered as the required run-rate increased quite significantly and all their best batsmen were already back in the pavilion. Pakistan managed to score 212/6 in their quota of 40 overs as per the Duckworth Lewis Stern (DLS) method because rain halted the game for quite a bit of time. For India, the troika of Kuldeep, Hardik and Shankar finished with two wickets each.
India: 336/5 in 50 overs (Rohit Sharma-140, Virat Kohli-77, KL Rahul-57; Mohammad Amir 3/47)
Pakistan: 212/6 in 40 overs (Fakhar Zaman-62, Babar Azam-48; Kuldeep Yadav 2/32, Vijay Shankar 2/22)
Result: India won the match by 89 runs (DLS Method).
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