NEW DELHI: Now unbeaten against Pakistan for more than three years, India on Monday celebrated a thumping win over their arch-rivals to launch their defence of the Champions Trophy.
Skipper Virat Kohli hit a blistering 81 as India thrashed Pakistan by 124 runs in a rain-affected game on Sunday at Edgbaston.
The Indian Express called the triumph the “Mother of all Mismatches” while The Times of India said it was an “opening statement” at the tournament in England and Wales.
A headline in The Hindu read “India knocks the stuffing out of Pakistan” with the newspaper calling the recent cricketing rivalry between the two neighbours as “anything but competitive”.
“A record crowd provided an electric soundtrack on a frustrating wet day as India’s batsmen pounded Pakistan into the ground,” The Hindu wrote.
India have never lost to Pakistan in 11 World Cup and World T20 meetings over the years. They have not lost to Pakistan since the Asia Cup in March 2014 and are now locked at 2-2 in their head-to-head count at the 50-over Champions Trophy.
Riding on half-centuries by four of their top batsmen — Rohit Sharma (91), Shikhar Dhawan (68) and Yuvraj Singh (53) as well as Kohli’s bash — India posted a mammoth 319-3 in 48 overs as rain interruptions left Pakistan with a revised target of 289 in 41 overs.
Pakistan never seemed to be in the chase. They finished on 164 in 33.4 overs with injured last man Wahab Riaz unable to bat in the lopsided contest.
Paceman Wahab gave away 87 runs in 8.4 overs — the most expensive figures yet in the Champions Trophy — before limping off with an injured ankle.