Although rain played the show-spoiler in the biggest group stage encounter of the Champions Trophy, the India versus Pakistan game on Sunday, fans still had lots of take-aways from the match. After Pakistan won the toss and decided to field first the Indian openers- Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma laid a solid but cautious start. A century stand between them allowed other players to play their roles in the team to perfection.
Just when the Pakistani bowlers had pulled things a little their way, both Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli put forward their explosive best making sure India cross the 300 run mark in the revised quota of 48 overs. Hardik Pandya’s three sixes in the last over ensured that India would have momentum on their side when they go out to field. Pakistan suffered two injuries in the proceedings and missed the services of Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz in the slog overs. Amir bowled quite beautifully before walking out, after suffering from cramps bowing at an economy of 3.91, a phenomenal effort when the opposition scored 319 in 48 overs.
Initially Pakistan were set a target of 319 in 48 overs, due to some more rain interruptions the target was further revised to 289 in 41 overs. Once the seamers started picking up wickets Pakistan was never really into the game and kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. At the end of it Pakistan was dismissed for 164 runs in 33.4 overs, thus India drawing curtains to a clinical performance on the ground. Umesh Yadav was the pick of the bowlers taking 3 wickets for 30 runs. Yuvraj was selected as the man of the match for his 53 off 32 balls which gave India the kick-start to acceleration, going into the final four overs.
Let’s have a look at a few turning points of the game
1. Start that mattered
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan provided just the start that the team wanted in a big tournament against the arch rivals. While Rohit was watchful, Shikhar played the role of the aggressor once he got his eye in. By doing this, India did not lose an early wicket when the ball was new and when the wicket had a bit of something for the bowlers. The stage was surely set for big hitters and they utilized it to perfection scoring 72 runs in the last 4 overs. The opening duo made 136 for the first wicket.
2. Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh dropped
Both Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh, both of whom made impactful half centuries, were dropped earlier on in the innings and had the chances been taken a lot of damage could have been saved. As Virender Sehwag who was on commentary during the match rightly pointed out they not only dropped the catch but to a large extent their hold on the match. The duo made 83 off 38 after the chances they got.
3. No real partnerships for Pakistan
After a steady start, Pakistan were always short of the required run rate and never really got going. As a result, it eventually happened to be a one-sided encounter. After a battle of nerves India were the deserved winners.
With that win, India got their first points on the table.