India vs Pakistan Match started at 2:00 pm on Saturday 14 October 2023 at Ahmedabad. India won the toss and 1st elected to bat.
India 192 for 3 beat Pakistan 191 by seven wickets
Once again, the game, known for its promises that often fall short, unfolded with tantalizing stages, leading to the anticipated climax a resounding victory for India. Pakistan, facing a staggering collapse during the middle overs, lost eight wickets for a mere 36 runs, transforming what could have been an enthralling run chase into a lackluster formality.
In a display of bowling prowess, each Indian bowler played a distinct role, collectively claiming all ten Pakistani wickets. With Pakistan folding for 191, India, led by the dynamic captain Rohit Sharma, not only shone but sizzled on the field, akin to bringing a gun to a knife fight.
Pakistan seemed to have already conceded the game, playing mere spectators as India triumphed in front of approximately 100,000 supporters, securing the pole position in the World Cup race where they appear as favorites.
India vs Pakistan Highlights
Opting to bowl after winning the toss, India defied a historical trend in their ODI World Cup dominance over Pakistan choosing not to make them chase. In only one of their previous seven encounters India emerged victorious by chasing.
However, on a slow, low-pitched battleground, India entrusted Pakistan’s batters with the task of determining the par score. Despite early challenges, Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq displayed impressive composure against Jasprit Bumrah, while handling Mohammed Siraj with relative ease.
After Shafique fell victim to a low bounce and Imam to a slightly wild shot, Babar and Mohammad Rizwan took charge, steadying the ship.
Pakistan’s approach, though not flashy, exuded maturity, as they focused on the task ahead with steel and grit. India’s bowlers, on the other hand, maintained relentless pressure, alternating between expensive and tight overs.
The first-change bowlers supported the openers, while Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja executed their roles impeccably. However, the calm facade of Pakistan began to crack after their captain notched up his first half-century of the tournament.
With Pakistan comfortably positioned at 155 for 2, the turning point came in Ahmedabad. Siraj, previously expensive, found success as Babar fell victim to devilish low bounce, and Saud Shakeel narrowly escaped a run-out.
Kuldeep seized the opportunity, exploiting Shakeel’s vulnerability to the sweep shot and trapping him in front. In the same over, Iftikhar Ahmed fell prey to an unfortunate dismissal, chopping the ball onto his stumps. Panic set in, disrupting Pakistan’s earlier composure.
Bumrah, previously wicketless, then showcased his brilliance by dismissing Rizwan with an unplayable off-cutter, followed by Shadab’s toppled off-stump with an equally challenging delivery. Hardik Pandya dismissed Mohammad Nawaz, and Ravindra Jadeja cleaned up the tail.
The once tense atmosphere in Ahmedabad transformed into a celebratory one, as India prepared to bat amid a carnival-like ambiance.
In this colossal arena, predominantly filled with fervent Indian fans, anticipation ran high for the spectacle that awaited. Rohit Sharma emerged in the same sublime and vibrant form that he showcased against Afghanistan, launching an assault on Pakistan’s revered pace unit from the outset and making significant inroads into the modest target.
Shubman Gill, having recovered from a severe bout of dengue fever, mirrored Rohit’s enterprising spirit. The duo, displaying aggressive intent, hammered five boundaries within the first two overs before a well-struck shot off Shaheen Afridi found its way straight into Shadab’s hands at point.
This set the stage for the formidable partnership of Virat Kohli and Rohit, reminiscent of their collaboration in the procession-like chase against Afghanistan. While Kohli displayed impeccable timing, it was undeniably the Rohit show.
When Haris Rauf entered the attack, Rohit greeted him with a colossal hit over mid-on, marking his 300th ODI six. In a masterful display of shot selection, Rohit followed it up with a sliced six over cover, perfectly anticipating Rauf’s attempted slower ball just three balls later.
Although Kohli fell, mistiming a shot to mid-on off Hasan Ali, India faced no significant pressure. Shreyas Iyer played the role of a valuable accomplice to the breathtaking display at the other end, as Rohit raced to a 36-ball half-century.
In the following over, Rauf was dispatched over square leg in yet another exquisite showcase of Rohit’s stroke-making prowess, propelling India swiftly towards the target.
Shadab, grappling with a dismal run of form, seemed destined to have little impact on altering the course of the game. Following a couple of economical overs, he was ruthlessly dismantled out of the attack by Iyer and Rohit.
His final delivery, a looping waist-high full toss, was a glaring gift, akin to one adorned with a bow. Rohit capitalized on this offering, dispatching it into the stands over midwicket. In the very next over, Iyer mirrored the assault, treating Nawaz with the same disdain.
The crowd in Ahmedabad, now buzzing with anticipation, awaited another potential century from Rohit. However, in this regard, they would find themselves disappointed. Afridi returned to the attack and managed to induce a miscue from the Indian captain, resulting in his departure, falling 14 runs short of the coveted milestone.
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Yet, that proved to be the zenith for Pakistan, as KL Rahul and Iyer calmly steered India to victory. Iyer, in a fitting conclusion, sealed his unbeaten half-century with the winning shot a pristine straight drive for four.
This triumphant moment served as the exclamation mark on a victory that had been meticulously crafted in a frenetic ten-over spell witnessed just hours earlier.
England’s troubles ran deep as they sought improvement. Mark Wood showcased his pace, but a misdirected bouncer resulted in Gurbaz effortlessly flicking it up and over deep third with a wristy shot, securing his fourth six arguably the best of the lot. Gurbaz displayed finesse with an effortless pick-up over deep midwicket as Adil Rashid looped a leg break into his hitting arc.
Concerns deepened for England when the injury-prone Reece Topley jarred his knee while attempting to cut off another pull through fine leg, limping off for treatment. The anxiety in the England camp and for his father Don, seated in the stands, was evident.
Topley returned, but it seemed Afghanistan’s innings had imploded in a familiar bout of self-destruction. After facing a maiden against Rashid, Ibrahim Zadran picked out Joe Root with a head-high clip to midwicket. Before settling in, Rahmat was lured out of his crease in Rashid’s next over, smartly stumped by Buttler for 3 from eight balls.
Then came the catastrophe.
Hashmatullah Shahidi nudged his first ball to midwicket and embarked on an unthinking single, leaving Gurbaz barely in the frame as the throw came in. Gurbaz walked off the pitch, infuriated with himself and his captain, expressing his frustration by smashing his bat on the boundary marker and a passing chair.
He knew those blows should have been directed at England’s bowlers instead.
Despite Afghanistan’s struggle to regroup, the seeds of England’s downfall were evident. Liam Livingstone played an excellent mid-innings holding role, completing a full ten-over spell for the first time in his ODI career. Root, with his off-breaks, proved challenging as he bowled Shahidi for a subdued 14 from 36.
At 174 for 5, Afghanistan refused to surrender despite their awkward scoreline. Ikram Alikhil anchored the tail as Rashid and Mujeeb extracted what they could from England’s bowling. In Curran’s final over, which saw two fours and a free-hit six, he and Woakes leaked a combined figure of 8-0-87-0.
Ultimately, these were the margins that proved insurmountable, as Afghanistan fulfilled their pre-match promise to bring “joy” to their country after last week’s earthquake. They couldn’t have delivered more.