MANCHESTER: For such an intense rivalry, it’s still a lopsided contest when India and Pakistan meet at the Cricket World Cup. India extended their record to 7-0 against Pakistan at World Cups with an 89-run victory in a rain-interrupted encounter on Sunday that likely will remain the most-watched game of the six-week tournament.
India started ominously with Rohit Sharma scoring 140 from 113 deliveries (14 fours and three sixes) and skipper Virat Kohli contributing 77 in a total of 336-5, a record for a One-day International at Old Trafford.
Pakistan were always behind the run-rate required.
Fakhar Zaman (62) and Babar Azam (48) put on 104 for the second wicket but when both were dismissed by left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav within nine balls, Pakistan’s hopes faded with them.
When Hardik Pandya took wickets with consecutive deliveries in the 27th over, Pakistan were 129-5. And with a result in play because both teams had batted more than 20 overs, there was no chance of sharing points if rain prevented any more play. A delay after the 35th with Pakistan at 166-6 just prolonged the inevitable.
Pakistan were set a revised target of 302 from 40 overs and the last five overs were a non-event with Pakistan finishing 212-6. India remained unbeaten in four games to start the tournament.
The conditions didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of a predominantly pro-India crowd that filled the 162-year-old venue to its 23,500 capacity. Seats were in excessively high demand, after all, with the International Cricket Council reporting more than 800,000 ticket applications for the game.
There’s always extra significance when the nuclear-armed neighboring countries meet at ICC tournaments because India and Pakistan play cricket so infrequently in bilateral series.
This was no different, with a one billion-plus TV audience and an almost football-like atmosphere at the ground.
Kohli’s single to get off the mark was met by ‘Kohli-Kohli-Kohli’ chants from the predominantly pro-India crowd.
Sharma set the tone with his second century of the tournament, sharing partnerships of 136 with K.L. Rahul (57) for the first wicket and 98 with Kohli for the second.
He seemed ready to really unleash when he needlessly paddled a ball from Hasan Ali to Wahab Riaz at short fine leg in the 38th over.
Kohli continued, becoming the third Indian batter to pass 11,000 ODI runs. In doing so in his 222nd innings, he became the fastest to reach the milestone, surpassing his legendary compatriot Sachin Tendulkar who took 276 innings to rack up that total.
Kohli was on 71 and India 305-4 when rain stopped play for the first time in the 47th over. The India captain was caught behind off Mohammad Amir’s bowling not long after he returned from the 55-minute rain break and, surprisingly, walked off before umpire Marais Erasmus had a chance to signal him out.
There was some speculation Kohli didn’t edge the ball but it was inconsequential in the end, as India passed Sri Lanka’s 318-7 against England in 2006 to set the highest ODI total at Old Trafford.
After a batting onslaught at the top, Pakistan pegged back the run-rate slightly as Amir (3-47) dismissed Pandya (26) and then had MS Dhoni (1) and Kohli caught behind both the ex-captain and captain walking.
Things started going haywire for Pakistan after skipper Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and fielded, going against the advice sent via social media by Prime Minister and 1992 World Cup-winning captain Imran Khan.
Overcast and cool overhead conditions that usually would favor swing and seam bowling didn’t greatly assist the Pakistan attack, with India racing to 52-0 in their most productive opening power play of the tournament.
The Pakistan pacemen had trouble with the umpires, with Amir and Wahab each cautioned twice for running on the protected area in the middle of the pitch. One further warning would have resulted in a suspension.
It also didn’t help that opener Imam-ul-Haq got out in rare circumstances to Vijay Shankar’s very first delivery at a World Cup it coming on the fifth ball of Pakistan’s fifth over after Shankar was asked to finish it off after Bhuvneshwar Kumar limped off the field.
Pakistan’s next game is at Lord’s next Sunday against South Africa, who also have three points and only remote prospects of reaching the semi-finals.
Batsmen & mode of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR
K.L. Rahul c Babar b Wahab 57 78 3 2 73.07
R.G. Sharma c Wahab b Hasan 140 113 14 3 123.89
V. Kohli c Sarfraz b Amir 77 65 7 0 118.46
H.H. Pandya c Babar b Amir 26 19 2 1 136.84
M.S. Dhoni s Sarfraz b Amir 1 2 0 0 50.00
V. Shankar not out 15 15 1 0 100.00
K.M. Jadhav not out 9 8 1 0 112.50
EXTRAS (B-1, LB-1, W-9) 11 - - - --
TOTAL (for five wkts, 50 overs) 336 - - - --
FALL OF WKTS: 1-136 (Rahul, 23.5 ov), 2-234 (Sharma, 38.2 ov), 3-285 (Pandya, 43.5 ov), 4-298 (Dhoni, 45.1 ov), 5-314 (Kohli, 47.4 ov).
DID NOT BAT: B. Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Y.S. Chahal, J.J. Bumrah.
BOWLING: Mohammad Amir 10-1-47-3 (1w); Hasan Ali 9-0-84-1 (1w); Wahab Riaz 10-0-71-1 (5w); Imad Wasim 10-0-49-0 (2w); Shadab Khan 9-0-61-0; Shoaib Malik 1-0-11-0; Mohammad Hafeez 1-0-11-0.
Batsmen & mode of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR
Imam-ul-Haq lbw b Shankar 7 18 1 0 38.88
Fakhar Zaman c Chahal b Kuldeep 62 75 7 1 82.66
Babar Azam b Kuldeep 48 57 3 1 84.21
Mohammad Hafeez c Shankar b Pandya 9 7 0 1 128.57
Sarfraz Ahmed b Shankar 12 30 0 0 40.00
Shoaib Malik b Pandya 0 1 0 0 0.00
Imad Wasim not out 46 39 6 0 117.94
Shadab Khan not out 20 14 1 0 142.85
EXTRAS (LB-1, W-6, NB-1) 8 - - - --
TOTAL (for six wkts, 40 overs) 212 - - - --
FALL OF WKTS: 1-13 (Imam, 4.5 ov), 2-117 (Babar, 23.6 ov), 3-126 (Fakhar, 25.2 ov), 4-129 (Hafeez, 26.5 ov), 5-129 (Malik, 26.6 ov), 6-165 (Sarfraz, 34.1 ov).
DID NOT BAT: Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir.
BOWLING: Kumar 2.4-0-8-0 (1w); Bumrah 8-0-52-0 (1nb); Shankar 5.2-0-22-2 (2w); Pandya 8-0-44-2 (1w); Kuldeep Yadav 9-1-32-2; Chahal 7-0-53-0 (2w).
NOTE: Shankar finished Kumar’s uncompleted over.
RESULT: India won by 89 (D/L Method).
UMPIRES: M. Erasmus (South Africa) and B.N.J. Oxenford (Australia).
TV UMPIRE: J.S. Wilson (West Indies).
MATCH REFEREE: R.S. Madugalle (Sri Lanka).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Rohit Sharma.
(Tabulated under played, won, lost, no-result, points, net run-rate):
Australia 5 4 1 0 8 +0.812
New Zealand 4 3 0 1 7 +2.163
India 4 3 0 1 7 +1.029
England 4 3 1 0 6 +1.557
Sri Lanka 5 1 2 2 4 -1.778
West Indies 4 1 2 1 3 +0.666
South Africa 5 1 3 1 3 -0.208
Bangladesh 4 1 2 1 3 -0.714
Pakistan 5 1 3 1 3 -1.933
Afghanistan 4 0 4 0 0 -1.638
Updated after Pakistan vs India match on Sunday
Published in Dawn, June 17th, 2019