Ahmedabad: India continued their unbeaten streak against Pakistan in the World Cup, thrashing their arch-rivals by seven wickets in a one-sided contest at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Saturday. Rohit Sharma smashed a blistering 86 off 63 balls, while Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj shared six wickets between them to set up a comprehensive victory for the hosts.
Pakistan, who were put into bat by India captain Rohit Sharma, failed to put up a competitive total as they were bowled out for 191 in 42.5 overs. Only Babar Azam (50) and Mohammad Rizwan (49) showed some resistance, but the rest of the batsmen succumbed to the pressure created by the Indian bowlers. Siraj and Bumrah exploited the seam-friendly conditions and bowled with accuracy and discipline to rattle the Pakistani top order. Kuldeep Yadav also chipped in with two crucial wickets of Saud Shakeel and Iftikhar Ahmed in quick succession.
India, who had won their previous two matches against New Zealand and Afghanistan, had no trouble chasing the modest target. Rohit Sharma, who had scored a record-breaking 171 not out against Afghanistan in Delhi, was in sublime form again as he tore apart the Pakistani attack with his aggressive strokeplay. He hit six fours and six sixes in his innings and shared a 97-run stand with Shreyas Iyer (53 not out) for the third wicket. Rohit fell short of his second consecutive century when he was caught by Iftikhar off Shaheen Shah Afridi, but by then India had almost sealed the match.
Iyer and KL Rahul (19 not out) completed the formalities of the win in 30.3 overs, taking India to the top of the points table with six points from three matches. Pakistan, who had won their first two matches against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, slipped to fourth place after their first defeat in the tournament. India extended their winning record against Pakistan in the World Cup to 8-0 since 1992.
The match, which was eagerly awaited by millions of cricket fans across the world, turned out to be a one-sided affair as India dominated Pakistan in all departments of the game. The crowd at the Narendra Modi Stadium, filled with blue-clad Indian supporters, erupted in joy as India registered another emphatic win over their arch-rivals. The victory also sparked celebrations across the country as Indian fans celebrated the festival of Navratri a day earlier.