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India vs Pakistan: 7-0 in Manchester, the streak continues

India vs Pakistan: 7-0 in Manchester, the streak continues

India have beaten Pakistan by 89 runs (target revised according to DLS method) in their World Cup match at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester. With this win, India have won all seven of the encounters between the two teams in the history of the World Cup. India’s batting innings was propelled by a 113-ball 140 by Rohit Sharma, while Kuldeep Yadav’s bowling spell in the middle overs of the Pakistan innings turned the match decisively in India’s favour.

Toss: Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss and chose to send India in to bat first. Given the track record of the Old Trafford ground in terms of low first innings scores and the impending chance of rain forcing a run chase in a truncated match, to field first might have seemed to be the logical decision, but the decision has already drawn a lot of criticism.

First Innings: Rohit Sharma smashed his second century of the World Cup and skipper Virat Kohli made 77 to power India to 336 for five. Put into bat under a grey sky, India got off to a strong start with Lokesh Rahul, replacing injured Shikhar Dhawan at the top, and Rohit forging a 136-run stand for the opening wicket. Rohit made 140 off 113 balls and raised 98 runs with Kohli but Mohammad Amir’s tight bowling at the death overs denied India a 350-plus total. Amir was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers claiming 3-47.

Second Innings: Pakistan got off to a dismal start as they lost Imam-ul-Haq (7) early. Vijay Shankar gave India the first breakthrough, trapping him leg before wicket in the fifth over. Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman then lifted Pakistan with a steady 104-run stand for the second wicket. Kuldeep Yadav then struck at the right time to dismiss both batsmen in quick succession. Yadav first bowled out Azam (48) and then ended Zaman’s (62) stay. Hardik Pandya then joined the party dismissing Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik with consecutive deliveries of the 27th over.

Gamechanger: Kuldeep Yadav’s spell in the middle of the innings broke Pakistan’s backbone just when it was looking like Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam would take the match to a close finish. From 117/1 in the 24th over, Pakistan crumbled to 129/5 in the 27th over, with most of their batsmen back in the hut.

Kuldeep first got Babar Azam out with a ball that was almost unplayable, the ball turning a mile to crash into his stumps. If India got the upper hand with Azam’s wicket, what happened in Kuldeep’s next over meant that Pakistan had a mountain to climb. Zaman also went out to him, offering a soft catch to short fine leg.

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Brief Scores: IND 336/5 in 50 overs | PAK 212/6 in 40 overs (DLS method)

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