|Scorecard:||India v Pakistan|
|Event:||ICC Champions Trophy 2013|
DateLine: 15th June 2013
By Andy Jalil at Edgbaston
In association with INVESTEC
Birmingham Ė Despite the result of this match having been made irrelevant with India having already qualified for the semi-final and Pakistan unable to progress further after two defeats in the tournament, the build-up to the match, as indeed any, between these two teams had more hype than any other cricketing nationís contest. All tickets were sold out within three hours of being put on sale several months ago.
Not surprisingly, the packed to capacity ground consisted almost entirely of supporters of the two countries with the help of around 15 per cent of Birminghamís population being of Pakistani origin. It was a wonderful sight of spectators of two very competitive nations sitting together around the ground waving hundreds of flags of their countries in excellent spirit.
But at the end of a fragmented day it was Indiaís supporters who went away delighted with their team victorious by 8 wickets on the Duckworth/Lewis method.
With a revised target set on the calculated D/L method India had begun their chase of 168 from 40 overs and then with a further rain-affected revision it was reduced to 157 from 36 overs. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma went after the Pakistan bowling like predators and put on 58 before Pakistan broke the opening stand which has been so productive in this tournament. Sharma stepped out to drive in Saeed Ajmalís second over and mistimed the shot to be held at mid-wicket.
Dhawan who has been in phenominal form with two centuries in the previous two matches, meanwhile had played two cracking drives to cover for four and a lovely square cut to the backward point boundary took his score to 38. He had added one more run when yet another stoppage came for rain. India were on 63 for one from 11.3 overs when further rain caused another revision of the target.
Eventually the latest target was set at 102 from 22 overs which meant India required a further 39 runs when the teams took the field after the final rain interruption. Dhawan, playing with aggression, hit two fours in an over to take his score to 48 from 41 balls before a lofted cut ended in the hands of third man. Finally in the late evening sunshine Virat Kohli with 22 not out along with Dinesh Karthik on 11 saw India comfortably home on 102 for two.
Earlier, having put Pakistan in to bat, India claimed an early wicket with Bhuneshwar Kumar, in the third over, having Nasir Jamshed held at second slip with a ball that was slanted across the left hander. But Pakistan soon got to fifty with a flurry of boundaries. Mohammad Hafeez drove Umesh Yadav to extra cover for four and followed it next ball with a pull to the boundary. Kamran Akmal then hit a four off the next ball and Indiaís three overs at that point went for 28.
The first stoppage for rain came with Pakistan on 50 for one and the first ball after resumption accounted for Hafeezís wicket. He needlessly played a ball outside off stump and edged it behind just when he seemed to have settled in well taking 20 of his 27 runs from boundaries off 31 balls. India replaced Yadav with Ravi Ashwin and the change reduced Pakistan to 56 for three. Kamran Akmal, unwisely decided to sweep a flighted ball and was held at leg slip with a deflection off the wicket-keeper.
Once again the task of reviving the innings fell upon the captain Misbah ul Haq who had brought recovery to his team in the previous two matches with innings of 96 not out and 55. They progressed to 70 for three from 19 overs when rain interrupted play for the second time at 12.08 pm local time. It was a long stoppage and when resumption took place at 2.45pm the game was shortened to 40 overs a side with the break reduced to 20 minutes.
On the re-start, Misbah and Asad Shafiq picked up the runs with excellent running with quick singles and twos as they looked for gaps and took advantage of the power play overs. The tactic worked with fifty of the partnership coming from 68 balls. Asad moved on to 35 with two consecutive boundaries off Ravi Jadeja with a pull and a delicate cut. He took a run on the next ball and then Jadeja struck with the wicket of Misbah for 22. It was an angled ball that went on to hit top of leg stump.
With Pakistan on 110 for four, India made sure there would be no middle-order recovery as they grabbed three for nine in a space of 15 balls. Asad, on 41, was given not out to a leg side catch by the wicket-keeper but India asked for a review and that was successful. Eight runs later, Jadeja trapped Shoaib Malik for 6 and with Ashwin bowling Wahab Riaz without scoring Pakistan were 140 for seven. Both the eighth and ninth wickets fell on 159 and with two balls remaining from their re-allocated 40 overs the last man was run out leaving Umar Amin unbeaten on 27 from 26 balls.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2013 Andy Jalil)