Over the years, Pakistan’s fielding has hardly been their strongest suit. Sloppy fielding has plagued them on more occasions than one. The sorry effort in the field during the 2011 World Cup semi-final is the most telling instance that comes to mind when the Asian giants dropped plenty of catches that tilted the game in India’s favour.

As the two sides met again in the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy on Sunday, the sloppiness seemed to have returned. While a few initial mis-fields in the early stages of the game could be attributed to nerves, there were two dropped catches, that changed the complexion of the game.

Two of India’s most deadly batsmen - Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli - were handed reprieves as India’s innings entered the slog overs. While Yuvraj was dropped while he was batting on eight in the 39th over, Kohli was dropped in the 44th over while batting on 43.

How much did it cost the team? They added 83 runs between them, off just 38 balls after those dropped chances.

India’s run rate through the game hovered just above the 5 runs an over mark. They seemed to be safeguarding the wickets for a late charge and of course to protect the wickets, if Duckworth Lewis came into the picture with the constant fear of rain.

Till Rohit Sharma’s exit, it looked to be India’s ploy. Kohli and Rohit kept rotating the strike, with either one looking to score at least one boundary an over.

Yuvraj’s entry changed the scenario a bit. Once he got his eye in, Yuvraj went for the offensive. He was dropped as he looked to cream Shadab Khan over the long off fence. Hasan Ali though put down a sitter.

  • Yuvraj was batting on 8 when he was dropped in 39th over. He went onto score 45 runs off the 24 deliveries he faced following the reprieve.
  • Kohli was batting on 43 when he was dropped in the 44th over. He went onto add 38 runs off the 12 deliveries he following the dropped catch.
  • In the final nine overs following Yuvraj’s dropped catch, they scored at 12.6 runs an over. In the final four overs they scored at 18.

The run rate then stood at 5.28. Yuvraj checked himself from then on, but kept looking for a boundary in each over. The trajectory of the batting effort changed as Kohli got a similar reprieve while he was batting on 43.

Kohli and Yuvraj went on the offensive with four overs to go improving the run rate to 5.86 in the 45th over as both creamed Hasan Ali for 17 runs. The subsequent over by Wahab Riaz saw them accumulate 21 runs. The run rate shot up to 6.19.

Yuvraj fell in the penultimate over of the game on 53, but Kohli and Hardik kept up the attack. 23 runs were scored in the final over as Hardik smashed three sixes. Kohli finished unbeaten on 81.

When Yuvraj was handed a life, India had nine more overs to bat. They went on to score 113 runs from those 54 deliveries, 72 off which came off the final 24 deliveries.