Sports

Kohli hails Yuvraj as India rout Pakistan

Kohli hails Yuvraj as India rout Pakistan

Defending champions India came with an all-round performance to defeat arch-rivals Pakistan by 124 runs through Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) method in what turned out to be a one-sided Champions Trophy encounter at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground here on Sunday.

Having been sent in to bat, India made a solid start as Rohit Sharma (91 from 119 balls) and Shikhar Dhawan (68 from 65 balls) put on 136 in 24.3 overs for the first wicket.

While Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma's strong opening partnership laid down the foundation for a big total, captain Virat Kohli's brilliant knock of 81 provided the impetus to the middle order.

Indian captain Virat Kohli praised India's batting performance, especially mentioning Hardik Pandya's brutal hitting towards the end of the Indian innings, scoring 20 off just six balls.

Apart from Mohammad Amir and Hasan Ali, who both played against India, Pakistan's other pace bowling options are Junaid Khan and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf.

Pakistan were later handed a target of 289 runs in 41 overs but the Sarfraz Ahmed-side lost wickets on crucial stages to hand India a win in the end.

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But Pakistan, rarely up with the stiff run-rate, finished on 164, with injured last man Wahab Riaz unable to bat as India won with 44 balls to spare.

"If he plays like that you know the team is always in a good space because you can really rely on him to come in and just play a match-changing innings, more often than not", he said. I tried not to think of it as a big match as well, just take it as a normal game, an important game for India like any match we play. Despite notching up a 50, Kohli was finding it hard to time the ball well. But still at the back of my mind, I was thinking of it as a normal game because I didn't want to take unnecessary pressure.

Pakistan's Shoaib Malik is run out by Ravindra Jadeja. In the process, Rohit, who was struggling initially, got to his half-century in the 19th over with a pull-shot that went for a six at the mid-wicket.

Such was Yuvraj's class and flamboyance that none of the Pakistani bowlers managed to curb his attacking mode as he studded his knock with eight boundaries and a enormous six. A miserable match for Wahab, flayed by India's batsmen for a hugely expensive 87 runs in 8.4 overs, ended when he fell in his delivery stride and sustained an injury that saw him leave the field.

Seamer Umesh Yadav (3-30 in 7.4 overs) was the pick of the Indian bowlers. This may be an old, storied rivalry but in recent years these games have been anything but competitive. The first is a 140 run win in Mirpur back in 2008. Pandya put those reservations to rest, smoking three sixes in the last over to help India finish with 319/3.


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