It was supposed to be the most hyped contest of not just the world cup but the year 2019 but the real challenge was to get an actual game out there in the middle amidst all the forecasts of a washout. Well the game did happen and how. India completely outplayed the arch rivals in all departments of the game and made an absolute no contest out of the match. India took the world cup scoreline to 7-0 with an 89 run bashing to Pakistan.
The match lived up to its hype only until it started courtesy the thousands of Indian and Pakistani fans lifting the stadium roof with their noise. The ground was buzzing with Indian and Pakistani fans waving their national flags wildly. To start with, India beat Pakistan hands down in the number of supporters present in the stadium. It was a sea of blue with little green islands being spotted here and there.
Pakistan won the toss and put India in to bat on what they thought would be a seaming track given the overcast conditions but India on the other hand were spot on with their planning as they played two spinners on what they knew was going to be a dry pitch. The challenge though was to see off the new ball from Mohd. Amir that too when the regular opener Shikhar Dhawan was out of the game courtesy a broken thumb.
KL Rahul was promoted to open the batting with Rohit Sharma as Vijay Shankar came in the team to fill the No. 4 spot. As expected, Mohd. Amir bowled 4 quite overs in his first spell but Rohit and Rahul kept the runs coming from the other end off Hassan Ali, who today became the holder of the notorious record of being the most expensive Pakistani bowler in any world cup match with figures of 9 overs for 84 runs and a solitary wicket.
In India: Politics & Entertainment
While KL Rahul was watchful at one end, Rohit on the other end was at his majestic best. He flayed the Pakistani attack from ball 1 as he cut and pulled his way to his fastest fifty off just 34 balls and like he usually does, carried on for a big knock with utmost ease. When Rohit miscued a scoop to be caught short fine leg, he had already scored a classy 140 off just 113 balls. The Indian top order came to the party as KL Rahul too scored a half century in a crucial and dominating opening stand of 136 runs inside 24 overs.
Virat Kohli joined Rohit Sharma in the middle at the fall of the 1st wicket and carried on with great ease to add more numbers to both, his personal record and to one of the most prolific partnerships of the modern times – Virat and Rohit. They added 98 runs together in about 14 overs. In the process, Virat became the fastest batsman ever in ODIs to score 11,000 runs when he reached his personal score of 57 runs. Virat was in the news for more than one reasons today as he created another row when he walked off despite being given not out by the umpire on the appeal for caught behind by Mohd. Amir.
While walking off is not new in cricket, it was notable this time because the replays and ultra-edge clearly showed there was no contact whatsoever between the bat and the ball. Virat was livid with himself later in the dressing room when he saw the replays. Virat made 77 runs off 65 balls to give impetus to the innings at the fag end but Pakistan made a comeback of sorts with the dismissal of Kohli. India looked set to get the total anywhere in excess of 350 runs at one point had to ultimately settle for 336 runs largely due to the immaculate bowling of Amir who finished off yet another brilliant bowling performance with 3 wickets for just 47 runs off his 10 overs.
Pakistan innings started after a brief rain interval and the tone was set early by the Indian bowlers as Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah bowled tight lines and lengths and did not let the Pakistani openers away at all. India were in for a scare early as Bhuvneshwar pulled his hamstring in his 3rd over and limped off the ground but little did anyone know that the replacement brought in to complete the over, Vijay Shankar would turn that scare into joy as he trapped Imam ul haq in front with the first ball that he bowled on his world cup debut.
Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam stitched together a century partnership for the second wicket but they were always behind the game given the rate at which they scored. The required run rate had crossed the 8 runs an over mark by the 20th over of the Pakistan chase. When Kuldeep Yadav sent back Babar Azam (48) and Fakhar Zaman (62) in consecutive overs and Pandya got Hafeez and Shoaib Malik in one over, the writing was on the wall for Pakistan. Vijay Shankar pitched in again with the wicket of Pakistan Skipper Sarfaraz to peg Pakistan back further to 165 for 6 when the heavens opened up again.
Pakistan were 85 runs behind the Duckworth Lewis Par Score at that moment and had the match been abandoned, India would have won by 85 runs, but the match presumed with Pakistan needing 302 runs to win off 40 overs which made the equation into a simple 136 runs required in 5 overs. With the help of some late lusty blows from Imad wasim (46 runs off 39 balls), Pakistan ended at 212 for 6 in their 40 over giving India an emphatic win by 89 runs (D/L Method).
India would be delighted with their performance not just because of the opposition they beat but majorly because of the good form shown by the batsmen, bowlers and the fielders after getting to play after a long time as the previous match against New Zealand got washed out. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s injury might be a big blow but we are yet to know his status. Pakistan on the other hand find themselves in a very difficult position as they need to win each of their games now to have any chance of qualifying for the semi-finals.
As an Indian fan, the result was a block buster but the match overall was a dud affair with no contest at all.
Scores (India v Pakistan):
Ind : 336/5 (50 overs)
Pak: 212/6 (40 overs)
M.O.M. : Rohit Sharma
Key Records (India v Pakistan):
- This match between India & Pakistan was ODI match no.4161.
- Indian Opener Rohit Sharma scored his 24th Century.
- During the course of his century, Rohit Sharma scored his fastest ODI 50 (off 34 balls) and second fastest century (off 85 balls).
- KL Rahul scored his third ODI Fifty.
- Rohit Sharma became second Indian after Virat Kohli to score a century against Pakistan in World Cups.
- Virat Kohli became the fastest batsman to 11,000 ODI runs. He holds the record for fastest 8000, 9000, 10000 ODI runs.
- Virat Kohli became the first Cricketer to walk on a “not out” situation (he was adjudged “not out” by umpires and was found not out in replays as well)
- Hassan Ali became the most expensive Pakistani bowler in any world cup match.
- Vijay Shankar scalped a wicket on World Cup Debut ball.
- India won their 7th World Cup Match against Pakistan (they’re yet to lose one against Pakistan in any World Cup)
- This was Virat Kohli’s 52nd win as a captain. His half century was his 51st ODI half century.
- Fakhar Zaman scored his 11th Half Century.