Rohit smashes 24th ODI ton
Manchester: Rohit Sharma produced an elegant hundred before Kuldeep Yadav flummoxed the Pakistani batsmen as India inflicted a humiliating 89-run defeat on their arch-rivals in a much-hyped World Cup match, to take a 7-0 lead over Pakistan in the marquee event.
Chasing a stiff 337-run target, Pakistan were already down and out when rain stopped play after 35 overs. They had managed just 166 runs for loss of six wickets , nowhere near the DLS par-score of 252. When play resumed, the match was reduced to 40 overs with a revised target of 302, which meant that Pakistan required 136 runs from five overs.
Imad Wasim (46) and Shadab Khan (20) remained unbeaten to end at 212 for six, handing India a comprehensive victory via Duckworth Lewis method. If Rohit pummelled a pedestrian Pakistan attack with a brilliant 140 off 113 balls in India’s 336 for five, Chinaman Yadav (2/32) broke the rival batting spine by removing set batsmen Fakhar Zaman (62) and Babar Azam (48) in successive overs.
The Indian vice-captain scored his 24th ODI hundred – 140 off 113 balls while KL Rahul (57) played the perfect second fiddle in an opening partnership of 137 runs.
Skipper Virat Kohli switched gears effortlessly during his 77 off 65 balls and also became the quickest to 11,000 ODI runs, eclipsing a 17-year record held by iconic Sachin Tendulkar. This is India’s seventh win over Pakistan in World Cup and like the previous six times, the quality of the contest did not live up to the hype created. Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed erred in his decision making throughout, first with team selection and then by opting to fieldf. The defensive approach throughout the game, also did not help his side. Knowing that rain could play spoilsport, they never took the Duckworth-Lewis par score into account, letting India bowlers dictate the terms. It was a match where two wrists — Rohit’s supple wrists and Kuldeep’s power — won it for India. The old adage ‘Revenge is a dish best served cold’ couldn’t have been more apt in cold and wet Manchester evening as ‘Men In Blue’ exacted the revenge of the 2017 Champions Trophy final defeat. The first half was all about Rohit pulverising Pakistani bowlers with cuts and pulls while the second belonged to Yadav, who first bamboozled Babar with a break-back delivery and then forced Zaman to play a suicidal paddle shot.
This was after their 104 run-stand as Pakistan from 117 for 1 slumped to 129 for 5 in no time and their fans started trudging out of Old Trafford ground. Hardik Pandya (2/44) did prove his all-round worth by removing the two veterans Mohammed Hafeez (9) and Shoaib Malik (0) off successive deliveries ensuring that Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s hobbling out due to stiff hamstring does not affect them at all. Earlier, Despite heavy rains and overcast conditions Rohit and the other Indian batsmen exploited to the fullest. (PTI)