India’s Champions Trophy campaign started with a bang, beating Pakistan for a victory of whopping 124 runs. India’s batsmen played a strong stretch of one-on-one partnership innings. The opening partnership lasted for 24.3 overs bringing 136 runs. Virat Kohli scored 81 runs remaining unbeaten playing 68 balls. His partnership with Yuvraj Singh brought 93 runs in 9.4 overs. The enterprise of first five batsmen hauled India’s score to 319, which half centuries from the top four. Hardik Pandya added a flashy 20 off 6 balls hammering 3 fours in the stretch. The match was rain-struck, forcing to cut short the inning by two overs. Pakistan chase was adjusted to the target of 289 runs off 41 overs.
Pakistan’s batting line-up came out as a wobble, although the opening pair seemed headstrong. Openers Azhar Ali and Ahmed Shehzad played together for 8.6 overs bringing 47 runs. The former emerged as the top scorer in the inning scoring 50 off 65 balls. The chase did never catch up any momentum as their batsmen began to fall one after another after the 20th over. From 3 for 91 in the 21st over, Pakistan slogged to 151 for 7 in the 30th over. The chase was alive only of the next 33.4 overs until Wahab Riaz retired hurt. All the team could do is score a paltry 164 runs as they surrendered to India bowlers.
Pakistan’s fielding was loose and their bowlers just could not match up to India’s batsmen. Wahab Riaz was milked for 87 runs in his 8.4 overs. Imad Wasim and Hasan Ali both had an economy of 7. Only Mohammed Amir bowled with an economy of 3.91. India started the play with a maiden over from Amir, but the crackdown began right from the second inning. The only slow stretch in India’s inning was the third wickets partnership between Rohit Sharma and Kohli. In 12.1 overs, the players scored only 56 runs. The momentum caught fire after the 30th when Kohli and Yuvraj paired up. For India, it was the sixth consecutive win in an ICC tournament.
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