India crush Pakistan by 124 runs in high octane Champions Trophy clash

Today’s India vs Pakistan clash was something that kept all of us glued to the TV. Emotions were at stake and we didn’t want to lose at any cost. The world loves a winner and that’s the reason why Virat Kohli is the most admired cricketer. The Indian skipper lost the toss, but won the game.

Pakistani skipper Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and opted to field first. The Indian openers were circumspect initially, with the game’s very first over turning out to be a maiden. Rohit Sharma played six consecutive dot balls of Mohammed Amir, but made sure that the wickets were intact so that the middle-order could slog towards the end.

Sharma was run out for 91. He missed out on a well deserved century. But what matters more is the team victory. Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper scored a fluent, unbeaten 81. Yuvraj Singh showed that class never goes out of style. The dashing southpaw accelerated the run rate towards the end and chipped in with a handy 53 of just 32 deliveries. Shikhar Dhawan scored a solid half century and partnered Rohit Sharma in tormenting the Pakistani bowlers.

The opening pair put on 136 for the first wicket. Earlier India decided to play one spinner and surprisingly R Ashwin, India’s best spinner had to sit out. Hardik Pandya who played a vital role in Mumbai Indians’ IPL win last month, clobbered 3 sixes off the final over to lead India to a comfortable and dependable total. There were rain interruptions earlier and the match was reduced to 48 overs per side.

Pakistan were 21/0 in 4.4 overs when there was another rain interruption. Pakistan were set a total of 289 from 41 overs when play resumed. Pakistan got off to a good start and the opening pair put on 48 runs for the first wicket, before Bhuvaneshwar Kumar made the first breakthrough. Babar Azam was the next Pakistani batsman to lose his wicket at 61/2. Azhar Ali scored an important half century before Jadeja foxed him to take the aerial route. Ali found the fielder and India were nudging ahead.

Jadeja was everywhere. On a day when the Indian fielding looked sloppy, Jadeja hit the stumps to find Shoaib Malik short of his crease. Malik’s departure led to a middle order Pakistani wobble. From 114/4 they were down to 151/7. The required run rate was soaring and after getting Pakistani skipper Sarfraz Ahmed’s wicket, India knew that they were now in total control.

Umesh Yadav maintained an immaculate length to bring down Pakistan to 164/9. India won as the last man Wahab Riaz did not come out to bat. India crushed Pakistan by 124 runs.

Yuvraj Singh adjudged Man of the Match.

India has now beaten Pakistan in its last 2 Champions Trophy encounters. India has a 13-2 win-loss record against Pakistan in World cups and Champions Trophy.

Alok Shetty