by: Atika Mehboob TN Sports News Pakistan:
The much-anticipated game, characterized by its history of high promises and infrequent delivery, once again lived up to its reputation. It ended with the desired result for a massive Indian audience: a dominant victory for India.
Pakistan’s dramatic middle-overs meltdown, where they lost eight wickets for a mere 36 runs, transformed what was anticipated as a thrilling run chase into a mere formality. Every Indian bowler played a pivotal role, with five different bowlers claiming two wickets each. After restricting Pakistan to 191, India, led by the stellar performance of captain Rohit Sharma, smoothly chased down the target.
Although Pakistan started strongly, they seemed defeated much before the game ended, allowing India to cruise to victory before an ecstatic crowd of approximately 100,000. This placed India firmly at the forefront of the World Cup race.
Interestingly, India chose to bowl first after winning the toss, a deviation from their traditional strategy against Pakistan in World Cup encounters. On a pitch that seemed challenging, they entrusted Pakistan’s batsmen with the responsibility of setting a target.
Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq provided a stable start, handling Jasprit Bumrah’s bowling well and capitalizing on Mohammed Siraj’s deliveries. Though Pakistan lost a couple of wickets, Babar and Mohammad Rizwan formed a steady partnership, bringing a semblance of dominance when Babar reached his half-century.
However, when Pakistan seemed to be in a comfortable position at 155 for 2, their fortunes took a drastic turn in Ahmedabad. Siraj’s ball dismissed Babar, introducing a hint of panic in the Pakistani lineup. Kuldeep Yadav capitalized on this, using his bowling intelligence to dismantle Pakistan’s middle order. Bumrah, who had been surprisingly ineffective until that point, made a significant impact by taking crucial wickets. With India set to bat, the atmosphere became electric.
The Indian chase was dominated by Rohit Sharma’s brilliance. He started aggressively alongside Shubman Gill. Even the dismissal of Gill couldn’t slow down India, as Virat Kohli joined Rohit at the crease. Rohit’s majestic form was evident in his boundary-filled innings, culminating in a swift half-century. Kohli’s departure did little to halt India’s momentum, with Shreyas Iyer playing a supporting role to Rohit, who led India to a triumphant victory.