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India fire, Pakistan crack-up

India fire, Pakistan crack-up
Highlights

India began its title defence of Champions Trophy on a thundering note thereby sending ominous signals to the contenders.A much-hyped thriller ended on an anti-climatic note with the Men in Blue crushing arch-rivals Pakistan by 124 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method on a day when no payer could do any wrong. It was a clinical performance, which saw them dominate Pakistan in all departments of t

Birmingham: India began its title defence of Champions Trophy on a thundering note thereby sending ominous signals to the contenders.A much-hyped thriller ended on an anti-climatic note with the Men in Blue crushing arch-rivals Pakistan by 124 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method on a day when no payer could do any wrong. It was a clinical performance, which saw them dominate Pakistan in all departments of the game.

After the batsmen did their bit, the bowlers were all fired up and rubbed further salt into the opposition wounds. Barring opener Azhar Ali (50) and Mohd Hafiz (33) no batsmen offered any resistance as wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals.
Chasing a revised target of 289 in 41 overs, Pakistan managed 164 for nine wickets in 33.4 overs.

Earlier, put in to bat, Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh stood out in an all-round batting effort, propelling India to a massive 319 for three.The atmosphere around the ground was electric though the day began on a sombre note with players of both teams observing a minute's silence for the people killed in Saturday's terror attack in central London.

The batsmen remained focussed despite the rain breaks with Rohit Sharma (91 off 119), Shikhar Dhawan (68 off 65), Virat Kohli (81 not out off 68) and Yuvraj (53 off 32) rising to the occasion in a game reduced to 48 overs a side following two rain intervals.

Thanks to the big hitting by Yuvraj, Kohli and Hardik Pandya at the death, India amassed 72 runs in the last four overs with the 46th and 48th going for 21 and 23 runs.The revised target for Pakistan via the Duckworth-Lewis method is 324 in 48 overs.

While Kohli punished pacer Wahab Riaz, Pandya smashed three consecutive sixes off left-arm spinner Imad Wasim in the final over.In a match watched by the legendary Sachin Tendulkar from the stands, Indian batsmen went on the rampage in the death overs after patiently seeing off two rain breaks.

Play was stopped first when India were 46 for no loss in the 10th over and rain played spoilsport again when they were 173 for one in the 34th over with Rohit and Kohli going strong in the middle overs.

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