India smash Pakistan in Champions Trophy

Posted June 06, 2017

India captain Virat Kohli praised Yuvraj Singh's "game-changing" quality after seeing his side launch their Champions Trophy title-defence with a 124-run rout of arch-rivals Pakistan at Edgbaston on Sunday.

Kohli's master-class from 68 balls helped India post 3-319 in their 48 overs, after their innings had desperately needed a spark. Rohit Sharma (91) and Shikhar Dhawan (68) laid the platform for a big total with an opening stand of 136.

Hardik Pandya smashed three successive sixes in the final over off Imad Wasim.

Riaz was unable to take the field after his injury and didn't come out to bat after Umesh picked up the ninth Pakistani wicket of Hasan Ali in the 34th over. Further rain meant Pakistan had to score 289 from 41 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis Method.

The two bowlers who could've made a difference for the Pakistani side were Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz.

Azhar was caught at deep square leg by Hardik Pandya, trying to hit left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja for six. But how can there be any criticism when Yuvraj, 35 or not, bats like this and wins matches for India?

A disappointed Mickey Arthur rued Pakistan's failure to do the "simple things" right after Sunday's heavy defeat to India at Edgbaston.

Apart from the manner of their surrender, Pakistan are also fretting on the fitness of fast bowlers Amir and Wahab.

Shoaib Malik (15) was looking good during his nine-ball knock that included two fours and a six but was run out brilliantly by Jadeja when Hafeez sent him back.

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While he was pleased with the win, Kohli was not impressed with India's fielding.

Sharma and Shikar Dhawan, played cautiously early on and added 46 in the first ten overs.

"He's a game changer with the bat".

Talking at the end of the match, a happy Kohli said: "Quite delighted with all batsmen chipping in with runs".

Virat Kohli later said he had felt like a club cricketer, watching the man at the other end belt the ball around effortlessly while he was plodding along. It is cluttered with too many teams that play on substandard pitches with balls that are not used internationally.

There were questions when Yuvraj was called up for the England series in January - a return to one-day worldwide cricket after three years.

Another player under a lot of pressure to deliver in the tournament, Yuvraj Singh (once again) reminded everyone of his class and power.

"We were in control for 40 overs but we lost the plot in the last eight overs", the wicket-keeper added after what was the opening Group B match for both the Asian giants in a tournament featuring the world s top eight one-day global teams. "Hopefully we'll take this confidence into the next game against Sri Lanka", Yuvraj said, upon being adjudged player of the match.