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CT 2017: Match 4, IND v PAK – 5 Game Changing Moments

India overpowered Pakistan to emerge victorious in the high-voltage encounter

Virat Kohli of India
Virat Kohli of India. (Photo by Matthew Lewis-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

It was the hugely anticipated clash between the arch-rivals India and Pakistan at Edgbaston, Birmingham. There was huge excitement amongst the fans for the game and the stands were packed to the rafters with the supporters from the 2 countries. Just like every other India-Pakistan encounter, this one too began with a huge amount of interest. But as it turned out, India proved to be too good for the neighbors.

Pakistan’s skipper Sarfaraz Khan won the toss and opted to bowl first. Mohammad Amir bowled a terrific first over to Rohit Sharma who had no clue of the balls and it ended being a maiden over. The nerves settled quickly and the Indian openers started taking control of the game. They went on to add 136 runs for the 1st wicket and both got their half-centuries. Rain played spoilsport in the interim and there were multiple interruptions that resulted in the match being reduced to 48 overs per side.

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Virat Kohli struggled a little to time the ball at the start of the innings but came to the fore at the fag end and stayed unbeaten at 81 off 68 balls. Yuvraj Singh who batted at number 4, played a blinder of 53 off just 32 balls that gave the innings the momentum. Hardik Pandya played a superb cameo of 20 off 6 balls that propelled the score to 319/3 in 48 overs.

Another rain interruption reduced the target to 289 from 41 overs. Pakistani openers began well and added 47 runs. But as Ahmed Shehzad departed in the 9th over, it opened the floodgates and they lost wickets at regular intervals. Only Azhar Ali managed to score a half-century and there was absolutely no resistance from any of the batsmen. They were restricted to 164 runs as India sealed the game by 124 runs.

Here are the 5 Game-Changing Moments from the match:

#1 Imad Wasim bowling with new ball

Mohammad Amir began with a bang against Rohit Sharma as he beat the bat on 4 occasions in the 1st over. His over seemed like proving Pakistan’s decision of bowling first right. But to everyone’s surprise, Sarfaraz introduced Imad Wasim to bowl with the new ball in the 2nd over, that too against the left-handed Shikhar Dhawan.

Dhawan must have prepared himself to face the music from a pacer and he would never have thought of facing a spinner at the start. He could not have hoped for anything better than turning up against a spinner in a tense encounter up front. The nerves were eased and the openers managed to handle Wasim pretty easily. A fast bowler would have been much better at the start but that move surely gave India a breather at the start.

#2 Rohit-Dhawan’s platform

It wasn’t very easy batting in the beginning. The ball was darting around but the Indian openers handled the conditions beautifully. After the early jitters, Dhawan and Rohit began to open their arms and hit some delightful strokes. The Pakistani bowlers had absolutely no answer to their grit and the partnership really set the tone for India.

Dhawan scored 68 off 65 balls with 6 fours and a six and departed in the 25th over but not before adding 136 runs for the 1st wicket. Rohit carried on to make 91 off 119 balls with 7 fours and 2 sixes. The duo provided a superb platform for the middle-order to carry forward the momentum.

#3 Kohli-Yuvraj’s onslaught

The Indian skipper was having a hard time to score the boundaries. Until the point he got to his fifty, he had only hit 2 fours and a six. But a six that he hit to Hasan Ali over long-on really pumped him up as he was seen roaring after hitting the shot. That shot brought back his usual game and he ended up scoring an unbeaten 81 off 68 balls that included 6 fours and 3 sixes.

Yuvraj had walked in to bat at number 4 after the fall of Rohit. The score read 192/2 after 36.4 overs. There were speculations that someone like MS Dhoni would have been better at that stage. But he proved it wrong and played a wonderful knock of 53 off just 32 balls with 8 fours and a six. That knock of his provided the much-needed momentum that made the 300+ score possible.

#4 Hardik Pandya’s cameo

The right-hander found himself at the crease in the penultimate over when just 10 deliveries were remaining in the innings. Kohli was accelerating at the other end and Pandya faced one delivery in that over off which he could manage a single. The last over was to be bowled by the left-arm spinner Imad Wasim and Pandya had his eyes wide opened.

He hit three sixes in a row to Wasim off the first three deliveries that took the score well past 300. He along with Kohli enjoyed each and every shot as if they knew they had enough on the board to dismantle Pakistan. He stayed unbeaten at 20 off just 6 balls that propelled India to a massive 319.

#5 Jadeja’s run out of Malik

India had Pakistan tottering after the dismissal of the Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam and Azhar Ali. At 91/3, Pakistan’s most experienced batsman Shoaib Malik was at the crease. If anyone could do it for the team, it was Malik. He began well as he hit Pandya for 2 consecutive boundaries in the 22nd over. In the next over, he launched Jadeja over his head for a massive six.

Malik was looking dangerous and kept the hopes alive for his side. But in the 24th over, he dabbed one delivery from Umesh Yadav towards short third man and took off for a single. The non-striker didn’t respond and Malik had to trace back. But Jadeja picked up the ball, released it in a flash and hit the stumps in quick succession as the batsman was found miles short of the crease. It was a masterful work in the field that put the final nail in the coffin as Pakistan couldn’t recover from the blow.

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