India kept their unbeaten record over Pakistan in World Cups intact as the defending champions kick started their 2015 ICC World Cup campaign with a 76 run win over their arch-rivals in a Group B encounter at Adelaide. With this, India have beaten Pakistan for the sixth time in World Cups (tenth time including World T20). It was altogether a collective team effort by the Indian players as the bowlers backed the good job done by the batsmen. Virat Kohli was named the Man of the Match.

Chasing 301 in fifty, Pakistan were never in contention of a win as they lost Younis Khan very early to Mohammad Shami. Haris Sohail and Ahmed Shehzad stitched together a 68 run partnership and set the tone for Pakistan before Indian bowlers came into the groove. R Ashwin dismissed Haris caught in the slips by Raina for 36 before Umesh Yadav came back for his second spell and dismissed 2 batsmen in 3 balls. First it was Ahmed Shehzad caught by Ravindra Jadeja at backward point for 47 and Shoaib Maqsood was caught by Raina in the slips. Umar Akmal too didn’t last long as he was caught behind off Ravindra Jadeja courtesy a brilliant usage of DRS by MS Dhoni. Afridi hung around with Misbah ul Haq and was dismissed by Mohammad Shami. Misbah was the only bright spot for Pakistan as he scored a fifty and was dismissed for 76 off Mohammad Shami before Mohit Sharma dismissed Mohammad Irfan ending their innings for 227 in 47 overs. Shami was the pick of the Indian bowlers with figures of 4-35 in 9 overs. 

Earlier in the match, Virat Kohli steered India to a strong position before some late blows dented India’s hopes of posting over 320 on the board. Choosing to bat first, India lost the wicket of Rohit Sharma early when he tried to pull a Sohail Khan delivery straight into the hands of Misbah-ul-Haq at mid-off. It was when Kohli joined Shikhar Dhawan at the crease as the duo batted cautiously. They kept the scorecard ticking with some splendid running between the wickets. Both of them reached their respective half centuries before Dhawan was run-out for 73 courtesy a miscommunication with Kohli with whom he shared a 139 run partnership for the second wicket. Raina walked in ahead of Ajinkya Rahane and started to take on the bowling right away. Raina was severe against the spinners as he plundered boundaries off them with ease.

Virat Kohli notched up his 22nd ODI ton when he took a single off Shahid Afridi and Raina too scored his 34th ODI fifty in the same over. After sharing a 110 run partnership with Raina for the third wicket, Kohli was dismissed caught behind off Sohail Khan for 107 and Raina was soon dismissed by Sohail Khan for a 56 ball 77 that included 5 fours and three sixes. Ravindra Jadeja was cleaned up by Wahab Riaz in the last ball of the penultimate over before Sohail Khan removed MS Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane off the successive balls in the last over. A last ball four from Mohammad Shami meant that India reached 300 in their 50 overs. Sohail Khan was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 5-55 in his 10 overs. Virat Kohli was dropped twice in his innings courtesy Yasir Shah and Umar Akmal.

Brief Scores: India 300-7 (Virat Kohli 105, Shikhar Dhawan 73, Suresh Raina 77, Sohail Khan 5-55) beat Pakistan 224 in 47 overs (Misbah ul Haq 76, Mohammad Shami 4-35, Umesh Yadav 2-50) by 76 runs.

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