- While experts were sceptical about Dhawan’s inclusion in the team, he silenced his critics with a brilliant 68 runs from 65 balls
- Yuvraj Singh's innings inspired Captain Virat Kohli to start a rampage of his own and scored 81 off 68 balls. Yuvraj was also awarded the man of the match
- Wahab's 0/87 off just 8.4 overs is the most expensive spell in Champions Trophy history
India beat Pakistan by 124 runs in a rain-curtailed match. The Pakistani side looked clueless while trying in vain to get the ferocious Indian batsmen out. India posted 319 runs from 48 overs; two overs cut short due to rain. Further rain meant Pakistan had to score 289 from 41 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis Method. But Pakistan could only manage 164. These are the five points that were critical for India’s win in the match.
1) The opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma set the pace for India's batting
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma set the ball rolling for India’s batting. While experts were sceptical about Dhawan’s inclusion in the team, he silenced his critics with a brilliant 68 runs from 65 balls. His opening partnership of 136 runs with Rohit Sharma, who scored 91 from 119 balls, put India in the driver’s seat.
2) Kohli and Yuvraj’s blitzkrieg
Yuvraj Singh is a beast in the Champions Trophy. His first international match was in the ICC Knockout Trophy, as it was known back then when he scores 80 against the formidable Australia. And yet again he showed the world why he was one of the most clinical players of the game when he scored 53 off 32 balls. His innings inspired Captain Virat Kohli to start a rampage of his own and scored 81 off 68 balls. Yuvraj was also awarded the man of the match.
3) India’s pace attack held back the Pakistani batsmen
Umesh Yadav, although blundering numerous times in the field, took three wickets thanks to his speed. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah hardly gave away runs, with both bowling five overs and both having an economy rate of 4.60 with Bhavaneshwar claiming opener Ahmed Shehzad’s wicket. Hardik Pandya took two crucial wickets in Pakistan's middle order, even sending Imad Wasim back with a golden duck, and proved that he just might be the next big superstar of Indian cricket.
4) Poor fielding continue to plague Pakistan
Pakistan sent Imad Wasim, a brilliant pacer, to bowl the second over of the match, trying to stop the two Indian opening batsmen who can make the best spinners of the world shed a tear. Although Imad bowled with good line and length, the terrible Pakistani fielding could not stop the flow of runs. The fielder ran around the boundary line instead of trying to cut the ball short. The other bowlers were of no help, especially Hasan Ali who was brutalised by the Virat-Yuvraj pair. A dropped catch of Virat Kohli cost Pakistan dearly as he started hitting the ball over the fence.
5) Pakistani bowlers seem very injury prone
The two bowlers who could’ve made a difference for the Pakistani side were Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz. While Mohammad Amir did try his best, Wahab Riaz was a sitting duck for the Indian batsmen. When Wahab went off the field complaining of cramp, it almost looked like he was relieved. Wahab's 0/87 off just 8.4 overs is the most expensive spell in Champions Trophy history. Amir on the other hand had the best economy among the bowlers of both teams at just 3.91. He too had to leave owing to a muscle cramp.
The 124 run win was the second biggest win by India over Pakistan. The first is a 140 run win in Mirpur back in 2008.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:34 PM IST