In what was anticipated as a thrilling showdown, India emerged victorious against Pakistan in a highly-anticipated World Cup match in Ahmedabad. Pakistan, never having defeated India in a men’s 50-over World Cup, appeared to be in a strong position when they reached 155-2 in the massive Narendra Modi Stadium.
However, their fortunes took a turn for the worse as the team experienced a dramatic collapse. Captain Babar Azam’s dismissal for 50 by Mohammed Siraj marked the beginning of an eight-wicket downfall, with Pakistan ultimately finishing at 191 all-out. Siraj was one of five Indian bowlers who each secured two wickets.
With the low target set by Pakistan, India’s powerful batting lineup was not seriously threatened. Despite losing Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli early for 16 runs each, Rohit Sharma’s brilliant knock of 86 put the match beyond doubt. Rohit’s partnership with Shreyas Iyer, who finished unbeaten with 53, secured victory with nearly 20 overs to spare.
India’s Ongoing Dominance Over Pakistan
This victory marked India’s eighth successive defeat of Pakistan in World Cup encounters, a streak that dates back to 1992. India’s World Cup record remains unblemished with three wins in three games, placing them at the top of the group table alongside New Zealand. Their next match will be against Bangladesh.
For Pakistan, this loss was their first in the current World Cup. Despite their disappointment, the dismal performance against their arch-rivals is expected to overshadow their defeat. Pakistan’s next challenge is against Australia in Bengaluru on Friday.
This much-anticipated contest, often deemed more significant than the final, occurred in India, with none of the Pakistani XI players having previously played there. Preceded by a concert-like opening ceremony, the stadium’s capacity of 132,000 created an incredibly partisan atmosphere. The audience’s reactions were in stark contrast, with Indian successes met with thunderous cheers, while Pakistan’s achievements were met with near silence.
Pakistan’s Humbling Performance
Pakistan’s day took a disastrous turn, endangering their World Cup prospects and potentially Babar Azam’s captaincy. Their batting collapse highlighted their over-reliance on Babar and Mohammad Rizwan, with only Hassan Ali reaching double figures. The loss saw Pakistan’s bowling and fielding deteriorate, with the team losing eight wickets in just 13.2 overs.
In contrast to their victories over the Netherlands and Sri Lanka, Pakistan failed their first major test of the tournament. They are now in competition with South Africa, Australia, England, and New Zealand for a spot in the semi-finals. Pakistan must regroup and make significant improvements before their upcoming crucial fixtures.
While Pakistan has a history of improving during tournaments, bouncing back from defeats, their latest loss was a chastening experience. The team will need to move on from this resounding defeat quickly if they hope to compete at the highest level in the World Cup.