Brilliant Kohli steers India to victory over Pakistan

Toni Houston
June 6, 2017

A headline in The Hindu read "India knocks the stuffing out of Pakistan" with the newspaper calling the recent cricketing rivalry between the two neighbours "anything but competitive".

Yet the way the experienced left-hander - Sunday's match was his 297th one-day worldwide - took just 32 balls to score his runs saw the 35-year-old named man-of-the-match.

A minutes silence was observed as a mark of respect for the London tragedy, before the customary national anthems of both sides.

The Indian batsmen remained focussed despite the rain breaks with Rohit Sharma (91 off 119), Shikhar Dhawan (68 off 65), Kohli and Yuvraj rising to the occasion in a game reduced to 48-overs-a-side affair. Edgbaston recorded an attendance of 24,156, which is the highest recorded at any India versus Pakistan match at any venue.

Pakistan grassed an array of catches and were also guilty of taking some unwise decisions on the field.

"We went off about four times and we came back in".

"Win and defeat are part of any game but the way we lost to India on Sunday without a fight was very painful", Imran said in a statement. But while doing so, Dhawan was caught at deep mid-wicket by Azhar Ali off Shadab Khan in the 25th over, breaking their 136-run partnership. He might feel a little unlucky to have got out to a juicy full toss, but the good score will no doubt do him a world of good.

Hasan eventually had Yuvraj lbw on review but it was all too late.

"The tactic was perplexing for me since the match wasn't being played in the UAE!"

The moment we crossed the 300-run-mark, I was confident that the scales had tilted in our favour.

Besides Umesh, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja had two wickets apeice, while Bhuvneshwar provided the first breakthrough.

Bowling: Kumar 5-1-23-1 (2w); Yadav 7.4-1-30-3 (1w); Bumrah 5-0-23-0; Pandya 8-0-43-2 (3w); Jadeja 8-0-43-2. Yuvraj - as Kohli pointed out after the match - is a game changer. The 37-year-old, who announced his global retirement earlier this year, also said heaped praise on Virat Kohli's men, saying that Men in Blue lived up to their tag of tournament favourites.

"In modern ODI cricket you need to innovate and come hard at the bowlers, batsmen can not let the bowlers get into their groove".

He snared the wickets of Imad and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed in 27th and 29th overs respectively to end any hopes of Pakistan's revival.

"Everything was under control after 40 overs, but we lost the plot in the last eight".

"Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh than flayed a tiring attack before Hardik Pandya's cameo turned the match totally in the defending champion's favour", Afridi added. They scored 124 in those last eight, and the momentum went to India.

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