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21 April 2024

India crush Pakistan by 76 runs in World Cup

By Cricket Correspondent and Agencies

India's bowlers backed-up a landmark century by Virat Kohli as the defending champions continued their World Cup domination of Pakistan with a 76-run win at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday.

Kohli hit 107, the first century by an Indian in World Cup matches against their arch-rivals, to lift his team to an imposing 300 for seven after they elected to bat on an even-paced pitch in their World Cup opener.

Mohammad Shami picked up four wickets and Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma two each as Pakistan were shot out for 224 with three overs to spare as they suffered their sixth consecutive World Cup defeat by India dating back to 1992.

Skipper Misbah-ul Haq played a lone hand with a valiant 76 off 84 balls that ensured Pakistan did not surpass their heaviest World Cup defeat, a 112-run reverse against England in Cape Town in 2003.

Kohli showed why he is one of the most feared batsmen in modern cricket as he survived two dropped catches to notch up his 22nd one-day international century in his 151st match at this level.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan made 73 and fellow left-hander Suresh Raina smashed 74 off 56 balls in front of a sell-out crowd of over 47,000 in a Pool B game that was beamed to an estimated 2.5 billion viewers across the world.

Kohli surpassed Sachin Tendulkar's 98 at Centurion in 2003 to become the only Indian to score a century against Pakistan in the World Cup.

The Indian vice-captain put on 129 for the second wicket with Dhawan and 110 for the third with Raina to leave Pakistan chasing a target of six runs an over under lights and overcast conditions.

Pakistan, whose most successful World Cup chase was 262 against New Zealand in 1992, sent Younis Khan to open the batting but the gamble backfired as the veteran was dismissed for six.

Ahmed Shehzad (47) and Haris Sohail (36) put on 68 for the second wicket, but the fall of four quick wickets reduced Pakistan to 103 for five in the 25th over.

After off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had Haris caught in the slips, seamer Umesh Yadav removed Shehzad and Sohaib Maqsood in three balls through catches at point and slips.

Umar Akmal failed to score as India earned a favourable review by the third umpire for a thin edge caught by captain and wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind off Ravindra Jadeja.

Pakistan's most experienced pair of Misbah and Shahid Afridi revived their team's hopes by adding 46 for the sixth wicket, but the recovery came too late.

Seamer Mohammad Shami dismissed Afridi (22), caught off a full toss by Kohli, running back in the covers, and four balls later had Wahab Riaz edging to Dhoni.

Kohli was let-off on the long-on fence by Yasir Shah on three and again by wicket-keeper Akmal after he had made 76.

He was finally caught by Akmal in the 46th over.

Raina holed out in the deep two overs later before three wickets fell with the score on 296. However, India still managed to add 83 runs in the last 10 overs.

Earlier, Dhawan and Rohit Sharma made a slow, but steady start against the spot-on Pakistani seamers with an opening stand of 34 by the eighth over.

Sharma, the only batsman with two 200s in one-day internationals,had made 15 when he top-edged an intented pull off hard-working seamer Sohail Khan and was caught at mid-off.

Sohail, a 30-year-old who played the last of his five one-dayers in 2011, conceded just 15 runs in his first five overs. He finished with creditable figures of five for 55 from 10 overs.



R. Sharma c Misbah b Sohail 15
S. Dhawan run out (Misbah) 73
V. Kohli c Akmal b Sohail 107
S. Raina c Haris b Sohail 74
M. Dhoni c Misbah b Sohail 18
R. Jadeja b Riaz  3
A. Rahane b Sohail  0
R. Ashwin not out  1
Mohammad Shami not out 3
Extras: (lb2, w3, nb1) 6
Total (for 7 wkts, 50 overs) 300
Did not bat: U Yadav, M Sharma
Fall of wickets: 1-34 (R. Sharma), 2-163 (Dhawan), 3-273 (Kohli), 4-284 (Raina), 5-296 (Jadeja), 6-296 (Dhoni), 7-296 (Rahane).
Bowling: Irfan 10-0-58-0 (1nb, 2w), Sohail 10-0-55-5 (1w), Afridi 8-0-50-0, Riaz 10-0-49-1, Yasir 8-0-60-0, Haris 4-0-26-0.


Ahmed Shehzad c Jadeja b Yadav 47
Younis Khan c Dhoni b Shami 6
Haris Sohail c Raina b Ashwin 36
Misbah-ul Haq c Rahane b Shami 76
Sohaib Maqsood c Raina b Yadav 0
Umar Akmal c Dhoni b Jadeja 0
Shahid Afridi c Kohli b Shami 22
Wahab Riaz c Dhoni b Shami 4
Yasir Shah c Yadav b Mohit 13
Sohail Khan c Yadav b Mohit 7
Mohammad Irfan not out 1
Extras: (lb1, w10, nb1) 12
Total (all out, 47 overs) 224
Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Younis), 2-79 (Haris), 3-102 (Shehzad), 4-102 (Maqsood), 5-103 (Akmal), 6-149 (Afridi), 7-154 (Riaz), 8-203 (Yasir), 9-220 (Misbah), 10-224 (Sohail)
Bowling: Yadav 10-0-50-2 (5w), Shami 9-1-35-4 (4w), Mohit 9-0-35-2 (1nb), Raina 1-0-6-0, Ashwin 8-3-41-1 (1w), Jadeja 10-0-56-1

Result: India won by 76 runs

Toss: India
Umpires: Richard Kettleborough (ENG) and Ian Gould (ENG)
TV umpire: Steve Davis (AUS)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)


Ahmed Shehzad's tumultuous start to his international cricket career is about to move to another level.

The 23-year-old Shehzad is set to start for Pakistan in its World Cup opener against arch rival and defending champion India in Adelaide on Sunday, an encounter that local organisers say will attract the biggest TV audience ever for a cricket match.

Also Read: Pakistan responds to India's World Cup taunt

He was hit on the right forearm by a pace bowler during a practice session this week, but passed a fitness test Saturday and was expected to take his place at the top of the order in a match Pakistan is desperate to win to end an extraordinary  World Cup losing streak against India.

Follow us on Twitter @E247Sports for exclusive coverage of all the action from Down Under

He will have extra responsibility in the absence of veteran Mohammad Hafeez, who was ruled out of the tournament with a calf muscle injury.

"You could say he's a match winner. He could really turn the game," Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq said of Shehzad.

"So we'll be really happy to have him in the squad because he got that sort of flair and that sort of, you could say, positive attitude that he could rise to the occasion and play a really good innings. He's an important player for us."

Shehzad has scored a century and two half-centuries in his last six one-day international innings. He has averaged almost 35 in 58 ODIs, scoring six centuries. But he has never played an ODI in Australia, and has only played India once in the format.

His first trip to the World Cup could best be described as a learning experience - he played five matches during the 2011, all in Sri Lanka, scoring one on debut against Kenya and posting a highest score of 13.

Since then he has established himself in the team, and had to grow into the job.

Last year, he was cautioned by the Pakistan Cricket Board for violating his central contract by making religious remarks to Sri Lanka player Tillakaratne Dilshan.

In November, he was ordered to rest for three weeks after being hit in the head during a test series against New Zealand, a serious setback only a few months out from the World Cup.

World Cup flops

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq regards Sunday's key clash against India at the Adelaide Oval as an opportunity to end an embarrassing string of World Cup flops against the arch-rivals.

Pakistan have lost all their five World Cup matches to India dating back to 1992, even though they hold a superior 72-50 win record against the neighbours in one-day internationals.

"This is a chance to create history," Misbah said on Saturday ahead of the sell-out blockbuster that will be followed by millions in both nations and around the world.

"India-Pakistan is always all about pressure. The best thing we can do is just enjoy the game, enjoy the atmosphere, go there and be positive.

"My advice to the team is just go out there and play your natural game. That is the only way to handle pressure."

The Pakistan captain was not worried that his team's opening match in the 14-nation tournament was a high-voltage encounter against India.

"You have to be ready to play against any team at any time if you really want to do well in any tournament," he said. "It's not really a question of playing India first.

"You need to be ready. Whenever any team comes against you, you should be ready to play well.

"The key is not to take anything into the ground when you are playing against India. You don't have to worry about what's happening outside, what's going on in the two countries.

"I think you need to focus on your game, go there and play your best."

Misbah will be inspired by Pakistan's title victory under Imran Khan when the World Cup was last played Down Under in 1992, but is burdened with a team weakened by injuries and suspensions.

The team management has been reluctant to rush back one-day cricket's number one bowler Saeed Ajmal despite the off-spinner being cleared of a suspect action earlier this month.

With seamers Umar Gul and Junaid Khan sidelined with injuries, Pakistan suffered a severe blow when the seasoned Mohammad Hafeez was ruled out of the tournament with a calf injury.

Lanky paceman Mohammad Irfan - the tallest man ever play international cricket at 7 feet, one inch - will lead the bowling attack that includes leg-spinners Yasir Shah and Shahid Afridi.

"Obviously senior players and good performers are key to a team's success, but this is how life goes on," said Misbah. "Injuries are part and parcel of life.

"One should just focus on what we have got, and we need to believe that whatever we have got is the best."

Misbah was reluctant to talk about India's dismal tour of Australia over the last three months where Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team lost the Tests 2-0 and did not win a match in the subsequent tri-series.

"We are not thinking about what India is doing and what their performances are," he said. "I think we need to focus on our strengths and our game."

A winning start for either team will boost their hopes of taking one of the four quarter-final spots from a pool which also includes the impressive South Africa, the West Indies, Ireland, Zimbabwe and the United Arab Emirates.

Losing streak

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday urged his team to forget their losing streak in Australia as they prepared for a World Cup opener against arch-rivals Pakistan.

The defending champions have endured a miserable three months on tour in Australia where they were beaten 2-0 in the Tests and did not win a match in the subsequent tri-series.

But Dhoni said that Sunday's high-voltage clash against Pakistan, which he described as a "prized game" on the cricket calendar, was an opportunity for players to transform themselves from zeroes to heroes.

"There is of course more intensity when we play Pakistan because the game is followed by so many fans," the Indian captain said. "But I see it as a good platform for the team to perform.

"We need to forget the past and try not to make the same mistakes. It's been a long summer but the positive thing is that we have got used to the conditions. The boys are looking good.

"I can also proudly announce that all 15 are fit and available for selection - unless something happens between now and tomorrow."

Dhoni said he did not need to calm nerves ahead of the key encounter, explaining his players were used to appearing before huge crowds in the Indian Premier League and during other high-profile home games.

A sell-out crowd of 47,000 at the refurbished Adelaide Oval and millions of passionate fans across the world will follow the Pool B match which organisers said was sold out in 20 minutes.

Dhoni played down repeated questions about India's impressive 5-0 record World Cup record against Pakistan, saying what mattered more was how the team played on the given day.

"All I know is that I am asked a lot of questions about the record," he said. "Look, I am not bothered about statistics because what happened in the past will count for little in what is a prized game for all.

"It's nice for fans and the media to talk about it, but for us the only thing that will matter is how we play.

"The important thing is to plan well and execute those plans well. I don't know if it will be an even contest. It is hard to predict such things."

A winning start for either team will boost their hopes of taking one of the four quarter-final spots from a pool which also includes the impressive South Africa, the West Indies, Ireland, Zimbabwe and the United Arab Emirates.

The current Indian squad has just four players - Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin and Dhoni himself - who were involved in the winning combination four years ago.

But the nucleus of the side is the same as that which won the Champions Trophy one-day tournament in England in 2013 and finished runners-up to Sri Lanka in the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh last year.

"There have been a lot of changes in the last four years," said Dhoni. "But the current team has played together for a long time and knows what is needed in pressure situations."

Squads and officials:

(from): Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Ravichandran Ashwin, Stuart Binny, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Akshar Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Mohit Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav.

Pakistan (from): Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Ahmed Shahzad, Ehsan Adil, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Irfan, Nasir Jamshed, Rahat Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed, Shahid Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood, Sohail Khan, Umar Akmal, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Younis Khan.

Umpires: Richard Kettleborough (ENG) and Ian Gould (ENG)
TV umpire: Steve Davis (AUS)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)

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