India smash Pakistan in Champions Trophy cricket tournament

Of the four batsmen that came to the crease as India piled up 319 for three in their rain-reduced 48 overs, three Rohit Sharma (91), Kohli (81 not out) and Shikhar Dhawan (68) all made more than Yuvraj's 53.

Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan shared an opening stand of 136 either side of an initial 50-minute rain interruption.

In the end, Kohli was in complete command as India scored an astounding 72 runs in their last four overs, with Hardik Pandya hitting three successive sixes off left-arm spinner Imad Wasim just before the innings ended. Now since the play was delayed due to rain, Pakistan had to chase a revised target of 288 in 41 overs.

In reply, Pakistan finished on 164 all out in 33.4 overs " opener Azhar Ali's 50 off 65 balls and Mohammad Hafeez's 33 off 43 providing the only resistance " and rarely looked in the game.

Yadav finished things off with two wickets in three balls by removing Mohammed Amir for nine and Hasan for a duck to earn the Indians a massive win by 124 runs as they bowled their rivals out for 164 to get off to a ideal start in the tournament.

The next match of the championship will be played between Australia and Bangladesh at The Oval on Monday.

It was not surprising that Sarfraz Ahmed sent India in to bat after winning the toss under overcast conditions. While the openers gave India a flawless start, India skipper Virat held on to the innings from one end and chipped in with some crucial runs that pushed Pakistan on the back-foot.

Yuvraj's innings helped India to put up a target of 319/3, which eventually turned out to be too big a total for the Men in Green.

India taking on Pakistan is always a hyped-up affair and the fact that the two teams play each other only in ICC events just adds to the intensity.

Kohli said: "This one's done and dusted".

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur feels his side was given a "reality check" by India in the lost Champions Trophy clash in Birmingham and the "below-par" show was a result of his players letting the occasion get the better of them. Rohit was unfortunate to miss out on a century as he was run-out in the nineties.

While Yuvraj was hitting freely, Kohli slowly gained in momentum and hammered his 40th fifty off 58 balls and his first against Pakistan.

Riaz went for plenty of runs conceding 87 runs in 8.4 overs at an economy rate of over 10 per over before he was forced to leave the field with the ankle injury.

Man-of-the-Match Yuvraj was happy that he could capitalise on the chances offered by the Pakistanis.

  • Julie Sanders