Champions Trophy 4th Match: India quartet annihilate Pakistan in rain-affected showdown

Yuvraj’s 52nd half-century was a highly entertaining one and earned him the Man of the Match award

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

India batsmen Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, captain Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh all clubbed half-centuries to lead their side to a 124-run win over Pakistan via the Duckworth-Lewis method at Edgbaston.

The quartet made 91, 68, 81 not out and 53 respectively to ensure the defending champions began their Champions Trophy campaign on the right foot.

Being put into bat first, India made a solid start to their innings and were sitting on 46/0 in the 10th over when the rain came.

After a delay of approximately 45 minutes, the players were back out on the field.

Continuing on from where they left off, Rohit and Dhawan ended up amassing a 136-run partnership, during which both players brought up their half-centuries.

With India firmly in control, Pakistan were in dire need of a wicket, but they had to wait until the 25th over to get the breakthrough as Dhawan was dismissed by Shadab Khan for 68 off 65 balls, which included six boundaries and a six.

Dhawan struck his 18th fifty in ODI cricket

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Just when Rohit and Kohli has settled the innings down with a 37-run stand, the rain returned and the players were ushered off the field.

Due to the long delay, the match was reduced to 48 overs and to make matters worse, Rohit was run out by Babar Azam for 91 off 119 deliveries, which included seven boundaries and two sixes.

Rohit made his 30th ODI fifty

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Kohli and Yuvraj steadied the innings for India as they put together a 93-run partnership, during which both players surpassed their half-centuries, before Yuvraj was given out lbw off the bowling of Hasan Ali for 53 off 32 balls, which included eight boundaries and a six.

Kohli and Hardik Pandya continued to take the attack to Pakistan and as a result, India ended up finishing on 319/3 off their 48 overs.

Kohli scored 81 off 68 balls, which included six boundaries and three sixes, while Pandya remained undefeated on 20 off six deliveries, which included three sixes.

Kohli scored his 40th ODI fifty

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Hasan and Shadab picked up one wicket apiece.

With the Duckworth-Lewis method coming into effect, Pakistan were set a target of 324 to win off their 48 overs.

However, after scoring 22 runs off 4.5 overs, the heavens parted and play was suspended yet again. In that time, Pakistan’s target was changed to 289 runs from 41 overs.

Once play resumed, Pakistan added 25 runs to their score before Ahmed Shehzad was trapped lbw off the bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar for 12.

Babar Azam could only manage to make eight runs, while Azhar Ali scored 50 off 65 balls, which included six boundaries, before he was sent packing by Ravindra Jadeja.

Azhar’s 10th ODI fifty went in vain

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Following Azhar’s departure, Pakistan continued to lose wickets at regular intervals and since none of their middle or lower order batsmen put up much of a fight, they were bowled out for 164. Wahab Riaz did not bat due to the ankle injury he sustained while bowling.

Umesh Yadav was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Pandya and Jadeja snapped up two wickets apiece. Kumar, meanwhile, claimed one wicket.

Kohli was thrilled to have started the Champions Trophy on a high, and said: “With the bat and ball, right up there – I would say nine out of 10. In the field we were still 6 today. Very strong performance, we’ve taken the confidence from the practice games. We need to tighten our fielding to compete hard against the best teams.

“Quite delighted with all batsmen chipping in with runs. Shikhar and Rohit – last time we won here, the opening partnership was crucial. Rohit took some time going, but he’s coming back from an injury, and international cricket is different to IPL. I felt like a club batsman while playing alongside Yuvi, the way he was hitting the ball. And Hardik, 18 off five balls, was outstanding.

“We went with four seamers purely because we’re playing Pakistan. They play spin really well, and most of them are right-handers. In pressure situations, to have mid-on, mid-off up and hit hard lengths, gives us an advantage. Against other sides, we might use two spinners, depending on their strengths.”

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed was less than impressed with his side’s performance, and said: “Everything was under control after 40 overs, but we lost the plot in the last eight. Credit to India’s batsmen. They scored 124 in those last eight, and the momentum went to India. I think we need to stick together and control our bowling rate, especially [in the] last few overs.”

Yuvraj was named Man of the Match, and said: “I thought we all batted really well. The openers gave us a good start, Virat finished well, and it gave me the opportunity to go and attack. You just have to go and back yourself, and tell the opposition that you’re here to attack.

“I was lucky I was dropped, but I capitalised and I was hitting it well. I finished well. India-Pakistan is always a big game, and I think it has set us up really well. Hopefully we’ll take this confidence into the next game against Sri Lanka.”

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