Shikhar Dhawan's 41-ball 48 and his 58-run opening stand with Rohit Sharma helped India pummel Pakistan by eight wickets (D/L method) in a rain-hit group B match of the ICC Champions Trophy, here on Saturday. This was India's first win against Pakistan in three Champions Trophy meetings. (Match Highlights: India vs Pakistan as it happened)
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Unbeaten in three matches, India topped their group and will travel to Cardiff on Monday for the tournament's second semifinal at Sophia Gardens on June 20. Pakistan will go home empty handed. South Africa are the second team to make the round of last four from group B. The Proteas will play the first semifinal at The Oval on June 19. The semifinalists from group A are still undecided. (Match in pics)
In a match that was hit by four rain interruptions, India were finally given a target of 102 from 22 overs. After Pakistan were all out for 165 in 39.4 overs, India had to get 168 from 40 overs. After the first rain break, the target was revised to 157 from 36. (Key moments of the match)
The rain probably spared Pakistan a bigger humiliation. (Blog: A show of Asian solidarity at Edgbaston)
Sharma and Dhawan were again in good touch. On an Edgbaston wicket where the Pakistan new ball bowlers - Junaid Khan and Mohammad Irfan - bend their back and extracted some pace and bounce, the batsmen looked quite at ease. (Match stats - India's first win over Pakistan in ICC Champions Trophy)
With rains looming on the horizon, the Indians were virtually racing along, scoring 45 in the mandatory powerplay of eight overs. Dhawan was in a punishing mood, twice slapping Junaid in the arc between point and extra-cover. His love for cuts and pulls threw Pakistan's pacers off gear. But his strength also plotted his downfall as he was caught at backward point trying to cut Wahab Riaz.
Dhawan's 48 contained five fours and his innings put India on the doorstep of victory. Virat Kohli, who exquisitely drove Saaed Ajmal for a four in the second ball he faced, scored a typically solid 22 not out and his 24-run stand with Dinesh Karthik (11 not out) saw India home with 17 balls to spare.
Earlier, losing six wickets in less than 10 overs, Pakistan were all out for an unimpressive 165. Asad Shafiq's 41 was the lone bright spot on a cloudy day as Pakistan batted for just 39.4 overs.
Pakistan's top order again saw a familiar collapse. Nasir Jamshed, who has scored all his three ODI centuries against India, failed to reproduce his magic this time. The left-handed opener was circumspect and got a lifeline when on 1. Given out LBW by field umpire Richard Kettleborough, the batsman was saved by the Decision Review System but his innings was soon ended by a beauty from Man of the Match Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
On an overcast morning after skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni elected to field, Kumar, India's best bowler with 2 for 19, swung the ball both ways and found the edge of Jamshed's tentative bat for Suresh Raina to complete an easy catch at second slips. Jamshed scored just 2 runs off nine balls.
Kamran Akmal and Mohammed Hafeez consolidated the innings but showers sent the players back in the pavilion for the first time in the stop-star contest.
The 46-run second wicket stand was over immediately after resumption. Hafeez offered a loose stroke to an innocuous Kumar delivery to edge to a diving Dhoni. Hafeez was out for a 31-ball 27 that was laced with five fours, two of them off successive Umesh Yadav deliveries.
India introduced spin in the 14th over, courtesy Ravichandran Ashwin. With rain clouds threatening the match, Dhoni wanted to complete the overs quickly. After looking good for 21 runs that contained two well-timed boundaries, Akmal, promoted to open the innings in place of an out-of-form Imran Farhat, threw his wicket away. He went for a big drive against the turn and the inside edge flew to Virat Kohli at leg slip off Dhoni's pads.
Pakistan lost wickets in a hurry after the second rain beak. The match was reduced to 40-over-a-side and green shirts lost three crucial middle-order wickets in 15 balls and added just nine runs. Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq was the first to go, bowled by an arm-ball from Ravichandran Jadeja. He made 22 off 33 balls, and with Shafiq, produced 54 crucial runs for the fourth wicket, Pakistan's best of the day.
India eventually got rid of Shafiq, thanks to the DRS, a technology that the Indian cricket Board hates. The umpire turned down a caught behind appeal after Dhoni held on to a faint nick on the leg side. The Indians appealed for a review and the hotspot revealed a fine inside edge. It gave Ishant Sharma the first of his two wickets in the match.
Shoaib Malik lost his review after he was given out LBW to a ball that hit him plumb in front of the middle-stump. Malik played across the line to a straight ball that hurried off the wicket after scoring 17 good runs but lost his composure under pressure.
But for a gutsy 27 not out off 26 balls from Umar Amin, the Pakistan tail refused to wag. A combination of good fielding and tight bowling snuffed out any further challenge from the Pakistanis.