ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 4th Match: Kohli helps India demolish arch-rivals

Kohli celebrates after scoring his 22nd ODI century

Kohli celebrates after scoring his 22nd ODI century

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Pakistan’s wait to beat India in a World Cup match will continue after Virat Kohli scored a sensational century to help the Indians demolish their arch-rivals by 76 runs in Adelaide.

Kohli was well supported by batsman Suresh Raina and opener Shikhar Dhawan, who made 74 and 73 respectively.

However, Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and pace bowler Sohail Khan deserve some credit as the former scored a valiant 76 and the latter took his maiden five-wicket haul.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni would have been brooding over his decision to bat first after opening batsman Rohit Sharma was caught by ul-Haq at mid-off off the bowling of Khan for 15.

Dhawan and Kohli made up for the early loss of Sharma with a 129-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Dhawan was run out by ul-Haq for 73, which came off 76 balls and included seven boundaries and a six.

Dhawan hit seven boundaries and a six during his knock of 73

Dhawan hit seven boundaries and a six during his knock of 73

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Kohli and Raina kept the runs flowing with a 110-run partnership, during which Kohli registered his 22nd ODI century and Raina his half-century, before Kohli was caught behind off the bowling of Khan.

Kohli’s brilliant knock of 107 came off 126 balls and included eight boundaries.

Raina ended up making 74 off 56 deliveries, which included five boundaries and three sixes, before he was caught by Haris Sohail off the bowling of Khan.

Raina played some superb shots during his innings of 74

Raina played some superb shots during his innings of 74

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Following Raina’s dismissal, India’s lower order collapsed as they went from 284/4 to finishing on 300/7 off their 50 overs.

Khan was the pick of the bowlers with five wickets, while Wahab Riaz chipped in with one.

Khan finished with a career-best 5-55 off 10 overs

Khan finished with a career-best 5-55 off 10 overs

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Chasing 301 to win, Pakistan got off to a horrible start as opener Younis Khan was caught behind off the bowling of Mohammed Shami for six runs.

Sohail and Ahmed Shehzad steadied the innings with a 68-run partnership before Sohail was caught by Raina at slip off the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin for 36.

Shehzad went on to score 47 before he was caught by Ravindra Jadeja off the bowling of Umesh Yadav.

Following Shehzad’s dismissal, Pakistan’s middle and lower order, with the exception of ul-Haq, crumbled under the pressure.

Despite making 76 off 84 balls, which included nine boundaries and a six, ul-Haq could not save his side from being crushed by 76 runs.

Ul-Haq was Pakistan's top-scorer with 76 runs

Ul-Haq was Pakistan’s top-scorer with 76 runs

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Shami was the most successful bowler with four wickets, while Yadav and Mohit Sharma snapped up two wickets apiece and Ashwin and Jadeja claimed one wicket each.

Ul-Haq was gutted to have lost, and said: “They played really well. They posted a big total, and bowled really well. We lost our way with three wickets in the middle. The pitch was really good, and with the quality of their batting, 300 was a pretty good effort. If all the batsmen had batted well, it could have been achieved. Two-three batsmen never got in, and got out in the first couple of balls. You can’t say much about that. Now we have to just look forward. You can’t just think of this game. We have to focus on the next one.”

Dhoni was ecstatic to have beaten Pakistan, and said: “It was a very good performance. I was very happy with our batting. When you are batting first, it is not easy over here. It doesn’t come on that nicely. It has a bit of variable pace initially. It gets comfortable after that. It was important we stayed in the middle. The big partnership between Virat and Shikhar [was brilliant]. And then Raina capitalised as well. The break in between was important. The World Cup itself can get you going. Also the fans. Even before we came here, there were a lot of fans in our lobby. That helped.”

Kohli was named Man of the Match, and said: “Probably one of the biggest in my career so far. Amazing way to begin our World Cup. Big game against Pakistan, amazing fight from them. Expectations are going to be there when you do well for your country. I just look to stand up to them because I hate to lose and play passionately. I like the expectations. Last couple of days have been too tough. Too many people in the hotel getting worked over. You just have to stay in your little space. My role in the team is to bat through, and the power-hitters can play around knowing that one end is secure. The way Shikhar and Suresh batted today is commendable. The support has been magnificent. We expect the same throughout the tournament. Too loud at times for MS to catch our attention.”

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