Manchester: Rohit Sharma scored his second hundred in three innings as India maintained their unbeaten record against Pakistan at the World Cup with an 89-run win under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method on Sunday.
Sharma’s 140 was the centrepiece of a total of 336-5 that also featured captain Virat Kohli’s 77.
Victory in this rain-curtailed clash saw India, who have now won all seven of their World Cup matches against Pakistan, remain unbeaten after four pool games at this year’s edition.
Pakistan, whose only 2019 pool win so far was a shock defeat of hosts England, were never truly up with the rate in the showpiece match of the 10-team round-robin stage.
They still had hope at 117 for one even though the most made by any side batting second to win a World Cup match is Ireland’s 329 for seven against England at Bangalore in 2011.
But Kuldeep Yadav then struck twice to spark a collapse that saw Pakistan lose four wickets for 12 runs in 18 balls as they slumped to 129 for five in 27 overs — long past the 20-over cut-off point needed for a result under D/L.
A third rain stoppage came with Pakistan 166-6 off 35 overs.
The match then descended into something of a farce when play resumed under leaden skies, with Pakistan requiring an outlandish 136 more runs in five overs to reach a revised victory total of 302 in 40 overs.
That target which, eventually became 94 off the last six balls, unsurprisingly proved beyond them as Pakistan finished on 212-6, dealing a major blow to their semi-final hopes as India took the bragging rights yet again.
Worryingly for India, paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar limped off in the fifth over of Pakistan’s chase with a hamstring injury that sidelined him from the rest of the match.
But Vijay Shankar, completing the over, struck first ball when he had opener Imam-ul-Haq lbw for seven.
Fakhar Zaman (62) and Babar Azam (48) repaired the damage with a century stand, before they both fell to left-arm wrist-spinner Yadav as they tried to up the tempo.
India: K. Rahul c Babar b Riaz 57, R. Sharma c Riaz b Hasan 140, V. Kohli c Sarfaraz b Amir 77, H. Pandya c Babar b Amir 26, MS Dhoni c Sarfaraz b Amir 1, V. Shankar not out 15, K. Jadhav not out 9. Extras (b1, lb1, w9) 11. Total (five wickets, 50 overs) 336.
FoW: 1-136, 2-234, 3-285, 4-298, 5-314.
Bowling: Amir 10-1-47-3, Hasan 9-0-84-1, Riaz 10-0-71-1, Imad 10-0-49-0, Shadab 9-0-61-0, Malik 1-0-11-0, Hafeez 1-0-11-0.
Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq lbw b Shankar 7, Fakhar Zaman c Chahal b Kuldeep Yadav 62, Babar Azam b Kuldeep Yadav 48, Mohammad Hafeez c Shankar b Pandya 9, Sarfaraz Ahmed b Shankar 12, Shoaib Malik b Pandya 0, Imad Wasim (not out) 46, Shadab Khan (not out) 20. Extras (lb 1, nb 1, w 6) 8. Total (for six wickets in 40 overs) 212.
FoW: 1-13, 2-117, 3-126, 4-129, 5-129, 6-165.
Bowling: Kumar 2.4-0-8-0, Bumrah 8-0-52-0, Shankar 5.2-0-22-2, Pandya 8-0-44-2, Kuldeep 9-1-32-2, Chahal 7-0-53-0.
Note: India won by 89 runs (D/L/S method)
MoM: Rohit Sharma....