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Sunday, 16 June 2013

PAKed Off!

India overcame multiple rain delays to defeat Pakistan in their last league match in the Champion Trophy at Edgbaston. Billed as the marquee match of the tournament and tickets for which were sold out within hours of being put on sale, a full house saw India carve out a rain ravaged yet a memorable win over arch rivals in the inconsequential match. India has already qualified for the semi final and Pakistan already knocked out of the championship. The South Asian derby ended up a damp squib with the rain causing more trouble for the Indians than their rivals from across the border.

Chasing 168 in 40 overs as per Duckworth Lewis method, reduced to 110 in 27.5 over after another rain delay and finally to 102 in 22 overs after yet another shower, India clinically polished of the target in the 20th over for the loss of 2 wickets. The opening firm of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma put on 58 before Ajmal removed Rohit Sharma for a sedate 18. Dhawan fell two short of his 50 to Wahab Riaz caught in the deep. With the Kookaburra ball not swinging much and the spinners rendered ineffective by the openers, the Indians finished of the game in a hurry. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar was named the Man of the Match for his economical and effective spell of 2 wickets for 19 runs of 8 overs.

Earlier, M S Dhoni on winning the toss put Pakistan into bat keeping in mind the possibility of the match being rain effected. Pakistan’s top order batting woes continued as the Indian bowlers lead by Bhuvaneshwar Kumar reduced Pakistan to 70 for 3 before the first rain break.On resumption Pakistan were  dealt a body blow when Ravindra Jadeja removed Misbah Ul Haq, by far their most accomplished and consistent batsman. From then on it was a case of regular fall of wickets and Pakistan finished all out for a very modest 165, later revised to 168 under D/L Method. Pakistan’s problems were compounded by electric fielding by the Indian unit, cutting off certain boundaries and building the pressure by some smart catches and creating run out opportunities. The bowlers came to the party by maintaining consistent line and length leading to the inevitable procession of Pakistani batsman to the pavilion.

India now plays the team placed 2nd  in Group B on 20th June for a place in the final.

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