Ahmedabad, 14 October 2023 (TDI): India convincingly defeated Pakistan by seven wickets in a highly anticipated match at a packed Narendra Modi Stadium, maintaining their flawless record in 50-over World Cup contests against their archrivals.
The western Indian city was engulfed in cricket fever leading up to the tournament’s most eagerly awaited match on Saturday. India seized control from the start by dismissing their opponents for a total of 191 in just 43 overs.
With Babar Azam scoring 50 runs and Muhammad Rizwan contributing 49, Pakistan appeared to be within reach of around 300.
However, they suffered a dramatic collapse, failing to complete their full 50 overs. India’s captain, Rohit Sharma, played a scintillating innings of 86 runs, leading the charge in the chase.
The two-time champions ultimately breezed to victory in just 30.3 overs, keeping their flawless record intact against Pakistan throughout the history of the tournament.
In addition, they joined the 2019 runners-up, New Zealand, as the only two teams to secure victories in their initial three tournament matches.
The Player of the Match award went to Indian fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who delivered an outstanding performance, taking 2 wickets for just 19 runs in his nine overs.
Rohit Sharma showcased his skill by expertly hitting the ball to various sections of the ground, treating the predominantly Indian crowd to his delightful flicks and pulls.
This spectacle unfolded in the world’s largest cricket stadium, especially notable because the attendance of Pakistanis was effectively restricted.
India faced early setbacks with the departures of Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli, both scoring 16 runs.
However, Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer, the latter delivering the winning shot to reach his score of 53, established a strong partnership of 77 runs for the third wicket, effectively steering India towards a comfortable victory.
Rohit Sharma’s innings came to an end as he attempted another aggressive shot off Shaheen Shah Afridi and was caught at mid-wicket.
However, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul comfortably guided the team to victory. India’s decision to field first paid off as their bowlers played a crucial role in setting up the victory.
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Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Hardik Pandya, and Ravindra Jadeja each contributed by taking two wickets apiece.
Pakistan’s innings ended after 42.5 overs, losing eight wickets and enduring a collapse, with 36 runs scored in just 80 balls. In the 10-nation tournament, they currently hold a record of two wins and one defeat.