Mohammad Amir once again delivered with the ball but Pakistan once again failed to make the most of it. Just like the game against Australia, where he had picked up 5 for 30, Amir looked in fine form against arch-rivals India on Sunday. With Pakistan deciding to bowl first, Amir made sure to keep things tight from his end. He did not let the India openers play the big shots right from the word go.
By the time he finished the sixth over of his quota, he had conceded only 18 runs. The left-arm pacer then stopped India from crossing the 350-run mark by dismissing Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya. He finished the game with impressive figures of 3 for 47. However, there was little support from the other end and India ended up posting a massive total of 336 for 5. Rohit Sharma starred with the bat, scoring 140. KL Rahul and Kohli impressed too, by scoring fifties.
Pakistan, chasing 337, collapsed to 166/6 before a rain delay saw their target revised to another 136 runs required from 30 balls – a near-impossible task. They eventually finished on 212 for 6 to suffer their seventh consecutive defeat against India in the World Cup.
And Amir didn’t take the defeat in his own stride. Pakistan journalist Saj Sadiq posted a tweet, saying that the pacer was not at all happy with his teammates as he left the field in anger after the defeat.
“Mohammad Amir clearly unhappy with some of his team-mates as he left the field. Lots of head-shaking as he headed towards the dressing-room,” wrote the journalist.
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.