India extended its winning record against Pakistan 7-0 at World Cups with an 89-run victory (in DLS method) in a rain-interrupted encounter on Sunday that likely will remain the most-watched game of the six-week tournament. India started ominously with Rohit Sharma scoring 140 from 113 deliveries and skipper Virat Kohli contributing 77 in a total of 336-5, a record for a one-day international at Old Trafford.
Pakistan was behind the run-rate required. Fakhar Zaman (62) and Babar Azam (48) put on 104 for the second wicket but when both were dismissed by wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav within nine balls, Pakistan's hopes faded with them. Pakistan had slumped to 166-6 by 35th over when rain intervened again. It just prolonged the inevitable - there was no chance of sharing the points because both teams had batted more than 20 overs. Set a revised target of 302 from 40 overs, the last 30-odd balls were a non-event. Pakistan finished 212-6, and India extend its unbeaten run to four games to start the tournament.
The rain interruptions didn't dampen the enthusiasm of a predominantly pro-India crowd that filled the 162-year-old venue to its 23,500 capacity. Seats were in excessively high demand, after all, with the International Cricket Council reporting more than 800,000 ticket applications for the game. There's always extra significance when the neighboring countries meet at ICC tournaments because India and Pakistan play cricket so infrequently in bilateral series. Things started going haywire for Pakistan after skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss and fielded, going against the advice sent via social media by Prime Minister and 1992 World Cup-winning captain Imran Khan. Overcast and cool conditions that usually would favour swing and seam bowling didn't greatly assist the Pakistan attack, with India racing to 52-0 in its most productive opening power play of the tournament. The Pakistan pacemen had trouble with the umpires, with Amir and Wahab each cautioned twice for running on the protected area in the middle of the pitch. One further warning would have resulted in a suspension.
Bangladesh leave Windies breathless
Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan slammed a superb century (124 not out) and added a 189-run unbeaten fourth wicket stand with the equally magnificent Liton Das (94 not out) in merely 135 balls to help Bangladesh pull off a record 322-run chase against West Indies with 51 balls to spare at Taunton on Monday. This is Bangladesh’s highest chase in ODIs. Incidentally this was always the second highest successful run chase in World Cup. With this commanding seven-wicket victory - their second in this World Cup, Bangladesh, with five points in five matches, have now leapt to the fifth spot in the table. During their match-winning partnership, Shakib and Liton, playing just his first game in the tournament, added 95 in overs 30 to 40, which tells how they completely destroyed the West Indies fast bowlers.
Shakib, however, wasn’t the sole hero of Bangladesh’s tremendous chase. Das deserved credit too for matching him stroke for stroke during their match-winning alliance. After suffering their third defeat in five games, the West Indies, who started off with a bang against Pakistan, now are almost out of contention for a place in the semis - they’ve just three points and sit at the seventh position.
Australia blast Lanka
Skipper Aaron Finch stroked his way to a majestic century as defending champions Australia inched closer to the semifinal berth with a crushing 87-run win over Sri Lanka in their World Cup fixture. Finch forged two crucial partnerships – 80 with his opening partner David Warner (26) and 173 with Steve Smith (73 off 59) for the third wicket – in his 132-ball 153. It was his 14th ODI hundred which was laced with 15 fours and five sixes, two of them gigantic. Glenn Maxwell then provided the late charge with an unbeaten 25-ball 46 as Australia posted a challenging 334 for 7. Chasing the total, Sri Lanka were 115 for no loss at one stage but then squandered the superb start to be eventually dismissed for 247 in 45.5 overs.
Afghanistan crumble to 125 all out against South Africa
Afghanistan only managed 125 runs against South Africa. With the Proteas winning the toss and electing to field first, Afghanistan were blown away by their pacers and Imran Tahir and it was only a late surge from Rashid Khan that took them to a three digit score. The opening partnership of 39 between Noor Ali Zadran and Hazratullah Zazai turned out to be Afghanistan's best of the innings. Zazai (22 off 23) was the opening wicket with Kagiso Rabada getting the breakthrough. Zadran and Rahmat Shah then held on until the 16th over but contributed little to the scoreboard. There was a prolonged break in the proceedings due to rain while Zadran and Hashmatullah Shahidi were in the middle which meant that the match became a 48 overs a side contest. Zadran was eventually dismissed in the 22nd over by which time Afghanistan were tottering at 69/4. Tahir then took over and South Africa reduced Afghanistan to 77/7, after which Rashid Khan countered to get them past the 100-run mark. Rashid played 25 balls in which he hit six fours and made 35 runs but fell to Tahir in the 34th over. Two balls later, Hamid Hassan was dismissed by Chris Morris for a duck, thus squaring off another dismal performance from the Afghanistan batting lineup.