Published: Mon, June 05, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Champions Trophy: India beat Pakistan by 124 runs

Indian veteran batsman Yuvraj Singh feels that their emphatic 124-run win over arch-rivals Pakistan in an encounter of the Champions Trophy match here on Sunday has given them a flying start in their bid to defend the title.

Earlier, put in to bat first, openers Rohit Sharma (91) and Shikhar Dhawan (68) provided India with a flawless start as not only did they blast half-centuries each, but also went on to stitch a huge 136-run stand, thus making them the most successful opening pair in the history of the eight-team marquee event. With Mohammad Amir (0-32) and Wahab Riaz (0-87) unable to complete their spell due to injuries, Imad Wasim (0-66) had to bowl the final over and Hardik Pandya (20 not out) capitalised on hit by hitting hat-trick of sixes to end the innings at 319 for three in the allotted 48 overs.

In front of a sold-out crowd of close to 25 000, India posted an imposing total of 319/3 in 48 overs before restricting Pakistan to 164 all out for comprehensive victory by 124 runs (D/L method).

Chasing a revised target of 289 runs, Pakistan were all out on 164 runs in 33.4 overs.

When their turn to bat came, Pakistan were never really in the game, losing wickets at regular intervals after a 47- run stand for the first wicket between Azhar Ali (50) and Ahmed Shehzad (12). For India, pacer Umesh Yadav claimed three, whereas all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja picked two wickets each.

Rohit Sharma was the top scorer with 91, while skipper Virat Kholi remained unbeaten on 81.

"Yuvi's innings, I think, was the game-changing innings", said Kohli.

After winning the toss, Pakistan invited India to bat.

Man-of-the-Match Yuvraj was happy that he could capitalise on the chances offered by the Pakistanis.

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Asked whether the defeat will only take Pakistan cricket backward, the coach said: "In fact, something like this could take it forwards, for the simple reason that a lot of questions get answered".

You can see a man wrapped in the Indian tricolour sitting with a woman with Pakistan's flag sitting on the stands and simply enjoying the game of cricket.

"The way we played and the confidence we showed was very pleasing, the guys were raring to go and willing to take up the pressure", said Kohli. Only Jasprit Bumrah finished the match without a wicket, giving up 23 runs in five overs.

An unperturbed Kohli and new batsman Pandya played freely and started knocking the ball out of the ground.

The partnership once again was brilliant as both Kohli and Yuvraj went past fifty as the the pair put on 93 before Yuvraj fell for a quickfire 52 from 31 balls off the bowling off Hasan Ali. Every time we go down to training, we try and get the basics right.

"The only thing I can think is the magnitude of the situation got to them", said Arthur, a former coach of both South Africa and Australia.

After Dhawan, who smashed six boundaries and a six, departed, Virat Kohli came down with a objective.

The stylish southpaw hit eight crisp boundaries and a six in his entertaining knock, while Kohli made up for a sluggish start with a late flourish, ending with six fours and three sixes.

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