ICC World Cup 2019 Match No 22
India Vs Pakistan played at Manchester on 16 June 2019
Brief Score Card:
India 336/5 (RG Sharma 140, V Kohli 77, KL Rahul 57, HH Pandya 26, Mohammad Amir 3/47, Wahab Riaz 1/71, Hasan Ali 1/84 ) beat Pakistan 212/6 in 40 overs (Fakhar Zaman 62, Babar Azam 48, Imad Wasim 40*, Shadab Khan 20*) by 89 runs by Duckworth Lewis Method
Player of the Match: Rohit Sharma
DHAKA: Tournament hot favorites India outgunned, out played traditional rival Pakistan in World Cup Super Classico. The high voltage match as usual created heat and hype but finished as usual India clinically dispatching Pakistan in one sided affair. Invited to bat by Sarfraz Kohli’s formidable army let loose calculated assault on Pakistan bowling attack. Huge respect was given to quality fast bowling of Amir but all bowlers at the other end were savaged as India ranked up a huge score of 336/5 in allotted overs.
On easy paced wicket Pakistan in response batted poorly. In the rain affected match they could proceed to 212 /6 in 40 overs falling behind by 89 runs in Duckworth Lewis count. Pakistan India met in World Cup 7 times. Indian rule over Pakistan continued with Indian winning all the time. The win put India firmly among the tournament leaders with 7 points from 4 matches. Pakistan position declined to 9th with 3 points from 5 matches just above the bottom of the pack Afghanistan.
It was hard to believe that Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed invited India to bat on a flat wicket risking to chase huge target. The wicket appeared dry with some early moisture which evaporated quickly as bright sun shine beaconed the terrace. Pakistan green and white were lost Indian blue ocean waves. Perhaps weather threatening shortened matches confused Pakistan captain. But in pressure cooker situation it is always suggested by experts batting first winning the toss. Run on board always creates additional pressure in nerve wrecking matches. Moreover, with two regular spinners in the rank, it turned out as a poor decision.
India had some issues as prolific Shikhar Dhawan was not available for the match. Young Rahul was promoted in the batting order to open with Rohit. How wonderfully he combined with India’s white ball magician. Off course there were few hiccups in running between the wickets which Pakistan failed to exploit and paid heavily for the lapse. Rollicking Rohit mercilessly punished Pakistan attack. Only Mohammad Amir with his pace, bounce and penetration earned deserved respect. Indian batsmen took no chance against Amir. But on the other end, Hasan Ali and Wahab Riaz leaked runs profusely. Left Arm Spinner Imad Wasim and Leg Spinner also could not restrict free flowing Indian batsmen. 136 runs in the first wicket partnership in 23.5 overs laid a solid foundation which two of the world's top batsmen Kohli and Rohit consolidated further adding 99 sparkling runs in the second wicket.
Rohit made yet another glittering like gold century (140) spanking 14 fours and 3 sixes. Kohli after scoring classic 77 walked feeling that he had a feather touch to a short lifting delivery from Amir. Later it was revealed that the ball did not touch his bat or gloves at all. Earlier at the top Rahul (57) also scored a good looking half century. The absence of Shikhar Dhawan was not felt at all. However, Amir’s brilliant spell on either side of the brief stoppage by rain grabbing Pandya, Dhoni and Kohli’s wicket restricted India below 350. If only Amir had good support from the other end it could be a different story. Pakistan bowling and fielding were too soft for such an important match.
On the flat wicket in the rain soaked out field Pakistan could be far more competitive if they could bat with resolve and a plan. Bumrah and Kumar exploited whatever life was there in the wicket in early overs. However, Kumar limped with injury early on making Shankar completing his over. Shankar with his first ball against Pakistan trapped Imam Ul Haq right in front of the wicket. Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam shouldered the team and were batting responsibly till a point when a middle order collapse losing 4/12 put paid to Pakistan surge towards India set target. Pandya removed two set batsmen Babar and Fakhar with two great deliveries.
Then Kuldeep dismissed two experienced batsmen Hafiz and Shoaib with classic leg spinner deliveries. From 117/1 it quickly turned into 129/5. The innings lost the momentum. Shankar cleaned up Pakistan Captain Sarfraz making it further difficult for Pakistan chase. Rain came when Pakistan was 166/6. Pakistan was lagging way behind the asking rate at that stage. However when pay resumed and continued till curtailed 40 overs, Pakistan could reach 212/6 still 89 runs behind. India proved superior to Pakistan in all departments.
Pakistan with such a poor bowling attack, weak batting and weaker fielding can only create surprises only like they did against England. India is far more athletic and much well prepared in this world cup. Pakistan will have to do a lot to compete with India in global tournament as India possess so much world class resources in all departments now. The only concern is the injury problem. In back to back matches ShikharDhawan and Bhubaneswar Kumar injury may hurt India a bit. But India has quality players like Sami and Jadeja waiting in the wing. If necessary Rishab Pant can be added.
Pakistan proved no match for India. It will remain a mystery why Sarfraz let India bat first on a placid wicket with only Amir in his arsenal to test Indian batting. Batting first and putting some targets Pakistan could make better challenge.
Pakistan’s loss has again opened the dog fight for the 4th qualifier position to West Indies, New Zealand, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Team holding on to their composure would join Australia, England and India in the elite group of four. West Indies and Bangladesh match today would now become almost a knock out match for both the team.
India Pakistan these days do not play bilateral cricket. Politics prevails over cricket. They only appear in ICC sponsored global tournaments. Pakistan has won against India in Champions trophy but never in I World cup. Both country and their cricket admirers consider the match as another Indo Pak war off course with bat and ball. India always rule. Pakistan does not have quality and depth to challenge India’s might in cricket now to be fair and honest.
BDST: 1043 HRS, JUN 17, 2019