India outclass Pakistan in rain-hit clash

Defending Champion India began the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 campaign with an emphatic 124-run win over arch-rival Pakistan in their first game of the tournament.

India skipper Virat Kohli would not be drawn to comment on future bilateral ties with Pakistan after their Champions Trophy clash on Sunday. India didn't field well and probably gave away more runs than Pakistan, but the pressure of the scoreboard from India was a lot more than that of Pakistan. But it was Yuvraj Singh who gave the Indian innings the impetus it needed.

Play was interrupted after 9.5 overs with India on 46-0.

Virat Kohli (81* from 68 balls) wasn't timing the ball very well during the initial part of his innings but came into his own by the end.

When Pandya came out to bat the well-set Yuvraj had just got out. Hardik Pandya hit three six in the final over as India posted 319/3 in 48 overs.

Wahab endured a torrid time in the 124-run defeat at Edgbaston and conceded 87 runs in just 8.4 overs - the worst return in the tournament's history. To add to that, the Indian fielders created a lot of pressure on the batsmen, despite a couple of misfields here and there.

"We've played the game".

Being an all-rounder there is always a room for him to face such surprises, he also said that he's now quite familiar with the global matches and it was just an another game for him.

Chasing a revised target of 289 runs, Pakistan were all out on 164 runs in 33.4 overs.

"We were in control for 40 overs but we lost the plot in the last eight overs", the wicket-keeper added after what was the opening Group B match for both the Asian giants in a tournament featuring the world s top eight one-day global teams.

But Jadeja had his revenge by running Shoaib out with a direct hit from backward point to leave Pakistan all but out of the game at 114 for four in the 24th over. From there on the Pakistan batting line up went back to their hut in a procession.

An India versus Pakistan cricket match even today invokes all of the above and much more.

"They are a top side which is why they are number three in ODI rankings and we are languishing at number eight because of our poor performances", said Mohammad Yousef, per TOI.

Yuvraj was declared "Man of the Match" for his brilliant batting performance.

With the loss against India, Pakistan have sunk to the bottom and will face South Africa in their second Champions Trophy encounter in which Pakistan has to secure a win in order to stay alive in the competition.

  • Julie Sanders