Dubai: Bhuvneshwar Kumar's tidy seam bowling was complemented by Kedar Jadhav's unconventional off-breaks as India skittled out Pakistan for a modest 162 in 43.1 overs in an Asia Group league encounter Wednesday.
India chase easily with 21 overs remaining. This is also India's biggest win (in terms of balls) over Pakistan.
Rohit Sharma (52) and Shikhar Dhawan (46) added 86-runs for opening wicket. Rohit reached his fifty in 36 balls which is now his fastest ODI fifty which surpassed his previous best of fifty in 42 balls.
India opener added most misery to Usman Khan in the 8th over of the chase where the right-hander pounded the seamer for two sixes and a boundary.
On the fourth delivery of the over, the short ball on the ribs, Sharma was quick to latch on and pull it for a six.
Despite catching the top edge, the ball had enough on it to go over the fine leg boundary. Next ball, another delivery with poor line, was placed at Hitman’s hips and Rohit swiveled to guide the ball past the short fine leg fielder.
Thereafter, Rohit hit possible the biggest six of the tournament by sending the ball 96 metres away. By sending the ball over mid-wicket, Rohit ensured 19 runs in the over.
While Bhuvneshwar (3/15) provided initial breakthroughs, Jadhav, making a comeback to the national team, bowled with control to return with exceptional figures of 3 for 23 to break the backbone of the Pakistani lower middle-order.
Jasprit Bumrah (2/23) and chinaman Kuldeep Yadav (1/37) also accomplished their task to perfection.
Jadhav's performance is even more laudable as he did the job of a frontline spinner after Hardik Pandya (0/24 in 4.5 overs) was stretchered off the field due to an acute lower back injury.
This was after young Babar Azam (47) and veteran Shoaib Malik (43) added 82 runs for the third wicket and looked like taking control of the proceedings.
However, Pakistan suffered a batting collapse losing five wickets for 36 runs before Faheem Ashraf (21) and Mohammed Aamir (16) added an invaluable 37 runs for the eighth wicket to take the total past 150-run mark.
Put into bat, Pakistan were in trouble straight away as Bhuvneshwar dealt a twin blow removing the in-form duo of Imam ul Haq (2) and Fakhar Zaman (0) to reduce them to 2 for 3.
Imam charged to a short of length delivery that climbed on him and the thickish outside edge was taken by Dhoni. Zaman, India's tormentor in the Champions Trophy, mistimed a pull-shot and Yuzvendra Chahal took a well-judged catch.
Babar and Malik then resurrected the innings with a fine partnership. The half-volleys on both sides of the wicket were driven with ferocity.
Malik, who is a good player of spin bowling, gave Kuldeep Yadav the charge to hit him for a six and rotated the strike well.
In fact, Malik was dropped off Pandya's bowling, whose agonies increased when he had to leave the field.
Babar failed to read Kuldeep's googly as it clipped his off-bail. From 85 for 2, it soon became 100 for five as Pakistan lost wickets in a heap.
Sarfraz Ahmed (6) was dismissed by Jadhav as substitute fielder Manish Pandey took a blinder at long-on.
The Pakistani batsmen found it extremely difficult to read Jadhav's round arm action as he bowled straight and wide. Asif Ali was caught behind and then Malik was run-out by a direct throw from Ambati Rayudu.
Shadab Khan (8) was stumped by Dhoni as he bacame Yadav's third victim of the match.
Faheem and Aamir did try their bit as Pakistan crossed the 150-run mark before Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah wrapped up the tail in the 44th over.