Monday, September 24, 2018

Rohit, Dhawan tons clobber Pakistan to nine-wicket defeat

Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma helped India maul down the target of 238 with 10.3 overs to spare, putting on 210 - India's highest-ever opening stand in run-chases which graduated into the highest opening stand in the UAE, surpassing 204 between Saeed Anwar and Ramiz Raja against Sri Lanka in 1993. Dhawan hoisted his 15th hundred in ODIs, and Rohit his 19th, shredding Pakistan's bowling attack to smithereens in a stunning contrast to what Sarfraz Ahmed would have expected at the toss, when he opted to bat first, again.

One of the reasons could have been the nature of the track on offer, which, as dry as it was, promised help to the spinners in the second innings. Sarfraz ruled out the dew factor, and how the pitch obviously plays better under lights, in favour of bowling second on a deteriorating track, given he had an in-form Mohammad Nawaz and a returning Shadab Khan at his disposal. Mohammad Amir, returning at the cost of Usman Khan in order to keep 18-year-old Shaheen Afridi in the side, conceded 41 runs in his five overs, further denting Pakistan's chances after the batsmen managed a below-par 237.

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