Despite a good effort and scoring by Pakistani Captain Misbah-ul Huq, his ouster in 45th over has ended the battle between India and Pakistan on Adelaide grounds in Australia as part of the opening match for World Cup 2015.
Pakistan has never won a match against India in any world cup event and this time too, it went down biting the dust bit early. India scored 300 runs 50 overs and set a target of 301 for Pakistan but it turned out to be difficult for the neighbouring subcontinent-team to reach even 250 runs.
Pakistan were out 224 all out in 47 overs. India won with an edge of 76 runs over Pakistan, keeping the expectations true from millions of fans back home including the prime minister, Delhi and West Bengal CM, besides Shah Rukh Khan and other celebrities.
Otherwise, Virat Kohli guided India to 300/7 in their World Cup opening match against Pakistan. Backed by two century-run stands, India were cruising at 273/2 in the 45th over when Pakistan came back strongly to take five wickets and restrict the defending champions to only 300/7 in 50 overs, with the last five overs yielding only 27 runs.
At the start, Pakistani pacers Mohammed Irfan (0/58) and Sohail Khan (5/55) bowled a good line. Despite that, India got off to a fluent start with openers Rohit Sharma (15) and Shikhar Dhawan (73). Rohit looked in prime touch until he gave away his wicket while trying to pull a not-so-short-delivery.
However, Dhawan struck a strong second-wicket 129-run partnership with Kohli (107). Dhawan looked good to score a hundred but confusion with Kohli in the 30th over caused his run out.
Pakistan could have capitalised on Dhawan’s wicket but left-handed batsman Suresh Raina (74) had other ideas. His 56-ball innings was laden with five fours and three sixes as India’s run rate almost touched run-a-ball.
Kohli looked in sublime touch as he went on to notch his 22nd One-Day International (ODI) hundred, studded with eight boundaries. This is also the first century by an Indian against Pakistan in a World Cup match.
Though Kohli did not start well, playing a few reckless shots, he slowly built his innings. His 126-ball knock included eight fours.
Kohli was reprieved twice during his innings. In the beginning, he was dropped by Yasir Shah at long-on – a difficult chance. If Yasir would have taken the catch, it would have been a blinder.
Kohli was again dropped by wicketkeeper Umar Akmal while batting at 76.
Sohail finally hit success when he claimed a tired-looking Kohli’s wicket, who slashed at a wide ball only to be caught behind. That started the collapse of the batting order.
Just when it looked like India were well on their way for a 330-plus score, some fantastic bowling by Pakistan helped the 1992 edition champions clinch five wickets and restrict India to only 300.
Statistics suggest that Pakistan have never chased more than 262 successfully in a World Cup match, and India have always defended a 300 or more total in the quadrennial event.(With inputs from IANS)