Sports Desk :
Opener Rohit Sharma’s century and captain Virat Kohli’s half century guided India to their best-ever World Cup total of 336 for 5 against Pakistan at Old Trafford in Manchester on Sunday.
India made a flying start in the match as Lokesh Rahul and Rohit Sharma scored 100 runs in just 17.3 overs.
Earlier, Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and opted to bowl first in the overcast condition. But the Pakistani bowlers failed to capitalise on the surface. Instead, they leaked runs at a run rate of 5.25 in the first 20 overs.
On the way, Rohit completed his fifty off 34 balls, which came as an immense pressure for Pakistan, who missed out a couple of run-out chances at the start of the innings.
Lokesh fell as the first batsman scoring 57 off 78 with three fours and two sixes. Lokesh did his job accurately as the replacement of Shikhar Dhawan who has been ruled out of the match due to a hand injury.
After putting up an opening stand of 136 runs, India got 98 more runs in the second wicket stand comprising Virat Kohli and Rohit. Rohit completed his 24th ODI hundred off 85 balls, which was his second ton in World Cups and third against archrivals Pakistan.
Rohit fell for 140 off 113 with 14 fours and three sixes. He had all the chance to register another double hundred to his career. But fell prey to Hasan Ali.
The Indian opener went to play a fancy shot off Hasan but failed to time the ball properly. Wahab Riaz took an easy catch to remove him.
After Rohit’s removal, Hardik Pandya came in and played a sparkling innings of 26 off 19 deliveries with two fours and one six. He was hunted by Mohammad Amir, who also removed MS Dhoni for one in his next over.
Rain came in at 6:45pm (BST) to interrupt the game when Indian scored 305 for 4 in 46.4 overs.
The match resumed after 45 minutes, and India lost Kohli in the 48th over. Amir removed him off a short ball. Kohli went to pull it away but managed only a nick to the wicketkeeper. However, the TV replays showed the ball was far away from nicking the bat. Eventually, India ended up with 336 for five in 50 overs.
For Pakistan, Amir took three wickets conceding 47 runs while Hasan Ali and Wahab Riaz shared one wicket each.
Before heading to the match, India remained unbeaten in the 10-nation fray after winning two of their first three games with the other match against New Zealand being washed out due to rain in Trent Bridge on Thursday.
On the other hand, Pakistan lost two of their first four games. They beat hosts England by 14 runs and the other match against Sri Lanka was washed out.
Pakistan have so far played six matches against their archrival India in the World Cups but failed to register any win. So, this time, they are keen to end their winning drought in the World Cup. India, on the other hand, are reluctant to break their golden run against Pakistan in the World Cups.unb