History has repeated itself and the Pakistani team who has been waiting since 1992 to taste success in World Cups against India will have to wait another four years as Virat Kohli and his soldiers have recorded their third campaign victory.
First, the Indian openers ‘ intention was clear batting. They wanted to see off Mohammad Amir first few overs and KL Rahul attempted hardly to touch his deliveries. Rohit Sharma hammered Hasan Ali at the other end, forcing Sarfaraz Ahmed into the powerplay to bring in Wahab Riaz. Once both batsmen were caught up, watching the duo fulfill their responsibilities was just a visual treat.
In just 34 deliveries, Rohit reached his half-century, but his scoring rate dropped in the middle overs with the courtesy of some good bowling. In this match, KL Rahul was filling up for Shikhar Dhawan and scored a pivotal fifty, bringing their partnership past the 100-run mark as well. By mistimed drive, Rahul chipped a delivery straight to short covers after adding 136 runs for the first wicket.
Rohit continued to go about his business and brought up his tournament’s second century. He upped the ante alongside skipper Virat Kohli, who also worked to keep the scoreboard ticking at a good pace. For a sensational 140 off just 113 balls, Rohit was dismissed and he set the tone for the slog-over experts to come in and go berserk brilliantly.
Vijay Shankar went in and provided the first breakthrough off the first ball he bowled after Bhuvneshwar Kumar chose to leave the field feeling a hamstring injury. But what followed later was a lovely Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman batting exhibition. The duo began their partnership a little too slowly, but quickly they managed to pick up.
They looked comfortable against the spinners and even targetted Yuzvendra Chahal. After reaching his half-century, Fakhar Zaman was starting to loosen up and Babar Azam was also closing in on a fifty. At 117/1 in 23.5 overs, they seemed to be going a long way, but Kuldeep churned out from his wrists an utter peach to knock down the stumps of Babar Azam.
In Kuldeep’s next over, Fakhar Zaman also followed his partner, edging a sweeping shot directly to the fine leg. Hardik Pandya dismissed the experienced campaigners Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik off consecutive deliveries, and Pakistan lost 4 wickets in a period of 19 deliveries. After that, despite some excellent fight back from Imad Wasim and Sarfaraz Ahmed, they were never alive in the match.
Just after Vijay Shankar knocked over Sarfaraz, standing at 166/6 in 35 overs, it rained and took over the session for a while. When play resumed after 45 minutes, the target was revised to 302 runs in 40 overs, which meant that they had to get 136 runs in five overs. The Indian bowlers finished the final rites effectively and now they have seven points in their kitty.