India cruise past Bangladesh to set up final with Pakistan

17 Juin, 2017, 05:59 | Author: Marie-Claire Cellier

But to the delight of millions of cricket fans in South Asia and elsewhere in the world, the game's biggest rivalry will be revived at The Oval after India joined Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final following their crushing nine-wicket victory against Bangladesh in a one-sided semi-final in Birmingham on Thursday.

Neither Jasprit Bumrah or Bhuvneshwar Kumar look particularly threatening but both of them bowl above 140km/h and can move the ball both in the air and off the deck.

India have cruised into the decider thanks largely to the dominance of their top three batsmen, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli, who have all scored more than 250 runs each in four matches.

England, the only undefeated team in the tournament until that point, were among the favourites to reach the final, but Pakistan dominated with both bat and ball to outclass the hosts and set up a title clash with India.

Before the Champions Trophy, the last time India and Pakistan played a one-day global was during the 2015 World Cup.

Virat Kohli has the highest individual score against Pakistan with 183 runs. The two quick wickets got us the momentum.

"The turnaround has been magnificent", Kohli said.

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The Indian skipper also let out inside information as he said, "Today also, he had a bit of stiffness in the right knee and we decided that the smart decision is to rest a guy who has been playing". And credit to them, they have turned things around for themselves really well, and they have beaten sides that have been very strong.

"What we are going to try to do is repeat the similar sort of cricket that we have played so far". His figures of 2-22 off six overs were surprising given he is rarely used by India, having bowled just 30 overs and taken six wickets in 18 ODIs before this semifinal. "It ended up changing the whole game for us".

"Now we have time to regroup and come back strongly. They have created wicket-taking opportunities even in conditions that are tough for the bowlers", said Kohli.

India beat Pakistan by a mere five runs in the 2007 World Twenty20 final in Johannesburg, a victory that led to the creation of the lucrative Indian Premier League.

Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahaman, Mahmudullah Riyadh, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahaman, Taskin Ahmed, Mehedi Hossain Miraz, Mossadek Hossain, Sunzamul Islam, Shafiul Islam.

Lobo adds, "Pakistan was destined to make the path easier for India".

The Tigers will feel they failed to put up a big enough target, but with their opponents completing the task with 59 balls remaining, it was hard to imagine a scenario where India would have lost this game.

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