World Cup 2019 India set 337 runs target against Pakistan


India are 298-4 at the end of 45 overs after India vice-captain Rohit Sharma hit a scintillating century as openers provided a solid start against Pakistan in the high-octane clash of the World Cup at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Rohit Sharma made 140 runs off only 113 balls before being dismissed by Hasan Ali.

Sharma and KL Rahul took India to 101-0 off 18 overs after they lost the toss in Manchester. Sharma was 61 not out and Rahul 37 not out. Their efforts were all the more impressive as they were opening together for the first time in a one-day international. Opener Shikhar Dhawan was sidelined with a thumb injury suffered while making a century in a victory over champions Australia last time out.

Fellow Opener KL Rahul made 57 runs off 78 balls before he was dismissed by Wahab Riaz. Captain Virat Kohli and swashbuckling batsman Hardik Pandya are on the crease. India are 248-2 in the first 40 overs.

Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and opted to field against India. “We will bowl first,” said Sarfaraz. “India v Pakistan is a big game but we just have to focus on playing our best game.”

India captain Virat Kohli said he would have made the same decision, with the overcast conditions promising to assist Pakistan spearhead Mohammad Amir. “We would have bowled first to be honest,” he said. “The conditions are good for bowling but the wicket looks nice.

“There’s a lot of attention outside of the rope but when you enter the field, it’s about applying the basics of the game.

Pakistan versus India is a match imbued with the cricket obsessions of people from both sides of the border, and today the eyes of more than a billion television viewers around the globe will turn to Manchester when the arch-rivals clash in the ‘final before final’ match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

It’s noisiest, fuelled with passion and most thrilling cricket game there can be, unless India and Pakistan meet again in the final, as they did two years ago in the Champions Trophy.

Pakistan have the better record overall, winning 73 matches to India s 54, but at the World Cup it is a different story. India have come out on top all six times the sides met at the World Cup, starting with a 43-run triumph in 1992 until, most recently, a 76-run victory in 2015

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