Batting first after Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss and elected to field, openers Sharma and KL Rahul put on the highest partnership for any wicket by any Indian pair against Pakistan in a World Cup match – 136 runs off 143 balls.
Although Rahul couldn’t convert his start and perished for a well-made 57 off 78, Sharma made no such mistake and notched up his 24th hundred in One-Day Internationals in just 85 balls.
The right-hander has been in top form through this 12th edition of the marquee 50-over tournament, his effort on Sunday saw him cross the half-century mark in as many innings.
Sharma didn’t stop after getting to his century. As he has done so often in his glittering ODI career, the 32-year-old buckled down for a big one. He added 98 runs for the second wicket with captain Virat Kohli but just as one thought he would get to his fourth ODI double-hundred, he threw it away.
In uncharacteristic fashion, Sharma ended up scooping the second ball of the 39th over from Hassan Ali straight to Wahab Riaz at short-fine leg. He was livid as he walked off but there was no denying that his 140 off 113 had set the game up for India.
Twitter was full of admiration for the Hitman’s effort on Sunday.
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