Ahmedabad: India’s bowlers starred with a clinical performance in front of more than 1,00,000 fans as they bowled out Pakistan for just 191 in 42.5 overs in a highly-anticipated clash of 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Saturday.
Bowling first on a slow pitch with variable bounce, India were on the backfoot as Pakistan were cruising at 155-2 with captain Babar Azam getting his fifty and wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan nearing his half-century.
But Azam falling to Mohammed Siraj sparked a Pakistan batting implosion as they lost eight wickets for just 36 runs in their next 13 overs, ending up at 191 in 42.5 overs. Such was the innings that no batter was able to hit a six and Nasser Hussain on air said “a collapse only Pakistan team can manufacture”.
Pakistan losing eight wickets for 36 runs is also their worst collapse for the last eight wickets in their history of playing in the Men’s ODI World Cup. For India, local lad Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja picked two wickets each in an exception bowling display for the hosts’, who now need to chase down 192 for making a hat-trick of wins in the competition.
Electing to bowl first, India were made to wait for a breakthrough as Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq hit seven delightful boundaries in the first seven overs Siraj, who was hit for four boundaries, bounced back when his cross-seam delivery at back of the length went past Shafique’s attempted flick to trap him plumb lbw.
India tested Imam and Azam with short ball, which the latter pulled twice off Hardik Pandya for boundaries. The all-rounder bounced back in the 13th over when he enticed Imam to go for a drive away from the body and the left-handed opener nicked behind to KL Rahul, who took a diving catch.
India could have got their third scalp when Jadeja trapped Rizwan lbw for one, but review showed the ball missing leg-stump. While Azam was in excellent touch from the word go, especially in driving beautifully through covers, Rizwan was in sublime touch with his sweeps and cuts.
With spinners tightening the screws by conceding only 11 runs in overs 24-27, Azam and Rizwan took a boundary each off Siraj to take 13 runs off the 28th over. Azam got his first ODI fifty against India when he creamed another drive through covers off Kuldeep.
But his knock immediately came to an end when his attempt to dab Siraj through third-man resulted in him being undone on pace and bounce as the pacer hit the top of off-stump, sparking a Pakistan batting collapse.
Saud Shakeel survived a run-out attempt on his very first delivery, but three overs later, he was trapped plumb lbw by Kuldeep on review. The left-arm wrist-spinner ended the 33rd over by castling Iftikhar Ahmed with a googly around his legs. Bumrah then bowled a delightful off-cutter which came in sharply to go past Rizwan’s inside edge and hit top of off-stump.
He went on to castle Shadab Khan with a length ball which straightened off the pitch to hit top of off-stump. Mohammad Nawaz hit straight to mid-on off Hardik, while Hasan Ali holed out in the deep off Jadeja, who ended Pakistan’s innings by trapping Haris Rauf lbw.
Brief Scores: Pakistan 191 in 42.5 overs (Babar Azam 50, Mohammad Rizwan 49; Jasprit Bumrah 2-19, Hardik Pandya 2-34) against India