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CT 2017: Win over Pakistan emphatic start for title defence, says Yuvraj

08 June 2017

Pakistan won the toss and elected to field against India in their Group B match of the Champions Trophy cricket tournament at Edgbaston on Sunday.

But despite this, defending champions India put up an all-round show to drub arch-rivals Pakistan by 124 runs via Duckworth-Lewis (DL) method in a rain-marred match.

Shadab and Hasan Ali took one wicket each.

"The way he batted was the way only he can strike the ball", Kohli said.

It was like watching laser technology do battle with a carrier pigeon.

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The pressure started building on the bowlers and fielders and, as a result, they dropped Yuvraj and Kohli in the process, which cost them hugely in the death overs.

'It was a very clinical performance from our team, ' he said.

The Indian innings of 319 for three in a rain-splattered 48 overs had revolved around a quartet of half-centuries, of which Yuvraj Singh's 32-ball 53 was the most brutal, and Kohli's unbeaten 81 from 68 the most watchable.

Pakistan's target, though, is 324 in 48 overs. Their innings contained plenty of elegant drives for no run, and more swishes and misses than Birmingham's Walkabout on a Saturday night. A little later, Fakhar Zaman dropped Kohli on 43, eventually hurting Pakistan badly. "And it's a reality check of where we are in our one-day cricket at the moment", ESPNcricinfo quoted Arthur as saying. Every time we go down to training, we try and get the basics right. But while doing so, Dhawan was caught at deep mid-wicket by Azhar Ali off Shadab Khan in the 25th over, breaking their 136-run partnership. "So he started striking from ball one and as I said that took pressure off me, and maybe I should have given him strike".

The contrast with what had come before was painful, after Shikhar Dhawan had kickstarted the match with a lively 68 from 65 balls.

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After Pakistan won the toss and made a decision to field first the Indian openers- Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma laid a solid but cautious start.

As the innings climaxed, Pakistan disintegrated.

"I chose to stay still and just back the strokes that I have and a few connected, and that's what happens in this sport", Kohli said.

But fellow left-arm fast bowler Wahab was hugely expensive, his wicketless 8.4 overs costing 87 runs. He was unable to bat.

The promising Babar Azam - touted as Pakistan's answer to Virat Kohli - seemed decidedly ordinary during his 12-ball stay in the middle, scoring just eight runs before a superb reflex catch by Ravindra Jadeja off Umesh Yadav's bowling ensured his departure. The stage was surely set for big hitters and they utilized it to perfection scoring 72 runs in the last 4 overs. "I could not go for the big ones because it was tricky".

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The Sarfraz Ahmed-led side now require victories from their final two games against Sri Lanka and South Africa to stand any chance of making it to the semi-finals of the eight-team marquee event. Only an optimist would imagine otherwise.

CT 2017: Win over Pakistan emphatic start for title defence, says Yuvraj