India

Virat Kohli fires champions to comfortable World Cup win

Virat Kohli smashed century, Photo: Skysports
Virat Kohli fires champions to comfortable World Cup win

Virat Kohli returned to form and smashed a century – his 22nd in ODIs – as India beat Pakistan by 76 runs in their Pool B World Cup clash in Adelaide.

Kohli – who had managed only one double-figure score in his last six innings while on tour in Australia – became the first Indian to score a World Cup century against Pakistan and helped his side make it six wins out of six in the tournament against their bitterest rivals.

He was supported well in century partnerships by Shikar Dhawan (73) and Suresh Raina (74) as India posted 300-7 from their 50 overs.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq led the charge – as he does so often – in reply with 76 but no other batsman passed fifty and his side were eventually dismissed for 224 in the 47th over.

With the first three games of the tournament seeing every team who batted first post a score in excess of 330, it was perhaps no surprise that India chose to bat when they won the toss.

Sohail Khan (5-55) – who stuck diligently to his task throughout the innings to claim his first ODI five-for – picked up the early wicket of Rohit Sharma for 15.

Nasser Hussain demonstrates how Shikar Dhawan and Virat Kohli built up a solid base by running singles
But Dhawan added 129 with Kohli for the second wicket before he was run out in the 30th over and Raina added to the punishment as he contributed a breezy 74 off 56 balls.

Kohli made Pakistan pay after being dropped on seven by Yaisr Shah – although a difficult chance – and again by wicketkeeper Umar Akmal on 76 and went through to his hundred off 119 balls in the 43rd over.

He fell soon after to Khan for 107 and when he did India slightly stuttered on their way to 300, managing only 27 runs from the final five overs with Khan also picking up the wickets of Raina, MS Dhoni for 18 and Ajinkya Rahane for a duck.

Player of match Virat Kohli scored 107 runs in India’s victory over rivals Pakistan
Chasing 301 to win Pakistan got off to a poor start with 37-year-old veteran Younis Khan falling cheaply to Mohammed Shami for six.

It was one of four wickets for Shami (4-35) who was well-supported by fellow quicks Mohit Sharma (2-35) and Umesh Yadav (2-50) in an impressive display from the oft-criticised Indian pace attack.

Ahmed Shehzad (47) and Haris Sohail (36) rebuilt the innings and looked relatively untroubled but Shehzad’s wicket triggered a mini-collapse of three wickets for one run which all but lost them the game.

MS Dhoni was delighted India managed to get the better of Pakistan
Misbah’s 84-ball knock gave some hope – especially when at the crease with Shahid Afridi (22) – but running out of partners at the other end, he departed in the 46th over and the innings was over eight balls later, Pakistan all out for 224.

Pakistan play the West Indies next in Christchurch on Saturday while India are in action against South Africa at the MCG in Melbourne the following day.

Source: Skysports

CF/RJP

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