16 February 2015
Ecstasy and agony at Adelaide Oval
A look at the fourth match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 between India and Pakistan
Virat Kohli starred for India, scoring 107 off 126 balls to help India post 300 for 7.
Victory means everything – to the fans of both countries as much as the players themselves – and when the encounter also happens to be during an ICC Cricket World Cup, the stakes are even higher.
More than a billion people around the world sat anxiously watching for eight hours yesterday, biting their nails and scarcely daring to breathe.
The moments that brought intense joy to some, brought gut-wrenching despair for others.
Ultimately, India maintained its unbeaten record against Pakistan in World Cups, continuing the agony for the players and fans in green that stretches back to the first time the teams played in the tournament in 1992.
Here are the defining moments of ecstasy and agony that made up the epic Adelaide Oval encounter:
Over 7.3: India had started well and the deafening roar from the crowd when Shikhar Dhawan spanked the first boundary was enough for commentators to note it was louder than anything heard at Adelaide Oval before.
But the jubilation was reserved entirely for Pakistan fans when dual double-ton hero Rohit Sharma played a loose shot against Sohail Khan, sending the ball looping into the covers.
A rash shot had a nation despairing and India was 34-1.
Over 31.5: Travelling comfortably at 173-2 in the 32nd over, India fans were feeling the beginnings of a sore throat and hoarse voice as Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina moved steadily along, sending the odd ball to the boundary to the delight of their fans.
Kohli looked comfortable on 76 before nudging at a ball from Haris Sohail. The ball clipped a faint edge, went through to the gloves of Umar Akmal, but the ‘keeper fumbled the chance and a rare opportunity to dismiss Kohli was lost.
The India vice-captain went on to score 107 and when he was finally removed by Khan, the score was 273-3.
Over 48.6: India looked on the way to a score well in excess of 300 when Wahab Riaz struck, knocking the bails off and sending Ravindra Jadeja back into the Adelaide Oval stands.
Pakistan fans concerned about how many runs their heroes would need to chase for victory were given a reason to smile and the grins only became wider when the following two balls in the next over removed MS Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane.
The team hat-trick stopped India in its tracks, taking them from 296-4 to 296-7, and Pakistan kept the target looking somewhat more manageable.
Over 3.2: Only one team had ever chased more than 300 at Adelaide Oval – Sri Lanka playing England way back in 1999. It was going to take a momentous effort for Pakistan to claim the maiden World Cup victory over India it so desperately sought but spirit among the fans in green remained high when Pakistan headed off the field for the innings break.
Those hopes were dealt a severe blow just 20 balls into Pakistan’s innings, when Younis Khan edged the ball to the safe gloves of MS Dhoni.
Over 23.2: Pakistan had recovered and the game remained in the balance as it entered the 24th over.
That was, until Ahmed Shezhad cut the ball directly to third man. Hands were thrown in the air – either in celebration of despair, depending on allegiance – and when a further two wickets followed in the next eight balls, India’s grip on the match strengthened.
Over 34.1 The man known as “Boom Boom” has reached deep within his considerable kit-bag of tricks and steered Pakistan out of tricky situations on countless occasions.
He represented a final bastion of hope for the fans in green, but a match-saving innings was not to eventuate, as Afridi top-edged a slog to Kohli, leaving his side six wickets down and 152 runs shy of its target.
India fans were dancing in the corridors of Adelaide Oval en masse – the kind of sight never before seen at the historic venue. The deafening fanfare, which had continued unabated since the 2.30pm start time and only rose in volume high time runs were scored or a wicket taken, carried on until well after Sohail Khan drove the ball high to Umesh Yadav, sealing India’s biggest World Cup victory in six matches against their fiercest rival.
World Cup encounters: India 6, Pakistan 0
1992: India won by 43 runs at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
1996: India won by 39 runs at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
1999: India won by 47 runs at Old Trafford, Manchester
2003: India won by six wickets at SuperSport Park, Centurion
2011: India won by 29 runs at Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Chandigarh
2015: India won by 76 runs at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
To see the match report of this match, please click here.
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