Pakistan’s woeful campaign at the ICC Champions Trophy came to an end yesterday with a humiliating eight-wicket defeat against India summing up the team’s pathetic run in the event.
The highly-anticipated encounter in front of 22,000 boisterous flag-waving supporters from both sides who packed the Edgbaston stands, was interrupted several times by bad weather over Birmingham.
In a match that was initially reduced to 40-overs-a-side, Pakistan were shot out for 165 in 39.4 overs after India captain MS Dhoni elected to field in overcast conditions.
India were set a Duckworth-Lewis target of 168 in 40 overs, which was later revised to 157 off 36 overs, before another rain delay reduced it to 102 in 22.
India, who were 63 for one in 11.3 at that stage, scored the remaining runs with 17 balls to spare to end their Group B engagements with an all-win record.
Shikhar Dhawan, century-maker against both the West Indies and South Africa, hit a fluent 48 after sharing an opening stand of 58 with Rohit Sharma.
After both openers were dismissed, Virat Kohli and Dinesh Karthik saw India home in a match that held only academic interest for the tournament.
Pakistan, who had already been knocked out of the semi-final race after losing their previous two games against the West Indies and South Africa, will return home with three successive defeats.
Dhoni’s men await the second-placed team from Group A – to be determined after the last round of league matches today and tomorrow – in the semi-final in Cardiff on Thursday.
South Africa, runners-up to India in Group B, will play the champion side from Group A in the first semi-final at Oval, London, on Wednesday.
Pakistan batsmen fail again
Earlier, India put on a dazzling display in the field as Pakistan were shot out for less than 200 and failed to last their allotted quota of overs for the third successive time in the tournament. Four bowlers claimed two wickets each and the last two batsmen were run out.
Asad Shafiq top-scored with 41 and Umar Amin made 27 not out, but there was no respite for Pakistan’s batting woes.
Opener Nasir Jamshed, whose previous five innings against India included three centuries and a half-century, managed only two when he was snapped up in the slips off Bhuvaneshwar Kumar.
Pakistan plodded to seven for one in the first five overs, before a boundary by Mohammad Hafeez off Umesh Yadav, produced a flurry of fours from either end.
Pakistan moved to 50 for one in 12 overs when a 15-minute interruption due to light rain caused them further trouble.
Hafeez, who hit five boundaries in his 27, fell on the first ball after resumption, edging Kumar to a diving Dhoni behind the stumps.
Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq helped Shafiq put on 54 runs for the fourth wicket on either side of a second rain stoppage, before he was bowled by Ravindra Jadeja for 22.
Shafiq was dismissed with the help of a television review after umpire Richard Kettleborough initially rejected a catch down the leg-side by Dhoni off Ishant Sharma.
Misbah said the batting performance was again a disappointment. “It was a disappointing performance again with the bat,” said Misbah. “The weather also played a role and it was difficult to get in and out so many times. I think the bowling did okay for us and the way they are establishing themselves is really a plus for Pakistan.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2013.