The cricket world cup is incomplete without India Vs Pakistan game. Back in the days when there were two groups in the world cup, ICC ensured that India and Pakistan are in the same group. The fans call it 'a final before the actual final'. The game was already trending on top across various social media sites. The social media war was going on at full throttle between the fans. Both the sides came up with promotional advertisements which attracted wide criticism.
Sarfaraz Ahmed, the Pakistani captain won the toss and invited India to bat first. His decision was widely influenced by the fact that it was raining a whole week and the pitch was under the cover for long. The skipper expected his pace battery to make full use of the conditions against depleted Indian top order.
Gutsy Rahul, valiant Rohit
KL Rahul decided to face the first ball of the game in front of raging Mohammad Amir. Looking at Rohit Sharma's record against Amir, it was a courageous, well-planned decision. After weathering the storm initially, Rohit started doing what he usually does. Both the openers ensured that India did not miss Shikhar Dhawan whom they lost to an injury earlier. A steady partnership of 123 came in at a brisk pace between these two. Rahul got out in the twenty 24th but his job was done.
Indian skipper joined Rohit Sharma in the middle and they stitched together 98 runs between them. Both the batsmen rotated the strike with ease sneaked in boundaries at will and converted singles into doubles. Rohit Sharma got out while accelerating the inning in the 38th over but by that time, the launch pad was ready for the biffed up Indian middle order.
Kung fu Pandya
Hardik Pandya came in with the intent of scoring quick runs. With 10 overs and 8 wickets in their bag, 350 looked inevitable. Hardik Pandya, although not in the touch he is known for, smashed a 19 ball 26 before being dismissed by Mohammad Amir.
Pakistani fielders missed two possible run outs. It was the 10th over of the inning when both the Indian openers found themselves almost at the same end. Fakhar Zaman fired a throw at the wrong end and Rohit survived. A lazy Shadab missed another opportunity to run Rohit out in the very next over. If you thought that was all, Pakistan gave away a lot of easy runs which never allowed their bowlers to build pressure
After the departure of Pandya, Indian inning stalled a bit as Pakistani bowlers successfully got rid of MS Dhoni for a single digit score. The rain couldn't resist and decided to enjoy the slog overs of Indian inning which further broke the momentum. As Virat Kohli walked off without being given out (which later turned out to be a massive blunder), the hopes of India scoring anything above 350 vanished.
Bane and Boon
Pakistani openers were weathering the Storm of Bumrah and Bhuvaneshwar but the tragedy struck when Bhuvaneshwar probably slipped on a wet landing strip and pulled his hamstrings. He was declared unfit to bowl for the rest of the game. The injury must have got 130 million hearts beating a bit quicker but not for too long. Vijay Shankar was given the responsibilities of completing Bhuvaneshwar's over and he removed Imam Ul Haq on the very first ball.
Brilliant Babar, steady Zaman
The only partnership of Pakistani inning that looked like threatening India's total, was between Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman. A combination of nasty blows by Fakhar and classy drives from Babar ensured that Pakistan remained in the game until Kuldeep webbed Babar for the second time in two innings.
Post Babar's departure, the stage was set for the experienced middle order to launch an attack against already depleted Indian bowling lineup. Unfortunately, none of the senior batsmen stood to the occasion. Hardik Pandya got rid of Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik back to back in the 27th over. The Spine of Pakistani batting lineup was broken right here.
The rain came back, but it was too late for Pakistan as they were already into the 35th over and a defeat was inevitable. The rain could only delay their defeat. After the rain break, Pakistan got a target that was too much for their lower order batsmen. Some late blows from Imad and Shadab were not enough to nurture the wounds of Pakistani fans
It was the fourth ball of 48th over when Virat Kohli tried to hook a bouncer from Mohammad Amir. There was a noise and an appeal was made. Even before the umpire could raise his finger, Kohli walked off however later the replays revealed that his bat was nowhere close to the ball. Why Kohli walked off? So far it's a mystery.
A streak which began in 1992, remains unbroken. Pakistan once again failed to deal with the pressure of a game against India in a world cup and was totally dominated. Apart from being a highly anticipated encounter, it was an opportunity for Pakistan to revive their world cup journey but the men in blue, now have sent it into the ICU.
A nice article in which the summary of the match is narrated very well.
Against the advice of the best bowler of Pakistan of yesteryears and the present Prime Minister of the country, the Captain opted to bowl after winning the toss. Everyone will have their own logic and always defend their actions. But the decision of the Captain proved to be a blunder.
The Indian team showed very good teamwork in all the areas of the game and they excelled against the other team.
The match between these two countries will raise tensions in many people and both the teams show their maximum capacity and try to win. But fortunately for India, in all the world cup encounters, the Indian team has shown its supremacy and won seven games in a row so far. We should appreciate our team for their performance and I wish the Indian team all the best and hope they will come back with the cup in their hands.
It was not a good match as expected by the spectators. India easily won the match and it really hurt the Pakistani supporters who expected a lot from their team. Also, India maintained no loss trend in the world cup against Pakistan. It was a good team show which made them win the game.
The reaction afterwards of the Pakistani audience was rude. Many of them tweeted against their players especially the skipper of the team. It was expected that the senior player like Shoaib Malik will do good but he was a total failure in the match.
The loss against India is almost intolerable for the Pakistani audience and the players know that they will have to bear the brunt when they reach their homeland. It is upsetting because people should think that in sports one has to lose and when the other team wins.
It was overall a good match for India as we too didn't expect that we will win so easily.