India Express World Cup Intent With Pakistan's Comprehensive Demolition In Ahmedabad

Team Blue dominated Pakistan with the ball and bat in a lopsided affair that left Pakistan with only questions and no answers

India Express World Cup Intent With Pakistan's Comprehensive Demolition In Ahmedabad

A clash that was billed to be the match of the tournament turned out to be anything but, after another Pakistan batting collapse and masterful Indian all-round display, saw the match wrapped up in favour of the hosts before evening dinner time on Saturday.

India strolled to the 192-run target with seven wickets and nearly 20 overs to spare, with some critiquing that a more ruthless Indian side would have dispatched the match before the 20th over.

Earlier, India won the toss and decided to put Pakistan into bat first. 

With 120,000 Indian fans screaming and cheering their side on, Pakistan seemed to feel the heat. Abdullah Shafique, who had scored a century against Sri Lanka, lasted on seven overs and was dismissed by Mohammad Siraj for just 20 runs to leave Pakistan at 41.

Imamul Haq, who has had an unimpressive tournament thus far, fared a little better in this match and managed to score 36 before falling to Pandya. With Haq's wicket the second to fall, captain Babar Azam was then paired with Mohammad Rizwan for the fourth wicket partnership. 

The two put together a partnership of 82 runs before Babar Azam was dismissed by Siraj for 50. It left Pakistan at a salvageable 155 for three in the 29th over.

But what followed was an absolute disaster, with the remainder of the batting lineup collapsing. Perhaps it was the stern gaze of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Zaka Ashraf in the stands that caused them to wilt so. Pakistan lost Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan and Shadab Khan in quick succession, leaving Pakistan reeling at 171 for seven by the 35th over. 

The tail end tried to put on some rearguard action, with Hassan Ali leading the charge to get Pakistan a little closer to 200. But by the end of the 43rd over, Haris Rauf was walking back to the pavilion with Pakistan all out for 191.

Japrit Bumrah, who picked up the Player of the Match award, walked away with two wickets in his seven-over spell, giving away just 19 runs. 

All Indian bowlers, except Shardul Thakur, picked up two wickets each.

With the bat, India started a little nervously, losing Shubman Gill in the third over for 16 with the score at 23. Former captain Virat Kohli departed a short while later, but not before ensuring there was a good platform for the side.

Indian captain Rohit Sharma, however, ensured there would not be any more surprises and stroked 86 runs to get India to within touching distance of the target, putting on 77 runs with Shreyas Iyer, who scored 53 runs.

Iyer and KL Rahul then saw India over the line in the 31st over to complete the rout.

The win ensures India retains their spot at the top of the table with six points, ahead of fellow perfect record holder New Zealand on net run rate.

Pakistan, however, fell to fourth with their first defeat of the tournament and a run rate of -0.137.

Pakistan next face Australia on October 20. 

India will take on Bangladesh on October 19.