India won the toss and elected to field first in an all important India vs Pakistan game here in Kolkata. India vs Pakistan match almost tripped before starting as rain threatened to abandon the game. The game was finally reduced to an 18 over affair.
In a surprise selection, Pakistan replaced Imad Wasim with Mohammad Sami, probably considering the overcast condition. Pakistan got off to a quiet start as they were put into bat, however as soon as Ravichandran Ashwin bowled his first ball, it became imminent that this wicket was another rank.
Pakistan played consciously in the powerplay and made 28. The ball was gripping and turning viciously and Suresh Raina finally put Sharjeel Khan out of his misery as he got out after scoring 17 off 24 balls. Ahmed Shehzad followed soon after.
Shahid Afridi, who promoted himself up the order to try and up the scoring, but he failed to do that after he succumbed to another Pandya’s slower one. Pakistan were tottering at 60/3 after Umer Akmal and Shoaib Malik played aggressively to put Pakistan beyond the 100 run mark. Akmal and Malik got out in quick succession and Pakistan stumbled to a mere 118/5.
India started their chase confidently, scoring at 7 an over for the first two overs, before Rohit Sharma got out to Mohammad Amir’s change up. Mohammad Sami, doubled the pressure by taking two wickets in two balls and sent Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina back in the hutch.
However, their is one man Pakistan doesn’t seem to to get a hold off – Virat Kohli. He has shown over and over again, that he loves chasing and he did that again against Pakistan. He worked singles at will and timed the ball beautifully to relent Pakistan from getting a sniff.
Kohli was accompanied by Yuvraj Singh, who is showing signs of his old self. Although he was a little jittery against the pacers early on, but he swept with ease against the spinners and worked the gaps, after finally launching Wahab Riaz for a classic Yuvi six over mid wicket. He departed with India needing less than a run a ball.
Kohli took the charge from there and never looked back. He made an imperious 55 off 37 balls on a pitch that looked unplayable for other batters. Mahendra Singh Dhoni finished the match with a single after he had pummeled Irfan down the ground with a flat six.
India extended their winning streak to 11-0 in World cup’s to date. Pakistan will now play New Zealand in a must win encounter on March 22.