India beat Pakistan by 124 runs, Yuvraj Singh named Man of the Match

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Birmingham: India got off the mark in their 2017 ICC Champions Trophy campaign with a massive 124-run victory over Pakistan, in a rain-threatened game at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground, in Birmingham, on June 5.
The Men in Blue got off to a rather slow start in the first innings, after being put in to bat by Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed.
Openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma were just looking to up the tempo, when the weather gods decided to interfere with the game as the showers poured down. They did not last for long though, as play resumed later, with Dhawan and Rohit needing to acclimatize themselves to the conditions again.
Rohit and Dhawan got to their half-century mark, before launching into the overdrive mode. This aggression did Dhawan in, as he got caught in the deep, trying to slog spinner Shadab Khan.
The rains interrupted again, while Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma attempted to get the momentum back to the Indian innings.
However, the Mumbai batsman soon found himself short of his crease, as he tried to seal a run. Babar Azam showed great awareness to hurl it at Sarfraz, who swiftly whipped off the bails.
Man of the Match Yuvraj Singh’s entry completely changed the dynamics of the Indian innings. The southpaw played a brisk knock of 53 from 32 balls, smacking eight boundaries and one six.
This late surge by Yuvraj, and one massive last over (23 runs) by Hardik Pandya and Kohli meant that India reached a mammoth total of 319 runs from their rain-curtailed quota of 48 overs.
Pakistan made a steady start to their own innings as well, scoring at over five runs per over. However, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has had a brilliant IPL season with Sunrisers Hyderabad, struck first, as he trapped the Pakistan opener plumb in front of the middle and off stump.
Bhuvi’s fellow opening bowler Umesh Yadav soon struck a second blow to Pakistan, as the dangerous Babar Azam sliced it straight to Ravindra Jadeja at point.
Pakistan looked to be in the game as long as Azhar Ali was at the crease, and the 31-year-old built up a steady 30-run partnership with Mohammad Hafeez, scoring his 11th ODI 50 on the way.
However, Jadeja soon trapped Azhar, who tried to slog sweep the spinner, sending his top-edged shot straight to Hardik Pandya in the deep. The southpaw manufactured yet another wicket with a brilliant direct throw, on the turn, when he had just one stump to aim at. Shoaib Malik was caught way off his crease.
The sun seemed to shine brightly on India’s fortunes, as the Men in Blue kept picking up wickets at regular intervals. Pandya, who had bowled tight spells till then, picked up a couple of wickets, removing Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and Imad Wasim.
Virat Kohli brought his strike bowler Umesh Yadav in to bowl, as soon as the Pakistan tail was exposed, and the lanky Kolkata Knight Riders paceman wrapped-up the innings with some intelligent change of pace, removing Mohammad Amir and Hassan Ali. With Wahab Riaz already out injured, Pakistan ran out of batsmen, resulting in a massive 124-run win for India.
Scorecard:
India:
319-3 from 48 overs (Rohit: 91, Kohli: 81*; Shadab: 1-52)
Pakistan: 164-9 (all out) from 33.2 overs (41 overs)
India win by 124 runs
Man of the Match:
Yuvraj Singh

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