ICC Champions Trophy 2017: India Thrash Pakistan At Edgbaston

The meeting of India and Pakistan in cricket is among the most celebrated rivalries in all sports. Yet it increasingly lacks one crucial element: competitive balance. For the fifth consecutive year, India met Pakistan in an ICC event. For the fifth consecutive time, they won.
The margins of victory - eight wickets, seven wickets, 76 runs, six wickets and a crushing 124 runs here at Edgbaston - attest to how imbalanced the contest has become. While the Birmingham weather oscillated, the inexorable sense that India would win easily did not.
It encapsulated India’s dominance that there was no obvious stand-out performance, but rather a series of excellent, efficient displays to overwhelm a far inferior side. Pakistan have a well-deserved reputation for playing ODI cricket more befitting of the 1990s than today.
The deeper problem, though, might simply be one of skill. Never mind Virat Kohli; Pakistan lack batsmen to play with the finesse of Rohit Sharma or Shikhar Dhawan, or power-hitters to rival Yuvraj Singh or Hardik Pandya.
For the bulk of India’s innings they had seemed to be playing a little within themselves, perhaps conscious of how a couple of quick wickets before a rain break could reduce Pakistan’s adjusted target. And then, mayhem. Yuvraj played with the nonchalant power and imperious crisp hitting that evoked his match-winning innings in the final of a triangular series in England a full 15 years ago. Kohli, reprieved on 43 at square leg, had played with unusual jitteriness, but smote Hasan Ali over long on to reach his half-century, an extraordinary flat-batted shot, and produced regal hitting thereafter in scoring 37 from his final 12 balls. Pandya clubbed three consecutive sixes in the final over. Once that was all accounted for, India had plundered 72 in the final four overs.
Brief Score-
India 319-3 (48 overs): Rohit 91, Kohli 81*, Dhawan 68
Pakistan 164 (33.4 overs): Azhar 50, Hafeez 33, Yadav 3-30
India won by 124 runs (DLS method)

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