Pakistan’s batting was a big let down in this contest that disappointed a near-packed stadium and millions of viewers around the world.
India carried the day by eight wickets, chasing the target of 163 in just 29 overs.
It is said about Pakistan’s batting that it has the capability to lift a match by piling up runs and also deflate the hype with its hunky dory ways.
That happened at Dubai stadium after Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and opted to bat on a flat pitch which was on the slower side but Pakistani batsmen were fast in coming and going and only momentarily showed any fight.
Pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar got rid off Imam-ul-Haq in the third over as the left-hander came down the pitch and was caught behind. With three hundreds in five one-day games in Pakistan’s last series in Zimbabwe, Imam had easy outings but failed in his first real test.
Fakhar Zaman also holed out in the next Bhuvneshwar’s over to leave Pakistan struggling at 3-2. It was left to Babar Azam (47 off 62 balls with six fours) and Shoaib Malik 43 off 67 balls with a six and four to lift Pakistan to 85-2.
But once Babar fell to Kuldeep Yadav in the 22nd over the innings fell apart, with Pakistan losing their last seven wickets for 77 runs. Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed played a shot too early and was smartly caught by substitute Maneesh Panday for just six.
Pakistan’s batsmen were so clumsy that an occasional bowler like Kedar Jadhav returned with career-best figures of 3-23 while Bhuvneshawar finished with 3-15.
Malik looked well set but fell to a run out as a nervous Asif Ali called for a sharp single and then returned him. Pakistan were 100-5 and it was left to Faheem Ashraf (21) and Mohammad Amir (18 not out) to
It was an easy chase for India who romped home as the much vaunted Pakistan’s bowling could not dislodge Rohit Sharma and in form Shikhar Dhawan. They put on a rapid 86 with Rohit hitting three sixes and six boundaries in his 56 while Dhawan knocked six boundaries and a six in his 46.
Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh are qualified for the Super Four.
Pakistan will play India once again on September 23 in Super Four stage.