On Sunday 15th February the first match of the 2015 Cricket World Cup for Pakistan and
India, commenced at 3.30am UK time at the Adelaide Oval, Australia. A packed ground of 55000, anxiously awaited the game, on a hot, sunny day. The blue supporters clearly
outnumbered the greens. Also watching worldwide were 1 billion viewers. The toss was won
by Dhoni and decided to bat first, on a good batting strip. In the 5 previous World Cup
encounters between the neighbours, India have won on each occasion.
The Indian openers started cautiously, slowly building their innings. Sharma fell on 34, off
the bowling of Sohail Khan. Next came the in form Virat Kohli, but was soon dropped at
long on by Yasir Shah, on 4 off Afridi’s bowling. Together with Dhawan a solid partnership
was built. Mohammad Irfan was warned twice by the umpires for running onto the wicket,
this clearly affected the way he bowled his remaining overs. He was also later warned for
dangerous bowling after sending down a beamer. Dhawan was run out after making 73,
with the score at 163/2.Kohli went on to be dropped again, this time by wicket keeper Umar
Akmal. Kohli was out after nicking Sohail Khan’s delivery, for an splendid 107 off 126 balls.
Raina contributed with a useful 74 off 56 balls. From 273/3 India suffered a mini collapse but
finished with an impressive 300/7.
Sohail Khan taking 5/55 was Pakistan stand out bowler. The spinners were generally
ineffective on this pitch. Mohammad Irfan’s fitness for the 50 over game seems suspect.
Umar Akmal was rusty behind the wickets.
In reply Pakistan’s opening partnership, Ahmed Shehzad and Younis Khan didn’t last long.
An uncomfortable looking Younis Khan was surprised by a Shami bouncer and was caught by
Dhoni for 6, score 11/1. A good partnership of 68 runs developed between Shehzad and
Haris Sohail. Sohail was next caught at slip off Ashwin, after making 36, score 72/2. Then
came a collapse Shehzad (47 runs) was caught off the bowling of Yadav. Sohaib Maqsood
was caught two balls later for 0, bowled by Yadav,102/4. Unfortunately Umar Akmal was
given out also for 0, after a possible fine nick off Jadeja’s bowling, caught by Dhoni. The
decision was reviewed by the 3rd umpire, and dubiously given out. Although the snicko and
replays were not convincing at all, 103/5.
Afridi and Misbah took the score to 150, before Afridi was caught by Kohli, off Shami’s
bowling, 150/7. Shortly after Wahab Riaz, was caught by Dhoni off Shami’s bowling, 154/7.
Yasir Shah made 13 after being caught by Yadav, off Mohit’s bowling, 203/8. The 41 year old
solid, reliable ambassador of Pakistan, Misbah fought well with a 76 off 86 balls, before
being caught off Shami’s bowling, 220/9. After Sohail Khan departed, Pakistan were all out
for 224, losing by 76 runs. Shami finished with 4/35.
Virat Kohli was presented with match of the man from Ramiz Raja. He said he ‘hates to lose
and loves playing for his country’.
The match was played in very good spirits and the passionate crowd enjoyed the
atmosphere. India played better cricket on the day and I congratulate Dhoni and his players
for an excellent, convincing win. The sporting nature of the event was a pleasure to watch.
Kohli continues to show that he is an outstanding world class batsmen. India’s World Cup
record against Pakistan now extends to 6-0.
Pakistan team now need to reflect on the match and adjust accordingly.
Pakistan’s next match is on Saturday February 21st against the West Indies, in Christchurch,