Sunday, February 15, 2015

India Beat Pakistan in the Opening Encounter of the ICC World Cup 2015

India vs Pakistan at Adelaide: Feb 15, 2015 - Match Review

India Beat Pakistan by 76 runs.

The ground in Australia was packed. The streets in India were empty. Spectators had flocked to the Adelaide Oval in Australia to watch the high octane India-Pakistan match. The atmosphere at the ground was electric and Adelaide would have passed off as Eden Gardens or Chinnaswamy or Gadaffi stadium just as easily! When Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat a huge roar of approval from the Indian section of the crowd was given.

Indian fans had a night to remember as 
India beat Pakistan by 76 runs in their opening 
Cricket World Cup 2015 encounter in Adelaide

Sohail Khan, making a comeback after 4 long years and in his eagerness wanted to review a lbw decision when he presumed the ball had hit Shikhar Dhawan’s pad in his 1st over when the ball had actually thudded into the bat of the Delhi batsman. The 7 feet giant Irfan and Sohail started off pretty well bowling tight lines and Rohit and Dhawan found it hard to score easy runs. Eventually Rohit ran out of patience and offered a simple catch to Misbah at mid off while attempting a pull shot off Sohail Khan.

Virat Kohli walked in at the familiar number 3 position and was let off when he was just on 3, a pull shot off Afridi going up towards Yasir Shah who spilled a tough but catchable chance at wide long on. You do not drop players like Virat as they will surely make you pay. Kohli, in the company of Dhawan, who looked increasingly confident as his innings wore on put on a 100 run partnership together with both batsmen reaching their respective 50's on the way. Dhawan was run out after a mis-communication with Kohli and Raina was sent in ahead of the tenacious Rahane to keep the left-right hand combination going. Raina started in a busy fashion and was quickly in his stride. He soon reached his 50 as well in just 40 balls. In the meantime Kohli was dropped once again by Umer Akmal off the bowling of the tidy Haris Sohail.

Raina and Kohli then started to up the tempo with Raina in particular taking the onus on to him to hit some 6's. Kohli, meanwhile was going on well and reached his 100 and celebrated with the look of a satisfied man after having endured a tough time in the shorter formats of the game in Australia recently. He fell to Sohail Khan for 107 but he had played his part by then. Raina too eventually fell for a very well made 74 off just 56 balls and India will hope that he can provide such innings with regularity in the future games as well.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, for some odd reason kept pushing Ajinkya Rahane, possibly India's best batsman, down the order as the wickets kept tumbling even preferring to send a shaky Jadeja ahead of him. At one stage India looked all set to easily reach 330 but the Pakistani bowlers came back very well in the last 5 overs. They cost just 27 runs and provided Pakistan with a real shot at winning the game with the short square boundaries and a flat pitch in addition to the weak Indian bowling line up.

But Mohammed Shami bowled with quick pace and a well directed bouncer that threatened to blow the head of the experienced Younis Khan got him in a tangle and Dhoni completed a simple catch after the ball had lobbed up after the glove of Younis. Haris Sohail walked in at number 3 and immediately started middling the ball; he hit some delectably sweet drives with imperial timing. But the introduction of Ashwin put the brakes on Shehzad and in particular Haris Sohail. Sohail went in to a shell and fell edging Ashwin to Raina who took a good catch at first slip. Dhoni at this point was really providing his bowlers with good attacking field placements which dried up the easy singles.

Shehzad fell to a juggling catch by Jadeja off Umesh Yadav, and two balls later the inform Sohaib Maqsood followed him after offering a lame catch to Raina in the slip again. If these 2 wickets had not shocked Pakistan enough, they soon slipped in coma after Umer Akmal was in my opinion wrongly given out by the 3rd umpire after a referral for caught behind was overturned even though the snicko showed no movement and the original decision was Not Out.

Afridi came out and showed some intent but he too fell for a run a ball 22 to Shami in the batting power play after miscuing a full toss and from there on Misbah was fighting a losing cause. He batted calmly and tried to take the game as deep as he could but was finally out for a very well made 76. India completed the final rites when the Pakistans hero with the ball, Sohail Khan lobbed up a simple catch to Umesh Yadav off Mohit Sharma. Pakistan was all out for 224 and India had defeated Pakistan by 76 runs. It was India's 6th victory over their arch rivals in 50 over World Cup encounters in as many meetings.

India will be delighted with finally having won a game down under and a massive one at that. They will hope that they have turned a corner and will hope to use this win and the confidence gained to launch their World Cup campaign. Pakistan on the other hand will have to quickly regroup and try to forget this loss and comeback in their remaining games.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The loss of 2 wickets in 3 balls + the maidens by Ashwin were responsible for taking the pressure meter up beyond redemption.

Of course, dropping Kohli early did not help, either.

Stayed up all night to watch it in HD and it was a change from the faded tv pictures I was used to seeing earlier!