History repeats, Pakistan crumbles before mighty India

June 05, 2017 12:39
History repeats, Pakistan crumbles before mighty India

As India-Pakistan games go, fans expected feverish, passionate, nailbiting, rollercoaster contests in which even neutrals can’t remain uninvolved. Indian fans were celebrated once their team got 319/3 off 48 overs. They believed the match was over as a contest. Pakistan was bowled out for 164 inside 34 overs, giving India a 124-run win by the Duckworth/Lewis System.

For Virat Kohli and his team, this was the perfect opening game, one that would increase the aura of the defending champions.  Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, both fighting form and fitness issues, turned the clock back to the last Champions Trophy at which they repeatedly gave India winning starts.

India batted like the champion team with all the batsmen making significant contributions, none more than skipper Virat Kohli whose run-a-ball 81 was the cornerstone of India's 319-3 in 48 overs.

Pakistan's chase which was interrupted by rain, their target was revised to 289 in 41 overs, which proved beyond their reach as they kept on losing wickets regularly. None of the Pakistan batsmen could get going, barring Azhar Ali, who got a half century. They could not recover from the brilliant run out effected by Ravindra Jadeja to send back dangerman Shoaib Malik.

Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan (68 from 65 balls) calmed India's initial nerves with a solid partnership of 136. Yuvraj Singh (53 from 32), Kohli and Hardik Pandya (20 from just six balls with three successive sixes in final over by Imad Wasim) ensured India cross the 300-mark.

Sarfraz and Co never seemed threatening enough for Kohli's men. They put up an insipid performance and the Men in Blue hardly had to try anything to win the match.

By Premji

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