The stage was set for the most awaited match of ICC cricket world cup 2015. The Adelaide Oval was a packed ocean of blue and green. India took on subcontinental rivals Pakistan in their first pool B game on Sunday. This was their 6th world cup encounter and Pakistan looked to turn fortunes around this time. They had not beaten India even once in World cups. Virat Kohli scored a fine 107 off 126 balls to guide India to 300-7 in 50 overs.
Dhoni elects to bat, Mohit makes it to playing XI
The wicket in Adelaide was an ideal batting track and a score in excess of 300 was definitely on the cards. On a hot Sunday afternoon, Indian captain MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was not fully fit and hence was replaced by medium pacer Mohit Sharma. India decided to play 2 specialist spinners and the experienced duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were the perfect choice.
On the other hand, Pakistan received a major blow ahead of the world cup in the form of Mohammad Hafeez and Saeed Ajmal’s absence. Experienced batsman Younus Khan was promoted at the top of the order to open the innings.
Rohit departs early, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan stabilize Indian innings
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan made a cautious start to the Indian innings before the latter opened up his arms to increase the scoring rate. Dhawan was scoring runs at a strike rate of around 80 while his partner provided him good support. Sadly, Rohit Sharma (15 off 20) could not get going as he miscued Sohail Khan’s high rising delivery. The ball went up in the air and was safely caught by Misbah-ul-Haq at short mid off.
Virat Kohli joined Dhawan in the middle and the Delhi pair stitched together an important 129 run partnership for the 2nd wicket. The running between the wickets was outstanding and both the batsmen managed to get boundaries every now and then. Kohli and Dhawan played the Pakistani bowlers effortlessly and improved the run rate to a great extent. A bit of miscommunication between Kohli and Dhawan resulted in the fall of the latter’s wicket. A direct hit by Misbah meant that, Dhawan had to walk back after a beautiful knock of 73 from 76 balls.
Raina, Kohli capitalise on slog overs, India post
Suresh Raina walked into the middle a couple of overs before the second batting powerplay. He along with Virat Kohli maintained the scoring rate. They scored 25 runs in the batting powerplay and also brought up their fifty partnership. Soon after, Virat Kohli got to his 22nd ODI hundred and successfuly managed to end his string of unimpressive scores in one-day cricket. Raina also brought up his half century off just 39 balls. He took over the innings post Kohli’s hundred and scored runs all over the ground.
In the 46th over, Virat Kohli lost his wicket after edging one to Umar Akmal, off Sohail Khan’s bowling. He scored 107 off 126 balls and Raina (74 off 55) followed him soon after. Thereon, Pakistan pulled things back by taking the wickets of Dhoni, Rahane and Jadeja in quick succession. India finished the innings at 300-7 in 50 overs. For Pakistan, Sohail Khan was the star performer as he finished with figures of 10-0-55-5.