Ahmedabad, Oct 14: Title favourites India humbled arch rivals Pakistan by 7 wickets in the 12th match of the ICC ODI World Cup 2023, here on Saturday.
With the convincing victory against Pakistan in the electrifying Day and Night encounter, India also improved the ODI World Cup match record against their neighbours 8-0. Jasprit Bumrah was adjudged the Player of the Match.
Earlier, Pakistan set a modest 192 target, which India achieved in 30.3 overs. After the bowlers set the game for India, it was their captain Rohit Sharma, who hit a 63-ball 86 to ensure his side does not falter in a low scoring tie in the high voltage tussle.
However, in the modest chase, India lost three of their top order batters. The first to depart was Shubman Gill, who was sent back by Shaheen Shah Afridi. Gill was caught brilliantly at point by Shadab Khan, while trying to free his arms against Afridi.
The next to go was Virat Kohli (16), who ended all speculations of him again scoring big against familiar opposition.
Kohli's 18-ball innings ended with a catch at mid on by Mohd Nawaz. Bowler Hasan Ali celebrated the prize wicket and Kohli returned back cursing himself for poor shot selection.
Indian skipper Rohit Sharma proved his class as he scored a 35-ball half century. While inching towards his 8th World Cup century, he was out for 86, caught by Iftikhar Ahmed.
The ball hit the toe end of Sharma's bat, and Afridi got his second scalp. Rohit hit six 4s and six 6s in his 63-ball dominating knock.
Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul took India home with individual contributions of 53 and 19 respectively.
Earlier, put into bat Pakistan were bundled out for 191 in 42.5 overs. Indian captain Sharma used six bowlers, and five of them grabbed two wickets each. Only Shardul Thakur, who bowled just 2 overs, was the one to miss out from the wickets column.
Indian bowling spearhead Jasprit Bumrah topped the chart with a superb 2/19 figure in 7 overs.
Pakistan must have blamed themselves for a self-inflicted batting collapse. At one stage, they were comfortably placed at 150/2, but could manage a score of 191/10. They fell like house of cards after skipper Babar Azam and Mohd Rizwan were separated.
Babar Azam (50) and Mohammad Rizwan (49) did shine with the bat. But once both of them were back in pavilion as Indian bowlers made a strong come back, the chances of a tall score looked dim for Pakistan.
Initially, Pakistan looked poised for a good target in the batting friendly Ahmedabad track.
Their opener Imam-ul-Haq silenced the home crowd, as he hit three boundaries in Mohd Siraj's first over. The openers duo Imam and Abdullah Shafique then began to play every ball on merit.
But not for long. In the final ball of the 8th over, Siraj got Shafique out for 20, claiming him LBW with a low delivery. Shafique hit three boundaries in his 24-ball innings.
Later Hardik Pandya got the other opener Imam-ul-Haq for 36 off 38 deliveries, caught behind the stumps by KL Rahul. Imam-ul-Haq sent the ball beyond the ropes six times during his stay at the wicket. Of those six fours, three were in Siraj's first over itself.
Once the openers departed, the two most dependable Pakistan batting pair of skipper Babar Azam and wicketkeeper Mohd Rizwan were busy playing Indian bowlers with patience and controlled aggression.
Thngs change quickly in a game of cricket. After hitting a superb 50, Captain Babar was bowled by Siraj. That somewhat opened the floodgates of wickets.
Saud Shakeel (6) and Iftikhar Ahmed (4) fell to Kuldeep Yadav. Once comfortably placed Pakistan faced an unexpected batting collapse with166/5 in 33 overs.
Jasprit Bumrah in his return spell, clean bowled a well settled and confident looking Rizwan for 49.
Pakistan spin all-rounder Shadab Khan's stumps were unsettled by Bumrah again and he had to go back after scoring only 2 runs.
Pakistan looked in dire trouble with seven wickets down at 171. Hardik Pandya almost ended Pakistan's remote chances of a batting comeback as he got Mohd Nawaj caught by Bumrah. Nawaz trying to go big, gave only a straight forward catch and returned back with an individual contribution of 4 runs.
In the very next over, Ravindra Jadeja got Hasan Ali (12). Shubman Gill held a high catch with his trademark calm composure and Pakistan were reduced to 189/9 in 40.1 overs.
Jadeja also claimed Haris Rauf for 2, restricting Pakistan to 191 all out, with 7.1 overs still left in the innings. The Indian fielding and bowling discipline were evident as they conceded only 4 extras.
Pakistan 191/10 (42.5 overs), India 192/3 in 30.3 overs.
India won by 7 wickets.
Player of the Match: Jasprit Bumrah.