Rohit Sharma’s scintillating 86-run performance propelled India to a resounding seven-wicket triumph over arch-rivals Pakistan in the ICC World Cup 2023.

The match witnessed a sea of blue-clad supporters, with nearly 100,000 fans creating an electrifying atmosphere at the world’s largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad.

Pakistani batters started the innings strongly with Imam-ul-Haq smashing three boundaries to Mohammed Siraj in the second over.

However, despite early composure, negotiating the formidable Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj, Pakistani openers eventually succumbed.

Abdullah Shafique scored 20, while Imam-ul-Haq departed after scoring 36.

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan then steadied the ship, exhibiting mature gameplay much to the dismay of the Ahmedabad crowd. At 155 for two, Pakistan seemed poised for a substantial total.

However, India’s bowlers remained relentless, never allowing their rivals to gain a significant advantage.

The turning point arrived when a devilish low bounce ball dismissed Babar Azam’s off stump, unsettling Pakistan’s composure. Pakistan’s captain top-scored for the side with 50, his first half century against India in ODI cricket.

Source: ICC

Kuldeep Yadav seized the opportunity, and induced panic in the Pakistani camp with two wickets in one over. The game-changing over saw Saud Shakeel falling victim to a cleverly executed delivery, while Iftikhar Ahmed suffered the misfortune of chopping one onto his stumps.

Bumrah, then returned and unleashed an unplayable off-cutter to dismiss Mohammad Rizwan, just one run shy of a half-century. Shadab Khan’s off stump was then toppled by a lightning-quick delivery from Bumrah.

It was not long before the tail was cleaned up by Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja, limiting Pakistan to a mere 191.

With a target of 192, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill took displayed aggressive intent against Pakistan’s formidable pace attack. The duo amassed five fours in the first two overs, setting a blazing pace before Gill perished.

Virat Kohli came to bat with a loud roar from the Ahmedabad crowd and joined Rohit. While Kohli played his shots with precision, it was Rohit’s majestic display that stole the show. He marked his 300th ODI six with a colossal strike off Haris Rauf.

Rohit Sharma
Source: ICC

Although Kohli fell to a miscued shot off Hasan Ali, India faced no real pressure. Shreyas Iyer came out to bat and provided valuable support to Rohit. The Indian captain completed a scintillating half-century in just 36 balls during the partnership.

The crowd at Ahmedabad eagerly anticipated a century from Rohit, but it eluded him as Shaheen Afridi induced a miscue, sending the Indian captain back to the pavilion.

KL Rahul and Iyer then confidently steered India to victory, with Iyer sealing the deal by notching an unbeaten half-century and delivering the final blow—a crisp straight drive for four.

This shot served as the exclamation mark on a triumph that had been crafted during a frenetic ten-over period earlier.

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