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ICC World Cup: India beat Pakistan by 7 wickets: With help of brilliant Rohit and bowlers

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India put up a terrific performance to down Pakistan in their much-anticipated clash in Ahmedabad on Saturday (October 14) to not only extend the World Cup streak against their arch-rivals but also go top of the table. Having knocked over Pakistan with the ball for just 191, India came out all guns blazing led by skipper Rohit Sharma’s 63-ball 86 to overhaul the target with 117 balls to spare.

The returning Shubman Gill hit his first ball for a boundary as India knocked off 10 runs in the very first over of the chase. And in the next, Gill stepped it up by smashing Hasan Ali for three fours to mark his return in style. But he was stopped immediately by Shaheen as the batter hit one straight to backward point. That early wicket had no bearing on what happened next as Rohit absolutely toyed with the Pakistan attack to set the tone early.

In the space of three overs, Rohit smashed four sixes in total against Shaheen, Mohammad Nawaz and Haris Rauf to thrill the capacity crowd before Pakistan found some respite in the form of Virat Kohli’s wicket. But by the end of the powerplay, India already had 79 on the board and were well on their way to a huge win. Rohit brought up another fifty and then launched Rauf for his fifth six of the innings whereas Shreyas Iyer was content getting into his groove slowly. Rohit’s assault finally came to an end after he miscued a slower delivery from Shaheen before Iyer and KL Rahul completed the formalities for a massive win.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan’s shocking collapse with the bat made headlines after they were asked to bat first. No one saw them posting just 191 on the board after the partnership between Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan saw them well placed at 150/2 at one stage. Even to begin the innings, Pakistan looked comfortable in their own pace as they were happy to not take risks against Jasprit Bumrah. Mohammad Siraj was targeted for boundaries but he was the one who gave India the first breakthrough by trapping Abdullah Shafique leg-before-wicket.

Hardik Pandya also made an expensive start like Siraj before finding the outside edge of Imam-ul-Haq. Both Babar and Rizwan then joined forces and while the skipper was playing some gorgeous strokes, the wicketkeeper-batter was more than content making a conservative start. Rizwan then came into his zone when the spinners were introduced as he showed his range of strokes to hit both Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja for boundaries. Babar at the other end managed to reach fifty for the first time against India in his seventh attempt in ODI cricket.

Rohit’s move to bring back Siraj didn’t appear to work initially as the two set batters hit him for a boundary each but the pacer roared back in style by castling Babar that gave India an opening to capitalise on. Kuldeep removed Saud Shakeel and Iftikhar Ahmed in the same over to add to Pakistan’s woes but the big blow came from Bumrah as he bowled an offcutter that breached Rizwan’s defence to hit the off stump. Losing four quick wickets rattled Pakistan big time as they never managed to recover from that setback and ended up with just 191.

Brief scores: Pakistan 191 in 42.5 overs (Babar Azam 50, Mohammad Rizwan 49; Jasprit Bumrah 2/19) lost to India 192/3 in 30.3 overs (Rohit Sharma 86, Shreyas Iyer 53*) by 7 wickets

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