Virat Kohli scored 81 as India posted a competitive 319-3 in their rain-affected clash against Pakistan at Edgbaston.
A clash between India and Pakistan carries decades of conflict on and off the field, as well as the moniker as one of the biggest rivalries in sport. With over a billion people tuned into it, this Group B clash in Birmingham was no different.
Pakistan went into this match as overwhelming underdogs, yet their dangerous unpredictability gave them hope, and that strengthened after they won the toss and opted to bowl in overcast conditions.
The rain came and went and that’s expected to continue throughout the day. Two lengthy delays means this match will be a 48-over one as it stands.
Rohm Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan did brilliantly to see off the first 9.5 overs before the first delay, with Dhawan leading the charge. It was a virtually chanceless effort throughout their 136-run stand, before 18-year-old spinner Shadab Khan tempted Dhawan with a full toss, finding the man on the boundary to walk for 68.
Sharma’s knock was somewhat stifled as he struggled to lift the run rate with Virat Kohli, scoring 39 runs off the next 10 overs. A four and a six then got Sharma into the 90s, but a close call from the third umpire saw Sharma declared run out for 91.
Yuvraj Singh and Kohli left it late to tee off, but they were hugely effective when they did. They smacked 93 runs off 58 balls, with both players notching up fifties in quick succession.
What would’ve disturbed the Pakistanis more was injuries to their respective quicks. Mohammad Amir (0-32) hobbled off one ball into his ninth over, and Wahab Riaz soon followed him back to the physio room. Wahab, however, took a pounding, going for 87 from his 8.4 overs.
The loss of Yuvraj in the penultimate over only served to benefit the Indians, as Hardik Pandya (20 off six) struck three sixes off the first three balls of the last over. 72 runs were scored off the last four overs, with Kohli finishing unbeaten on 81 off 68.
Pakistan’s revised target is 289.
Photo: Philip Brown/Gallo Images