Pakistan endure tournament whitewash


Outdone by South Africa and the West Indies, Pakistan were not any better at Edgbaston in Birmingham, with India instead taking an eight-wicket win in Saturday's rain-affected Group B fixture.

Outdone by South Africa and the West Indies, Pakistan were not any better at Edgbaston, with India instead taking an eight-wicket win in Saturday's rain-affected Group B fixture.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan consolidated his position as the leading run-scorer, as the tournament favourites eased to victory over their sub-continental arch-rivals in a damp Birmingham.

The 27-year-old, having scored centuries in his two previous innings, was unfazed by the stop-start nature of his innings as he extended his overall tally to 264 with 48 off 41 balls. That was enough to guide India to an eight-wicket Duckworth-Lewis method victory and a 50th ODI success over their geographical neighbours.

Wet weather disrupted throughout and severely dampened down the atmosphere produced by a sell-out 22,832 crowd who expected much despite this being a dead rubber with one side already in the semi-finals and the other eliminated.

However, a significant contributing factor to the damp squib of a day was made by Pakistan, who failed for the third match in a row to score more than 170 having been put into bat and suffering first from a rain interruption.

But although they were 70 for three off 19 overs at the time they could have recovered had it not been for loose shots which allowed their opponents to turn the screw at opportune moments and dismiss them for 165 with three balls of their reduced 40-over allocation remaining.

India were initially set a revised target of 168 off 40 overs only for one rain shower to cut it to 157 in 36 and a second to bring it down to 102 in 22 overs.
But after another dismal batting performance Pakistan looked demoralised from the moment they took to the field and India compounded that as they scored runs freely.

They were well ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis requirement at 63 for one in the 12th over when the rain returned for a second spell, which left them needing 39 in 10.3 overs on resumption.

Spinner Sajeed Ajmal had made the only breakthrough when Rohit Sharma chipped to midwicket with the score on 58 in the 11th over – the first time in the tournament India's openers had not shared a century stand.

Dhawan was caught at third man off Wahab Riaz with 24 still required but it made little difference as India cruised home with 17 balls to spare thanks to an unbeaten 22 from Virat Kohli.

In contrast Pakistan had begun at a crawl in bright sunshine against some impressive line bowling from Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, who finished with two for 19 having bowled two maidens in his first three overs.

After losing Nasir Jamshed to a catch at the wicket it took six overs for the first boundaries to be scored, Mohammad Hafeez driving Umesh Yadav to the cover fence before pulling his next delivery through square-leg.

The pace picked up with 28 coming in three overs as Pakistan reached 43 for one at the end of the first 10-over powerplay but first ball after a 15-minute rain interruption Hafeez edged Kumar behind and departed complaining he had been distracted by movement behind the bowler's arm.

Having slipped to 70 for three a further delay of more than two-and-a-half hours saw the match reduced to 40 overs a side. Asad Shafiq and in-form captain Misbah-ul-Haq provided some optimism with a 54-run stand before the latter was bowled through the gate for 22 by spinner Ravindra Jadeja, whose match figures of two for 30 took his tournament haul to nine.

And with Pakistan lacking a batsman capable of devastating an attack India were able to exert plenty of control over the run rate. When Asad was caught behind flicking down the leg side after the fielding team utilised a television referral and Shoaib Malik was pinned in front after a swipe-and-miss at Jadeja, Pakistan crumbled to 165 all out with three balls of their allocation left.