NEW DELHI: Skipper Rohit Sharma led from the front with a sublime half-century after a sensational bowling display by the bowlers as India extended their World Cup win record to 8-0 with a crushing seven-wicket victory over arch-rivals Pakistan at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Saturday.
This victory marked India’s third successive win in the ongoing World Cup, taking them to the top of the standings, after wins against Australia and Afghanistan in their previous encounters.
This was also Pakistan’s second lowest score, 191 all out, against India in the ODI World Cup after 180 all-out back in 1999.
Skipper Babar Azam (50) and Mohammad Rizwan (49) were the top scorers for Pakistan but they lost 8 wickets in a span of 36 runs to slip from 155/2 to 191 all out in a dramatic battling collapse.
Here’s how India outplayed Pakistan in a one-sided contest:
Siraj triggers collapse by dismissing well-set Babar
Young paceman Mohammed Siraj knocked over Babar’s off stump soon after he reached his fifty, triggering a batting collapse from which Pakistan could not recover. They lost their skipper at the score of 155. The delivery subtly deviated off a shorter length, catching the Pakistan captain off-guard as he misread it entirely. He found himself rooted to his crease, attempting to guide the ball to the third man area. It also broke an 82-run third wicket stand between Babar (50 off 58 balls) and Mohammed Rizwan (49 off 69 balls). It was Siraj’s second wicket after he trapped opener Abdullah Shafique to provide India a crucial breakthrough.
Kuldeep’s double-strike in one over
Kuldeep Yadav’s exceptional bowling performance, where he claimed 2 wickets for 35 runs, played a crucial role in rapidly pushing Pakistan into a downward spiral. Saud Shakeel was Kuldeep’s first victim, falling to the second ball of his third over. Kuldeep, a chinaman bowler, outwitted Shakeel with a deceptive leg-spinner that skidded off the pitch, surprising him as he attempted a sweep shot. The delivery struck him on the pads, resulting in a loud appeal from the Indian team. The umpire initially remained unmoved, but India decided to review, and the decision ultimately favoured them, as the review clearly displayed the ball’s trajectory heading towards the middle and leg stumps. Just four deliveries later in the same over, Kuldeep outfoxed Iftikhar Ahmed with a deceptive wrong’un. This crucial wicket saw Pakistan’s score plummet to 166 for five, a significant decline from their earlier position at 155 for two, when Babar Azam and Mohammed Rizwan added 82 runs for the third wicket to build a strong platform.
Bumrah’s timely two-wicket burst
Once Pakistan were down in the dumps, Jasprit Bumrah came into the act and provided India with a two-wicket burst to pile more misery on Pakistan as they were reduced from 166/5 to 171/7 in no time. Rizwan, who was approaching his well-deserved half-century, was the first to go as he encountered a deceptive wobbly seam slow off-cutter from Bumrah, who had an impressive bowling spell of 2 wickets for just 19 runs in 7 overs. The delivery skillfully found its way through the slender gap between Rizwan’s bat and pad, marking the decisive moment when Pakistan’s resistance came to a halt. Bumrah struck again an over later to knock over Shadab Khan’s off stump further denting hopes of Pakistan putting up a fighting total.
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The ‘Hitman’ Rohit regained his lost mojo after a cracking century against Afghanistan in the previous encounter. Rohit continued from where he left but missed out on a well-deserved ton to get out on 86. The Indian skipper showed his intent right from the word go as he was dealing in sixes, becoming the third batter to hit 300 sixes in ODIs after Shahid Afridi and Chris Gayle. He whacked 6 sixes and as many fours in his 63-ball stay in the middle. India lost the returning Shubman Gill for 16 and Virat Kohli also on the same score but Rohit kept up the charge with his 53rd ODI half-century. He reached fifty in 36 balls laced with three fours and four sixes. Lanky Pakistan pacer Shaheen Afridi, who dismissed Gill before, got rid of the Indian captain but he had already done the damage by then. Shreyas Iyer took the baton after Rohit’s departure and scored a composed half-century to guide the team home with a boundary. Iyer (53 off 62 balls; 4s:3, 6s: 2) and KL Rahul (19*) remained unbeaten, handing India a convincing seven-wicket win.