If it is cricket’s role to offer a day-long and all-consuming escape, it did the job well enough when India met Pakistan in the Champions Trophy. A crowd of 24,156 – the highest for a one-day game in Birmingham – and a television audience of about one billion watched the first fixture between the two neighbours since the 2015 World Cup.
India crushed Pakistan by 124 runs to win their first ICC Champions Trophy 2017 match at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Sunday. In a rain-interrupted match which saw the target revised to 289 in 41 overs, Pakistan’s batting order crumbled thanks to India’s brilliant bowling attack. Umesh Yadav led the way, returning with figures of 3/30. Ravindra Jadeja (2/43) and Hardik Pandya (2/43) pitched in with two wickets each as Bhuvneshwar Kumar helped with one. For Pakistan, Azhar Ali scored the highest with a half-century.
Earlier, the top four Indian batsmen scored half-centuries as India put on a dominating show and posted a mammoth 319 for 3. Rohit Sharma (91 off 119 balls) and Shikhar Dhawan (68 off 65) laid the foundation with a solid 136-run stand for the opening wicket. Virat Kohli played a captain’s knock with a whirlwind 81 not out off 68 balls and was well supported by the experienced Yuvraj Singh,(Man of the Match) who scored a 32-ball 53 . The duo put together a 93-run stand for the third wicket. Hardik Pandya hammered three sixes in his six-ball 20 runs knock.
India cruise to victory over Pakistan as their batting power shines through.