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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Champions Trophy: India Rout Pakistan Despite Rains And D/L!


India have demolished a listless Pakistan by 8 wickets with nearly three overs to spare in the ICC Champions Trophy last Group B match cut short and shorter by innumerable rain interruptions followed by Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) revisions. It was a huge occasion with the archrivals playing each other and crowds filled in to the brim in the Edgbaston stadium apart from millions of viewers glued in to their TV sets on Saturday. Everybody expected exciting cricket and they desperately wanted it to be of full fifty overs. Well, a poor batting display by Pakistan made it a one-sided affair and frequent rain interruptions dampened the excitement further. But Indian fans still have a cause to celebrate while the Pakistan fans can only feel sorry as their team let them down.

The match started as a full fifty-over encounter, but shortly afterwards rains made it forty-overs. Pakistan could not even last that many overs and got all out for a paltry 165 with two balls to spare. D/L method revised the target to 168 to win for India.

The Champions Indian opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma started in style and looked to be in no trouble at all when another rain interruption made the target 157 to win in 36 overs. Then a major rain interruption and D/L reduced the overs to just 22 and the target 102 to win. Dhawan missed his fifty by 2 runs and shone as ever making 48 entertaining runs in 41 balls. Rohit was the first wicket to fall for India. Virat Kohli and Dinesh Karthik took their team to victory never showing any sign of complacency. The terrific form of Karthik is a good sign for Team India. The Scorecard:

India kept its Group B slate clean winning all the matches and emerging as the top team. They have also bagged the unique honor of being voted the best fielding side of the tournament too so far. Who would be their rival in the semis is yet to be decided as the Group A is still wide open and no team has made it to the semis so far.

Rains have been playing the spoilsport of late in the ICC Champions Trophy matches. But for a change it proved lucky for the ‘chokers’ of big tournaments South Africa on Friday. For the first time since the 2003 World Cup disaster South Africa got a favor from the D/L calculations. It was again the case of just one ball in that match cut short to 31 overs each. At the end of 26 overs West Indies were ahead of South Africa as per D/L at 190 for five. If the first ball of the 27th over was left alone West Indies could still have won in terms of losing less number of wickets. But Pollard played a wild shot and got out, and the rains came pouring down. D/L calculations ruled the match tied and South Africa sailed into the semis thanks to their better net run-rate. A thoroughly disappointed West Indies could not still blame Pollard because at that particular moment he could not possibly have anticipated rains.  
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