ICC World Cup 2015: Virat Kohli ton guides India to 300/7 against Pakistan
Adelaide, Feb 15 (IANS) A splendid century by vice-captain Virat Kohli guided India to 300/7 in their World Cup opening match against Pakistan at the Adelaide Oval here on Sunday.
Backed by two century-run stands, India were cruising at 273/2 in the 45th over when Pakistan came back strongly to take five wickets and restrict the defending champions to only 300/7 in 50 overs, with the last five overs yielding only 27 runs.
At the start, Pakistani pacers Mohammed Irfan (0/58) and Sohail Khan (5/55) bowled a good line. Despite that, India got off to a fluent start with openers Rohit Sharma (15) and Shikhar Dhawan (73). Rohit looked in prime touch until he gave away his wicket while trying to pull a not-so-short-delivery.
However, Dhawan struck a strong second-wicket 129-run partnership with Kohli (107). Dhawan looked good to score a hundred, but confusion with Kohli in the 30th over caused his run out.
Pakistan could have capitalised on Dhawan's wicket, but left-handed batsman Suresh Raina (74) had other ideas. His 56-ball innings was laden with five fours and three sixes as India's run rate almost touched run-a-ball.
Kohli looked in sublime touch as he went on to notch his 22nd One-Day International (ODI) hundred, studded with eight boundaries. This is also the first century by an Indian against Pakistan in a World Cup match.
Though Kohli did not start well, playing a few reckless shots, he slowly built his innings. His 126-ball knock included eight fours. Kohli was reprieved twice during his innings. In the beginning, he was dropped by Yasir Shah at long-on - a difficult chance. If Yasir would have taken the catch, it would have been a blinder.
Kohli was again dropped by wicketkeeper Umar Akmal while batting at 76. Sohail finally hit success when he claimed a tired-looking Kohli's wicket, who slashed at a wide ball only to be caught behind. That started the collapse of the batting order.
Just when it looked like India were well on their way for a 330-plus score, some fantastic bowling by Pakistan helped the 1992 edition champions clinch five wickets and restrict India to only 300.
It was just the fillip Pakistan needed as some super death bowling by Wahab Riaz (1/49) and Sohail, who, playing only his sixth ODI, notched up his first five-wicket haul.
Statistics suggest that Pakistan have never chased more than 262 successfully in a World Cup match, and India have always defended a 300 or more total in the quadrennial event.
Rohit Sharma c Misbah-ul-Haq b Sohail Khan 15
Shikhar Dhawan run out (Misbah-ul-Haq) 73
Virat Kohli c Umar Akmal b Sohail Khan 107
Suresh Raina c Haris Sohail b Sohail Khan 74
Mahendra Singh Dhoni c Misbah-ul-Haq b Sohail Khan 18
Ravindra Jadeja b Wahab Riaz 3
Ajinkya Rahane b Sohail Khan 0
Ravichandran Ashwin not out 1
Mohammed Shami not out 3
Extras (lb 2, w 3, nb 1) 6
Total (for seven wickets in 50 overs) 300
Fall of wickets: 1-34 (R.G. Sharma, 7.3 overs), 2-163 (Dhawan, 29.5), 3-273 (Kohli, 45.2), 4-284 (Raina, 47.3), 5-296 (Jadeja, 48.6), 6-296 (Dhoni, 49.1), 7-296 (Rahane, 49.2)
Mohammad Irfan 10-0-58-0
Sohail Khan 10-0-55-5
Shahid Afridi 8-0-50-0
Wahab Riaz 10-0-49-1
Yasir Shah 8-0-60-0
Haris Sohail 4-0-26-0
Toss: India chose to bat
Umpires: Ian Gould (England) and Richard Kettleborough (England)
TV umpire: Simon Davis (Australia)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka)
Reserve umpire: Michael Gough (England)