Adelaide: In the cricket’s version of a gladiatorial streetfight, defending champions India thumped Pakistan by 76 runs after scoring 300 batting first on Sunday in a high-voltage World Cup clash at the Adelaide Oval.
Here is how the action unfolded.
Needing 301 runs to beat India, Ahmed Shehzad and Younis Khan opened the Pakistan innings. Younis Khan was offered a gift on his pads in the third over of the innings by Umesh Yadav and he did the needful of stroking it for four.
However, Shami ended Younis Khan’s innings and caught him napping against a superb bouncer in the fourth over.
But Haris Sohail and Ahemd Shehzad did not give too much joy to Indian bowlers as the duo punished Indian bowlers who faltered in line and length. However, the Indian bowlers hit back by restricting the run flow and pushed Pakistan on backfoot.
The slowdown in run-rate helped India as Sohail got out off Ashwin’s bowling giving an easy catch to Suresh Raina who was standing in the slips.
Ahmed Shehzad was then joined by skipper Misbah-ul-Haq. The Virat Kohli lookalike played some big shots but looked in a great hurry. That caused him his wickety and led to Pakistan’s downfall. Shehzad hit one hard off Yadav’s bowling towards point where Jadeja took a sharp catch.
Yadav then dismissed Sohaib Maqsood on the next ball after the right-hander edged one to Raina in the slips.
Jadeja then added one more wicket to India’s wicket tally as the Pakistan wicketkeeper edeged one to Dhoni. The umpire initially ruled Akmal not-out. But India decided to review the decision and the outcome of it ended Akmal’s stay in the middle.
Afridi added some fireworks but his stay was shortlived as he got out trying to hit a full toss. Kohli did a fine job running backwards to grab that catch.
Shami struck once again in the same over to send Riaz to the dressing room. Yasir Shah accompanied Misbah for a while but hee too got cheaply. Pakistan skipper, continued his fight but he too got out after scoring 76 runs.
Mohit Sharma then wrapped up Pakistan innings after he dismissed Mohammad Irfan in the 47th over to seal India’s thumping win over Pakistan. India, have now won all the six games against the arch-rivals in the World Cup.
Earlier, Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan made a watchful start against Pakistan opening bowlers Mohammad Irfan and Sohail Khan. Dhawan had a close shave in the second over when Sohail appealed for LBW. But the ball had hit his bat before going to smash into his pads.
Dhawan then hit first four of the Indian innings when he cut one off Sohail Khan’s bowling. Rohit joined the party as he stroked two boundaries in the fifth over to take India’s score to 21.
Meanwhile, the Indian fans were missing Sachin Tendulkar. The legend was a key part of the Indian team during last six World Cups. The jam packed Adelaide also witnessed fans having a good time.
Dhawan launched into Mohammad Irfan in the seventh over and smacked him for a six over the mid-wicket boundary. However, the joy for Indian fans was shortlived as Sohail Khan dismissed Rohit Sharma in the 8th over.
It was a battle of attrition as Kohli and Dhawan played it safe while Pakistan too did not try hard to put Indian under pressure. India brought up their fifty in the 12th over. Pakistan had a chance to cut short Kohli’s innings. But Yasir Shah could not manage to hold onto a difficult catch off Afridi’s bowling.
While Kohli and Dhawan were watchful in the earlier part of their partnership, the Delhi duo launched into the attack as they brought up fifty-run partnership. Dhawan, who had a horrible run recently, scored his first World Cup fifty in his first ever game in the tournament.
Kohli, meanwhile, attacked the young leg-spinner Yasir Shah to up the ante. Then, he joined his Delhi teammate and brought up his fifty. The duo continued to torment Pakistan with hitting boundaries at will and without much trouble.
But Pakistan managed to break the partnership when the confusion between Kohli and Dhawan cost India Dhawan’s wicket. Kohli first gave a call for a quick single but seeing Afridi moving in quickly, Kohli decided not to run. However, it was tad too late for Dhawan and he had to walk back to the dressing room after scoring 73 off 76 balls.
After Dhawan’s dismissal, Suresh Raina joined Kohli in the middle. The Kohli-Raina duo did not take too many rusn in the powerplay overs and scored only 25 runs. However, as the batting powerplay came to an end, the duo bulldozed Pakistan bowling attack.
While Raina scored a fifty, Virat Kohli became the first Indian batsman to score a hundred against Pakistan in the World Cup. Raina, then hammered the Pakistan bowlers with some crisp boundaries all over the ground.
But India lost their vice-captain after he scored a ton. Virat Kohli, who was having a poor run of form, found an apt occasion to return to form. Raina too could not last long and got out off the bowling of Sohail Khan.
Pakistan then had a chance to dismiss Jadeja but could not as they messed up on a run-out chance.