Friday 23 August 2019

Rohit ton keeps India on front foot


India's Rohit Sharma reacts after losing his wicket. Photo: Reuters/Lee Smith
India's Rohit Sharma reacts after losing his wicket. Photo: Reuters/Lee Smith Sportdesk

India extended their unblemished World Cup record against Pakistan after Rohit Sharma's century and tidy bowling secured their 89-run victory via the Duckworth-Lewis method in the tournament's most anticipated group match yesterday.

Put into bat in a stop-start, rain-hit match, India posted a commanding 336-5, with Rohit Sharma (140) smashing his second century of the tournament.

Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam kept alive Pakistan's hopes for a while in the chase but losing four wickets in an 18-ball span effectively derailed their hopes.

Set a revised target of 302 in 40 overs, Pakistan eventually finished on 212-6 and slumped to their third defeat in five matches.

Earlier, India went into the contest with an unblemished 6-0 record against their arch-rivals in a sell-out match that began under grey skies at Old Trafford.

Shikhar Dhawan's injury had forced India to pick KL Rahul as Rohit Sharma's opening partner and they immediately hit it off after being asked to bat.

They treated Mohammad Amir with respect and Hasan Ali with disdain, and were at ease when spinners Shadab Khan and Imad Hasim operated in tandem.

Wahab Riaz dismissed Rahul for 57 to end the 136-run stand but Rohit could not be denied another assured ton which he duly brought up in 85 balls.

The right-hander was looking good for yet another 'daddy hundred' but scooped an Ali delivery from outside off-stump to the short fine leg fielder to depart for 140.

Rohit's 24th ODI century was studded with 14 boundaries and three effortless sixes.

Amir dismissed Hardik Pandya and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in quick succession but Kohli made 77 before Amir dismissed him after a rain interruption.

Irish Independent

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