India began their Champions Trophy 2017 campaign in fine style, wrapping up a comprehensive 124-run win over arch-rivals Pakistan in Edgabston on Sunday.
Kohli’s batsmen were in sublime form as they finished on a formidable 319/3 in their 48 overs in a rain-shortened, high-pressure clash against Pakistan at the Champions Trophy in Edgbaston. The start was slow and steady, Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed for 68 and Rohit Sharma played an out-of-character 91 off 119 balls.
However, Sharma’s dismissal, helped by two dropped catches, help India go into overdrive at the death. Yuvraj Singh smashed a 32-ball 53, Virat Kohli turned on the screws at the end to finish on an unbeaten 68-ball 81 and Hardik Pandya slammed three sixes in the last over to ensure that Pakistan have a very tough chase on their hands.
From the beginning, Pakistan were looking to play quiet cricket and soon the asking run rate caught up with them. Azhar Ali scored a 50 but not no batsmen showed urgency apart from Shoaib Malik in his 15. But the pressure of the big target proved too much as they fell comfortably short.
Here’s how the match panned out:
11.45 pm: If you missed it, here are some highlights of that performance.
Kohli: “Nine out of 10 with bat and ball. 6 out of 10 fielding. Batsmen chipped in with the runs. Felt like a club batsman watching Yuvi the way he was hitting the ball. Hardik was outstanding. Went with four seamers because we’re playing Pakistan, they play spin well. Might use two spinners against other sides.”
Sarfraz: “Things were under control till 40 overs but we lost the plot in the last eight. Credit to India’s batsmen. Momentum was with them. We need to stick together and control our bowling.”
11.31 pm: Yuvraj Singh is the Man of the Match for his 32-ball 53. It’s also their biggest win in Champions Trophy
Yuvraj: “We stuck to our plans. Hope to keep this up against Sri Lanka. Game came together after the drop”.
11.26 pm: It’s over! Hasan Ali hits to Shikhar Dhawan at mid-wicket and the match is over. Wahab Riaz won’t bat. So India win by 124 runs to wrap up a comprehensive win.
11.25 pm: Pakistan seem to be playing for net run rate. But Mohammed Amir picks off Jadhav who finally catches one. We should finally see this farce ending now. 164/8 in 33.2
Harsha Bhogle sounds pretty irate. I think we all are. For all the hype, this match has been such a let-down.
Here is the drop again.
11.18 pm: Pakistan limp to 159/7 off 32. India are winning this but their fielding continues to be atrocious. Kedar Jadhav drops it. Shadab was swinging for the hills and got a top edge. The criticism is ringing out loud and clear about an insipid Pakistan performance.
And they have perplexed quite a few:
The batsmen will probably get the award but Ayaz Memon makes an important point
11.09 pm: Shadab Khan fights bravely. Hammers Jadeja for a powerful six and a four. His captain at the other end plays a beautiful straight drive but then plays too late a cut to edge to Dhoni behind. Seventh wicket to fall. Pakistan 151/7.
11.01 pm: And another. This could be an early finish. Imad Wasim drives uppishly but straight to Kedar Jadhav first ball. Pakistan are 135/6.
10.57 pm: FIVE DOWN and Pakistan are falling away here. Hafeez went for the slog sweep to Jadeja, couldn’t get all behind it and Bhuvi takes a good catch. 155/5 in 26.3 now.
10.50 pm: Sarfraz Ahmed, the captain, has come out. The required run rate has gone over 10. In these days of T20 cricket, that’s not too tough but you have to think Pakistan haven’t evolved with the rest of the world and don’t have the hitting power. They are 123/4 in 25, need 166 from 96 balls.
10.42 pm: The challenge has been nipped in the bud. Fantastic piece of work from Ravindra Jadeja. Gets a direct-hit to dismiss a dangerous looking Shoaib Malik. 114/4.
10.40 pm: Finally a move on? Shoaib Malik lays into Pandya and hits him for two consecutives boundaries. A little too late maybe. Hafeez drives Jadeja for a four and Malik then hits him for a big six next over. Much required, but can they make a match of it? Need 176 from 108 balls. Pakistan 113/3.
10.29 pm: Azhar Ali depars just after getting to his 50. The pressure to score got to him finally. Tried to swing Ravindra Jadeja over but Hardik Pandya took a smart catch. Pakistan now 91/3.
10.27 pm: One run off the over from Hardik Pandya. This match is only going one way, barring an unlikely minor miracle. Pakistan are 88/2 after 20 overs, need to strike at more than 9.5 now.
10.20 pm: Same old. The partnership is now 21 but in 34 balls. Pakistan are 82/2 in 18 overs, need 207 in 138 balls.
10.13 pm: Singles and more singles. You have to wonder Pakistan’s strategy. Sure, set a good foundation, but for how long? Required rate is now nearing 9, but yet another misfield gives them a four. Pakistan are 76/2 in 16 overs, need 213 from 150 balls.
Trust India vs Pakistan to make records.
10.05 pm: DROPPED! What’s happened to India today? They’re usually not like this. Azhar Ali tries to swing Hardik Pandya over his head but Bhuvi drops a tough catch at long on. They need a move on.
But at least, he’s got a wicket.
9.58 pm: SECOND WICKET FOR INDIA. A misfield gave Babar Azam a boundary but he hit a short, wide one straight to Ravindra Jadeja at backward point who took a sharp catch. Umesh Yadav takes the catch. Pakistan 61/2.
Well done, sir. Good jinx.
India’s bowling has not been up to their usual high standards. What could be the reason?
9.48 pm: They’re not losing wickets, but the chase isn’t really going anywhere for Pakistan. Umesh Yadav just bowled a maiden. The required run rate is close to eight. They are 51/1 ater 11.
The fans have been enjoying though.
9.41 pm: GONE! First wicket. Bhuvi gives it straight, Ahmed Shehzad misses it and the finger goes up. India get the first breakthrough, Pakistan 47/1 in 9.
9.40 pm: Pakistan continue their steady accumulation. Shehzad swings Bumrah above his head for a four and nearly gets run out. Pandya misses the direct hit though. They are 38/0 in 8 overs, need 251 in 33 overs.
9.28 pm: Bhuvi completes the over that was halted before the rain break. Jasprit Bumrah into the attack from the other end, and concedes 5 in the over. A boundary off the last ball spoils a good over. Pakistan 28/0 after 6.
9.20 pm: Confirmation. Pakistan need further 267 runs in 36.1 overs
9.15 pm: And better news. No more rain. Match begins again at 9.25 pm IST. Likely target for Pakistan 289 in 41 overs.
9.10 pm: The news from the #WeatherManOfTheDay is that we may see a result.
See if you can make sense of this. I gave up.
9.01 pm: The rain is quite heavy, it seems, so a good time to run your head over this.
Questions? Go ask Mr Duckworth and Mr Lewis....
Also, good news:
8.52 pm: Pressure is building for Pakistan. Too many dot balls, something which India cleverly avoided. Required run rate has inched above seven and we have rain again at Pakistan 22/0 in 4.5. Fourth rain interruption of the day, third? I’ve lost count...
History can often repeat itself..unkindly.
But there is a saving grace..
And maybe Messrs Duckworth-Lewis-Stern?
8.44 pm: No wickets lost, steady start for Pakistan. But just one four so they’ll want to put his foot on the accelerator. Not a lot of swing for Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav. India 15/0 after 3.
8.35 pm: The chase begins. Bhuvi takes the new white cherry and bowls two wides but gets significant swing. Azhar Ali and Ahmed Shehzad have a job on their hands. They are 4/0 after 1 overs. Reminder, their target is 324 off 48 overs.
8.05 pm: Hopefully the rain will abate. Great ODI innings from India. A brilliant start and a brilliant turbocharge at the end. Rohit Sharma missed out on a century at 91, but his dismissal got Yuvraj in who scored a 32-ball 53. Virat Kohli, who looked scratch for a long portion of his knock, suddenly burst into overdrive and hammered everything. Hardik Pandya put the icing on the cake with three sixes in the last over.
It wasn’t a bad bowling performance from Pakistan, but they lost the plot at the end. Wahab Riaz had a shocker of a night, releasing all the pressure. He limped off with crap with figures reading 0/87 in 8.4. Mohammad Amir had a good game, 0/32 off 8.1 but also walked off with cramp.
8.00 pm: HARDIK IS IN THE HOUSE, KIDS! SIX, SIX AND SIX are the first three balls. Then a dot ball, then a single and Kohli smashes the last ball away for a four. India reach on an incredible 319/3 in their 48 overs. They score 117 runs in their last overs and 72 off their last four.
Target for Pakistan will be 324 if their chase starts on time.
Also it was pouring down as the last over happened. Sarfraz wasn’t happy that the umpires let play go on with the rain falling on the pitch.
7.55 pm: And finally Yuvraj’s blitz comes to an end. Caught leg-before-wicket in front and Pakistan review successfully. But what a knock. A 32-ball 53. Injected the vroom into the innings just when it was required. How much Pakistan will regret dropping him. India 285/3 in 46.2. Kohli hits an exquisite six and four through off-side. India 296/3 in 47.
7.50 pm: It’s all going downhill for Pakistan. Dropped catches, their best bowler limping out and now Kohli and Yuvraj both making them pay for their misses. Riaz gets hit for a four off a no-ball. Then gets hammered for four and six by Kohli. They take a single and Yuvraj gets a four for his 50 off just 29. And how Wahab is done with cramp and walks off! India 284/2 in 45.4.
Is Ayaz Memon regretting this tweet now?
7.43 pm: Can you believe....Pakistan have dropped Kohli! Good change of pace from Wahab Riaz, Kohli was through the shot early, got a top-edge. It was a tough catch for substitute fielder Fakhar Zaman who covered a lot of distance but couldn’t hold on. Kohli makes them pay next over with his first six of the match to get to a 50. Yuvraj adds with two fours. 266/2 after 45.
7.34 pm: Yuvraj Singh is ensuring India end on a high. What sweet timing. Beautiful straight drive for four. Then takes a shorter ball and beautifully deposits over square leg. Pakistan’s death bowling plans haven’t worked out. And to make it worse, Amir is down with cramp and has limped off. India 243/2 in 43.1.
7.26 pm: Yuvraj hit a French cut four but he’s going above 100 now. “He’s the danger man” they are saying in the commentary box. He proves it by slamming a slower bouncer through mid-wicket. Settling in nicely for the final assault. India 230/2 in 42.
And how a dropped catch can hurt you:
7.17 pm: DROPPED. How costly could that be? Yuvraj goes down the ground to Shadab, doesn’t get it properly but Hasan Ali can’t hold on. That was a sitter. This couldn’t have come at a worse time for Pakistan. Yuvraj adds insult to injury by hitting a four off Riaz in the next over. India 213/2 in 40 overs. Last eight left.
7.10 pm: Yuvraj Singh takes India past 200. Wahab Riaz conceding another boundary in that over. He has been the weak link of this Pakistani attack. India 202/2 in 38 overs.
7.04 pm: Rohit Sharma misses his century! The quick single finally led to his downfall. Kohli dabbed and ran, called Rohit over. Rohit almost reached, put in a despairing dive but his bat was in the air. He’ll feel terrible. India 192/2, Rohit out for 91.
7.00 pm: Rohit Sharma gets a move on! Beautiful cover drive for drive, then rocks back and pulls for a six. It’s Wahab Riaz again who’s the unfortunate one at the receiving end! India 189/1 in 36.
An idea of how much Rohit had slowed down before that over:
6.48 pm: Fingers crossed. The rain has stopped. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli walk out again. 48-overs a side now. Hopefully no other interruptions.
6.45 pm: Since there is no better way to pass the time....let us do...rain gifs. Do you have a favourite?
And if you want to be emo..
6.40 pm: For the third time, oh no. It has started drizzling again, just as the players were going to resume. And the pitch has been covered again.
6.35 pm: As we await the restart, the feeling is it’s been India all the way. At 173/1 in 33.1 overs, they are in the driver’s seat. Rohit Sharma is 77 off 108 but he is in the mood to explode. And...there’s Virat Kohli at the other end.
Not to mention that India have their big hitters still in the shed. This could get uglier for Sarfraz Ahmed. India’s bowlers have been on fire.
Pakistan’s fielding has been sloppy today. Their bowlers have tried their best but they’ve never looked like taking wickets. India are just too good to be tied down.
6.25 pm: Update time. That’s 6.40 pm IST..
6.20 pm: Good news is that we should see a resumption quite soon.
6.15 pm: Ravi Shastri explaining India’s go-slow approach in the last few overs. “If it’s raining, you don’t want to lose a wicket. A wicket affects the DLS target. Smart batting from Kohli, Sharma”.
But Pakistan will take the 20-over target
I’d argue India keeping their wickets intact helps them much better.
6.05 pm: Oh god no. Another spell of rain. And we have another interruption as India reach 173/1 in 33.1 overs.
The run rate has gone down a notch but India are still cruising. Kohli mananged a nice boundary off Amir last over. But Sharma seems to be in a bit of a rut. And Twitter isn’t happy..
But no fear...Kohli is there...
5.52 pm: Sarfraz has got his pacers back and the result is an immediate drop in the runs. Amir gives away only a single in his over, Hasan Ali gives away just one more run next over. Can Pakistan claw it back? India 163/1 in 31.
5.42 pm: Kohli’s getting into his groove nicely. Played a delicate late cut to Imad Wasim last over. Getting easy singles now. Already moved into double figures and scoring at run-a-ball with just a boundary. The storm is coming, Sarfraz. Are you ready? India 161/1 off 29.
Even the hastag on Twitter is a matter of dispute!
5.37 pm: Virat Kohli is in the house, people. And Pakistan have given me a good welcome. Easy singles to settle in. Good neighbours and all. Rohit Sharma has moved to 70. India 147/1 after 27.
5.28 pm: Would you believe it, Dhawan falls, off a full toss! Came down the ground, got a juicy full toss, swung it to deep mid wicket straight to Azhar Ali. He’ll be kicking himself. Goes for 68, India 136/1 in 24.3 overs.
5.20 pm: The run flow continues. India are 129/0 after 23. One aspect about Dhawan and Rohit Sharma’s partnership that has stood out is their running between the wickets. Out of the 129, 69 runs have been scored outside of boundaries and sixes.
To add to that, Dhawan hasn’t looked this good in ages...
Pakistani fans dreading the worst here...
5.13 pm: And now Shikhar Dhawan brings up another fifty in his favourite tournament. And what a way to get it...three straight boundaries on the trot off Wahab Riaz. They’re on the front foot now. 15 runs off the last over. Things looking as bleak as the weather for Sarfraz. India 110/0 after 20 overs
5.07 pm: SIX! Rohit Sharma gets to a fifty in fine style. Takes on a half-tracker from Shadab Khan and desposits it to mid-wicket. Two balls after he got a top-edge which fell in no man’s land. India 95/0 after 19 overs.
Master Blaster alert, ladies and gentlemen.
Pak fans think Junaid Khan should have been in instead of Wahab Riaz.
5.00 pm: Rohit Sharma gets room and swings his arms to hit over cover. Much-needed boundary. He slipped while running the previous delivery and almost lost his wicket. Shikhar Dhawan got a shorter one and sliced it away for another boundary. 13 runs off the over, the dam has burst. India 79/0 after 16. Pakistan’s fielding has improved. But still no wickets.
Despite no wickets, Harsha Bhogle is impressed with Pakistan’s bowling:
4.47 pm: Wahab Riaz is into the action for the first time. What does he have? A disciplined first over. That’s been the hallmark of Pakistan’s bowling so far. Disciplined but not threatening. India 62/1 after 14.
These two have a history of good starts.
In other good news, Sai Praneeth has won the Thailand Grand Prix Gold title! Great performance, his second major title! Here’s his story.
4.35 pm: We’re back! And after some quiet deliveries, Hasan Ali messes up with a no-ball. Rohit Sharma swings his arms at the free-hit and smashes a boundary down the ground. Fifty up for India. 52/0 after 11.
4.25 pm: Scratch that. We’ve got another update. Play will resume at 4.30 pm IST.
4.20 pm: We have an update. The rain has stopped for now. We will get a next update at 12.15 pm GMT (4.45 pm IST).
Good omen for Pakistan?
4.05 pm: Aaaaand better news.
Or so we thought...
Everyone’s a weatherman now.
4.00 pm: The news isn’t good if you’re waiting with bated breath.
India may have had a slow start, but they didn’t lose wicket. This will help if Duckworth-Lewis-Stern comes into the equation.
3.45 pm: It’s been an interesting start. India haven’t got off to a flyer but they’ve been getting into their groove. Rohit Sharma played some beautiful shots just before the resumption.
Check this one out
Amir was excellent in the four overs he bowled. Pakistan’s fielding wasn’t very good. A cautious start but India will be happier they didn’t lose a wicket. The rain came at a bad time for them.
3.40 pm: BAD NEWS. Rain has arrived in Edgbaston. India are 46/0 after 9.5. Pretty heavy rain.
Pakistan’s fielding hasn’t been the best so far. They’ve made too many misfields and let India take too many quick singles. Overthrows. Really sloppy.
3.30 pm: A move on from India. Rohit Sharma drives Wasim through the backfoot and then guides Amir to the third-man boundary next over. He was lucky though....the ball just evaded the first slip fielder. India 27/0 after 7 overs.
We feel for you, boi.
3.22 pm: Finally, India have a boundary. Amir squared Rohit Sharma up with the short one, Sharma pulled, top-edged but Amir didn’t have a third-man. He got Shikhar Dhawan’s inside-edge next ball which went to fine leg. India 15/0 after 5.
A beautiful photo. The spirit of sports will triumph over hate.
3.15 pm: A quiet start, thanks to some tight bowling from Pakistan. Amir has given away only 2 runs in his two overs. India 5/0 after 3.
3.07 pm: Whatte first over. Mohammad Amir beats Rohit Sharma three balls out of six outside off stump. It’s a maiden. India 0/0.
3.00 pm: National anthems, a moment of silence for the victims of the London attack and here we go. Final comments..
2.50 pm: We’ve all been talking about India but what about Pakistan? Well, there’s Mohammad Amir (who gave Kohli quite a workout last year at the Asia Cup) but you might want to keep an eye on Babar Azam:
Shadab Khan has also impressed with his bowling...
2.45 pm: What’s your feeling about the playing eleven? Should Dinesh Karthik have got a game? Will Ravichandran Ashwin be missed?
And a stat which might make a Pakistan fan cry...
2.35 pm: TOSS TIME! Pakistan win the toss and they will bowl first. Sarfraz says, “Pitch is good. Don’t think it will change. India-Pakistan is a special game.
Kohli on batting first: “Don’t mind much. It’s a big game. Team batting second will have some pressure. We need a good performance. It’s just a game of cricket for me. No one can take anyone lightly. We need a complete performance. Preparations are normal, usual...the way they are against any other opposition. We know how they bowl and bat, the team is similar.”
India’s XI: Rohit Shama, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah
Pakistan’s XI: Azhar Ali, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali
2.30 pm: India are clear favourites, but don’t discout Pakistan, says Saj Sadiq. They have the players to spring a surprise. It’s a sentiment Virat Kohli agrees with:
2.20 pm: Sourav Ganguly is doing the pitch report:
“Overall a good batting surface. Fast bowlers will get some purchase.”
While this is an exciting match, India’s preparation off-field hasn’t been ideal. There have been rumours of a rift between coach Anil Kumble and captain Virat Kohli (which he shot down on Saturday). As Vinayakk Mohanrangan points out, the timing couldn’t have been worse.
But the captain has already said he’s not too concerned and he’s thinking more about the team combination. India’s pacers have been on fire recently. Will Yuvraj play? Here’s what we think:
2.10 pm: How special is India vs Pakistan? Very special. Check out these five special moments from India-Pakistan history.
The Birmingham weather has had many worried. But, things are looking good. Fingers crossed. This is England after all.
2.00 pm: Good afternoon, evening, morning...wherever you are. No need to hype this up. It’s India vs Pakistan, enough said. Let’s get straight into it....
At first glance, a neutral will probably question the hype. Sure, these are fierce rivals but on the strength of recent results, India look far stronger. In the last five big ICC tournaments, the 2012 World T20, the 2013 Champions Trophy, the 2014 World T20, the 2015 World Cup and the 2016 World T20, India have reigned supreme. It’s time Pakistan injects some competition back into the rivalry.
A big reason why India have done so well and Pakistan have not is continuity. Akarsh Sharma looked at how the two teams have been polar opposites when it comes to retaining players.
Despite all the excitement, there was some sobering news before the match: a terror attack in London killed at least six people on Saturday night. The Indian cricket team were on lockdown in their hotel but the match is going ahead.