Rohit lifts India to 7th heaven

India’s third win of the tournament is seventh World Cup win over Pakistan

Rohit Mahajan  

Manchester, June 16

India put up a clinical performance both in batting and bowling to record their third win in the tournament — this one over the arch-rivals, Pakistan. Rohit Sharma’s magnificent 140 off 113 balls drove India to 336/5; chasing, the Pakistan innings was interrupted by and, more importantly, impeded by sharp bowling by Indian pacers. The contest became a travesty as after another spell of rain, Pakistan needed 130 runs off 30 balls — a four off each remaining ball wouldn’t have sufficed then.

Before the rain came a good partnership between 114 between Babar Azam (48) and Fakhar Zaman (62). Did it make the Indians nervous? Perhaps, but the asking rate was climbing all the time — Pakistan needed 220 off 24 overs when Azam was bowled by Kuldeep Yadav. Only a blinder by a few batsmen would have taken Pakistan close. That was not to happen today.

Rohit’s short drive

As Rohit walked back to the pavilion, near the edge of the field, he tapped his helmet with his bat — more in disappointment than frustration. It certainly was not the reaction of a man who had smashed a brilliant 140 off 113 balls: It seemed more the disappointment of a habitual maker of 150-plus scores.

When Rohit fell, India were set for take-off, at 234 in the 39th over, with over 11 overs to go — Rohit wanted to be part of the surge towards 350.

But surely, Rohit had done enough — he negated the new ball in the company of KL Rahul, with whom he opened in an ODI for the first time today. Pakistan had hoped to strike with the new ball, to get into the Indian middle-order and tail early. Rahul was scratching around, having played out a maiden the first over of the innings by Mohammed Amir, then labouring to 2 off 9 balls and then 14 off 31.

Rahul seemed to be feeling the pressure, but Rohit managed to take the pressure off his partner by suddenly changing gears, aided by his supreme timing, and short balls by the Pakistani pacers. Sixth ball of the sixth over, short of a length by Hasan Ali, Rohit rocked to the back foot and struck the ball right over the midwicket boundary; tow balls before, he’d smashed a four — 12 runs from the over, and India managed to break free.

Erring in length

Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali were smashed by Rohit — they paid the price for not bowling fuller at him. Did they fancy that they’d catch him by surprise with shortish balls? Well, it didn’t work.

Short story

He punished the shortish balls, scoring 53 off 27 short-of-a-length balls from the pacemen — Riaz gave away 25 off 12 shortish balls, Ali 24 off 8. This included six fours and two sixers. The spinners were punished, too — Shadab Khan bowled too short and too full, all in the same over, the 12th, and Rohit pulled one for a six and drove one for a four. The four took him to 50 off only 34 balls — a creditable effort in a high-pressure match, in the absence of his regular opening partner. Rohit hit one more six, off Ali in the 27th over, when Ali banged in one short outside off, and the Mumbai master cut the ball into the crowd.

Rohit got to his 100 off only 85 balls, and hit a four almost every over after that, until he finally fell in the 39th over, just when the innings was poised for a blast-off. After he fell, India got 102 off the final 11.4 overs — that’s quite good, but Rohit seemed to be kicking himself for not getting more. “I was unhappy,” he was to say later. But then, at the end of the day’s play, he was the happiest man on the ground. 

‘Result is what matters’

I think they outplayed us in the Champions Trophy final, but if you focus on this game as too emotional, things can go wrong. We never approach them from that perspective. We are professional about it and the result is what matters — Virat Kohli, India captain

1 ST Indian — Rohit Sharma — to smash two consecutive centuries (100* in Manchester, 2019; 111* in Dubai, 2018) against Pakistan in ODI history

85 Balls taken by Rohit Sharma to complete his century, the joint third-fastest among his 24 hundreds. His fastest was off 82 balls against England at Trent Bridge last year

136.5 Rohit’s strike rate against the fast bowlers; against the spinners, it is slightly less 110.7

58 Runs scored by Rohit off the pull and cut shots. He scored 30 runs from 14 cut shots and 28 runs from eight pull shots. Against the pacers, he scored 21 from seven cut shots, and 20 off six pulls 

Fastest to 11K ODI runs

Player innings

Virat Kohli 222

S Tendulkar 276

R Ponting 286

S Ganguly 288

J Kallis 293

Bangladesh ready to face chin music against West indies    

Taunton: Bangladesh will have the psychological advantage when they face West Indies though both teams are sailing in the same boat as far as their World Cup campaign is concerned. Bangladesh beat West Indies as many as three times in the Tri-series that Ireland hosted ahead of the World Cup. Bangladesh will be itching to take the field after a forced break of one week with the game against Sri Lanka called off due to rain. West Indies captain Jason Holder said, “We’ve played them quite a bit in the past and they’ve got the better of us, but it’s a different occasion.”  — Agencies  

Pitch and conditions

Short boundaries, expect a high-scoring game. Sunshine followed by partly cloudy intervals 

94.57  Shai Hope’s average against Bangladesh, almost twice his overall career average of 49.72

Half-centuries by Mushfiqur Rahim in his last ten outings against West Indies, averaging 63.71 in that time

3 West Indies’ pacers have who can bowl above 140-kmph mark

They usually target us with the short ball, but they do the same against all sides in the first 10 to 15 overs. They also give run-scoring opportunities.— Tamim Iqbal, Bangladesh opener

WI vs Bangla in World Cup

Matches 4
West Indies won 3
Bangladesh won 0

Form guide

West Indies: WWWLL
Bangladesh: LLWLL
(L=lost W=won; Last five completed matches, most recent first)

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