AHMEDABAD, India – India bowled out Pakistan for just 191 in their high-profile World Cup clash on Saturday after their bitter rivals lost their last eight wickets for just 36 runs.
In front of around 120,000 fans, almost all Indian after Pakistanis were effectively banned from attending, the home side are well placed to claim an eighth win in eight World Cup meetings against their neighbours.
Captain Babar Azam top scored with 50 while Mohammad Rizwan made 49.
The hosts elected to bowl first in Ahmedabad at the world’s biggest cricket stadium.
Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja took two wickets each as Pakistan collapsed from 155-2 to get bowled out in 42.5 overs.
Pakistan started strongly but lost their openers before Azam and Rizwan attempted to rebuild and hit back in their stand of 82.
Azam reached his fifty off 57 balls with a boundary but fell in the next over, bowled by Siraj as the crowd roared to see the back of the world’s number one ODI batsman.
Kuldeep Yadav soon struck twice in an over to send back the left-handed Saud Shakeel and Iftikhar Ahmed, bowled around the legs for four after the ball deflected off the batsman’s gloves.
Bumrah denied Rizwan his fifty with a slower-off cutter that rattled the stumps as Pakistan slipped to 168-6.
Bumrah, playing in front of his home crowd, had a spring in his step and struck again in the next over to get Shadab Khan out for two.
Pandya and Jadeja combined to wrap up the tail.
“It has been a good World Cup so far, 100%,” said Yadav at the innings break.
“I knew where to bowl but the pitch was a little slower. They weren’t doing much so I was just varying my pace and using my variations.”
“The crowd were unbelievable. I was very excited before the game. The atmosphere was crazy.”
Earlier Siraj struck first to get Abdullah Shafique, who made 113 in Pakistan’s record chase of 345 against Sri Lanka, lbw for 20.
Pandya sent back left-handed opener Imam-ul-Haq for 36 before Azam and Rizwan mounted a repair job and got regular boundaries after they were well set.
Rizwan survived a reprieve on one when the on-field umpire adjudged him out lbw off Jadeja but the batsman reviewed the decision in his favour.
He hit seven boundaries but slowed down towards the end of his knock before departing.
The hotly-anticipated match raised enormous interest city hotels booked and desperate fans even booking full-body check ups in local hospitals to be sure of a place to stay.
A prominent hotel in the city usually charges 6,000 rupees ($72) for a deluxe room but on Friday, Saturday and Sunday the price for a day has been hiked to 70,000 rupees ($841).
Only a trickle of Pakistanis, many expatriates, made it to the game after fans from across the border endured visa delays.
Brief Scores: Pakistan 191 all out in 42.5 overs (B. Azam 50, M. Rizwan 49; Bumrah 2-19, Pandya 2-34, K. Yadav 2-35, R. Jadeja 2-38 Siraj 2-50)