Sun | Oct 22, 2017

India thump Pakistan, top ICC group

Published:Monday | June 5, 2017 | 12:00 AM
India's Ravindra Jadeja bowls during the ICC Champions Trophy match between India and Pakistan at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England, yesterday.

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP):

India thrashed rival Pakistan by 124 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method to go top of Group B in the Champions Trophy yesterday.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya smashed three sixes at the start of his team's last over as India let rip to reach 319-3 from 48 overs, after being put into bat at a rain-hit Edgbaston.

In reply, Pakistan finished on 164 all out in 33.4 overs opener Azhar Ali's 50 off 65 balls and Mohammad Hafeez's 33 off 43 providing the only resistance and rarely looked in the game.

It was surprisingly easy for India. Opener Rohit Sharma top-scored with 91 off 119 before being run out, and captain Virat Kohli was 81 not out off 68, with six fours and three sixes. Shikhar Dhawan scored 68 off 65, while an impatient Yuvraj Singh hit eight fours and one six in a 32-ball 53 to hurry the innings along when needed.

Pakistan was unable to cope with Ravindra Jadeja's bowling (2-43, including Azhar Ali and Hafeez) and his brilliant fielding, including the important wicket of Shoaib Malik, run out for 15. Jadeja gathered the ball and threw in one movement, directly hitting the stumps with the batsman far away. Umesh Yadav took 3-30, including the last two wickets.

Pakistan's target at the start of its innings was 324 runs in 48 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis method, but this became 289 in 41 after play was again interrupted by rain.

 

BIG CHALLENGE

 

Defending champion India effectively put the game out of reach for a poor Pakistan batting line-up by hitting 72 runs in the last four overs, with Pandya ending on 20 off six deliveries after being promoted up the order. Most of that 20 came during a costly 23-run last over for Imad Wasim (0-66), making it an even bigger challenge for Pakistan.

India had seemed to slumber in the middle of its innings after reaching 136-0, but a key 93-run partnership in less than 10 overs came from Kohli and Yuvraj for the third wicket.

Three-time semi-finalist Pakistan chose to bowl but its fielding often let the team down, including Kohli being dropped by substitute Fakhar Zaman on 43 off Wahab Riaz.

A minute's silence was held before the match for the victims of the London Bridge attacks on Saturday night, amid heavy security at the West Midlands ground.

Top-ranked South Africa and Sri Lanka are also in Group B.