Sloppy Pakistan succumb to 124-run defeat against India

India, Pakistan, ICC Champions Trophy 2017, Virat Kohli

India start their Champions Trophy 2017 title defense campaign in style, as they dominate Pakistan in a thumping 124-run victory at Edgbaston on Sunday (June 4).

In front of a jam-packed crowd in Birmingham, Pakistan were bundled out for just 164 in their pursuit of  India’s 319 for 3, which was later revised to 288 according to the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern (DLS) method after the rain had consumed a part of the day.

Azhar Ali top-scored with a sluggish, unimpressive 50 off 68 balls while Mohammad Hafeez made 33. None of other batsmen could go past the 30-run mark, as India collected a sixth straight win over Pakistan in the ICC events.

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Umesh Yadav’s figures read 3 for 30, while Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja picked up two wickets each.

Earlier, India amassed a mammoth 319 for 3 after being put in to bat by Sarfraz Ahmed, with Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh all helping themselves to half-centuries.

Rohit and Dhawan forged a vital 136-run stand that set the platform, which was later exploited by Virat Kohli (81) and Yuvraj Singh (53) — both were another life by Pakistan fielders when on 36 and 15 respectively. Despite a mid-innings slowdown where Pakistan were able to apply breaks on India’s progress, the defending champions picked up the pace in the death overs, stealing 72 from the last 24 balls to set Pakistan a daunting task to surmount.

Pakistan’s miseries were extended with Mohammad Amir, the most threatening bowler on show, leaving the field with cramps at the start of his 9th over. Wahab Riaz, who had a forgetful day (conceded 89 in 8.1 overs), also had to leave the field after he did his ankle mid-over in the latter stages of India innings.

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Match Summary:

India 319 for 3 (Rohit Sharma 1, Virat Kohli 81*, Shikhar Dhawan 68, Yuvraj Singh53) beat Pakistan 164 (Azhar Ali 50, Umesh Yadav 3-30) by 124 runs (DLS method)

Captains’ Comments:

“With the bat and ball, right up there – I would say nine out of 10. In the field we were still 6 today. Very strong performance, we’ve taken the confidence from the practice games. We need to tighten our fielding to compete hard against the best teams. Quite delighted with all batsmen chipping in with runs. Shikhar and Rohit – last time we won here, the opening partnership was crucial. Rohit took some time going, but he’s coming back from an injury, and international cricket is different to IPL. I felt like a club batsman while playing alongside Yuvi, the way he was hitting the ball. And Hardik, 18 off five balls, was outstanding. We went with four seamers purely because we’re playing Pakistan. They play spin really well, and most of them are right-handers. In pressure situations, to have mid-on, mid-off up and hit hard lengths, gives us an advantage. Against other sides, we might use two spinners, depending on their strengths.” Virat Kohli, captain India, said according to ESPNCricinfo.

“Everything was under control after 40 overs, but we lost the plot in the last eight. Credit to India’s batsmen. They scored 124 in those last eight, and the momentum went to India. I think we need to stick together and control our bowling rate, especially last few overs.” Sarfraz Ahmed, captain Pakistan said according to ESPNCricinfo.