EDGBASTON – India have beat Pakistan by 124 runs in their opening game of ICC Champions Trophy 2017, at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham.
Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and opted to bowl first, hoping for the ball to swing in the first hour. The ball didn’t do much and both Indian openers were very cautious too, so they saw off the first ten overs. The field spread up, and ball a little older, Sharma began to open his arms and played some glorious shots to bring up his half-century.
The ball didn’t do much and both Indian openers were very cautious too, so they saw off the first ten overs. The field spread up, and ball a little older, Sharma began to open his arms and played some glorious shots to bring up his half-century.
Dhawan too took on Wahab Riaz to get to his fifty. The opening stand was 136 in just 24.3 overs when he hit one of the full tosses from Shadab straight to Azhar Ali in deep mid wicket. Azhar made no mistake, and India gifted first wicket to Pakistan, a breakthrough much needed.
Pakistan bowled a couple of tidy overs to get back into the game, wickets were still not coming, however, when the rains stopped the game for the second time, India had reached to 173/1 in 33.1 overs. The match was reduced to 48 overs each side when play resumed.
After resumption of the game, India began to change gears, Sharma took 13 runs off Wahab’s over before getting run out on 91, while trying to steal a tight single. India were 192/2 now.
Yuvraj was a little iffy in the early part of his inning as Hasan Ali dropped a sitter off Shadab’s wrong one. That chance was enough for him to grow into confidence, as he took on Pakistani bowlers in the depth overs.
India finished strong, Yuvraj and Kohli ripped Pakistan’s bowling at the end, Hardik Pandya provided the finishing. India finishes 319/3 in 48 overs.
But under D/L method, Pakistan’s target is 324 in 48 overs. As Pakistan batting progressed, there was another interruption of the rain which then reduced match to 41 overs, the revised target was 289.
Pakistan bowled better than they batted, but there were too many holes even in that bowling performance – Wahab Riaz, in particular, did not justify his inclusion ahead of Junaid Khan. Chasing a difficult, revised target was always going to be a steep test for Pakistan’s batting – they didn’t look like getting close at any point.
India, on the other hand, were simply better right through. A century opening stand, every member of the top four getting a half-century, an explosive finish, and no real weak links with the ball – none that this Pakistan side could exploit, at any rate. India’s record against Pakistan in ICC tournaments is now 13-2.