Published: Sat, June 17, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Yuvraj's game-changing knock took the pressure off me: Kohli

Yuvraj's game-changing knock took the pressure off me: Kohli

Earlier, India captain Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh made Pakistan pay for fluffing catches with quickfire fifties as the holders launched their Champions Trophy title-defence with a 124-run thrashing of their arch-rivals at Edgbaston on Sunday.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya (unbeaten at 20) added further woes to Pakistan as he rounded off India's innings by blasting three sixes to help them reach 319-3. Pakistan's batsman Azhar Ali (50) and Mohammad Hafeez (33) battled slightly.

When the match resumed, Pakistan were set a daunting 289 run target from 41 overs.

But eyeing what would have been his 11th ODI hundred, Sharma was run out when he just failed to beat Babar Azam's throw to Sarfraz after Kohli's call for one. India were just the better team in all departments and deserve the points they are taking home.

It was surprisingly easy for India. Rohit Sharma (91) and Shikhar Dhawan (68) gave a steady start to their side.

Dhawan was dismissed when he lofted legbreak bowler Shadab Khan to Azhar Ali.

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He then backed that brilliant last-over assault up by bowling eight solid overs, while managing to pick up two wickets as well, including the prized one of the Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed. The dismissal triggered jeers from Indian fans.

Pakistan were bowled out for 164 in 33.4 overs, thanks to precise bowling from paceman Umesh AYadav (3/30), medium pacer Hardik Pandya (2/43) and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (2/43). In the test of nerves, Pakistan were counting on experienced Shoaib Malik.

With Champions Trophy being a tournament which has actually no room for slip ups, India would definitely want to improve on this aspect as they progress in the tournament.

Play was interrupted after 9.5 overs with India on 46-0. When Rohit Sharma got out in the 36th over in the match which was reduced to 48 overs, it looked as though the Pakistan bowlers would be able to restrict India to an achievable total. The Indian batsmen though kept coming on strong as Yuvraj Singh joined Kohli at the crease at the fall off the second wicket. Having a stranglehold over Pakistan, Indian team played to a plan and achieved a huge win by D/L method against our old enemy.

A miserable match for Wahab, flayed by India's batsmen for a hugely expensive 87 runs in 8.4 overs, ended when he fell in his delivery stride and sustained an injury that saw him leave the field.

A minute's silence was held before the match for the victims of the London Bridge attacks on Saturday night, amid heavy security at the West Midlands ground.

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