Windies T20 skipper Carlos Brathwaite insists that he was encouraged by aspects of the team performance, despite a 22-runs loss to India at Lauderhill on Sunday.

The result saw the visitors claim a second straight win over the regional team and an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.  India won the first contest of the series on Saturday by four wickets with 16 balls remaining after the Windies were restricted to 95-9.

On Sunday, fueled by the furious Rohit Sharma, India made 167 for 5 during their time at the crease.  Sharma made 67 from 51 balls, in the process passing Windies talisman Chris Gayle for the most T20 sixes.  The Caribbean team made made 98-4 in their reply in the second encounter, but a storm brought a premature end to the contest, with the team still some way short of the adjusted target of 121.

Rovman Powell offered the most resistance for the Windies scoring six boundaries and three sixes, reaching 54 before he was lbw to Krunal Pandya (2-23).

“I didn't think it went wrong to be fair. I think we had a solid enough base, so we still backed ourselves to get 70 odd, but very well played to Rovman to get us into that situation,” Brathwaite said following the encounter.

“I give the batting a bit more credit than yesterday. With the total we figured our lineup is flexible enough, with guys like Pollard at the end to set Rovman up. Batting-wise we were a lot closer to where we want to be. In Guyana we hope to get consistency.”

Rohit Sharma set a new record for the most sixes in Twenty20 internationals as India beat West Indies by 22 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method to seal a series win in Florida.

Opener Rohit went into the match one behind Chris Gayle's 105 maximums, but his trio of sixes put him out in front and set India on their way to a decisive win – the 32-year-old posting 67 as his side registered 167-5.

India won the first contest of the series on Saturday by four wickets with 16 balls remaining after the Windies were restricted to 95-9.

Having made 98-4 in their reply in the second encounter, a storm brought a premature end to the contest, with West Indies well short of their adjusted target of 121.

India made a solid start after winning the toss, as Rohit took control with four boundaries in the first four overs.

Shikhar Dhawan had made 23 when he was bowled by Keemo Paul in the eighth over.

Rohit continued to be the driving force, his second six of the day seeing him surpass Gayle to set a new record of 106 T20I sixes - and he later added another.

He was removed in the 14th over, though, slicing a delivery from Oshane Thomas (2-27) to Shimron Hetmyer.

India were well on top when the Windies lost Evin Lewis and Sunil Narine inside the opening three overs of their reply with only eight on the board.

Rovman Powell did his best to lead a resistance with six boundaries and three sixes, reaching 54 before he was lbw to Krunal Pandya (2-23)

Lightning forced the players off in the 16th over with the Windies needing 73 off 30 to win, and India ultimately claimed the victory on DLS by 22 runs, giving them an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Virat Kohli has offered a strong response to reports he has fallen out with India vice-captain Rohit Sharma, insisting "we have had no issues".

There has been speculation over a rift between Kohli and his deputy Rohit since India were beaten in the Cricket World Cup semi-finals by New Zealand.

However, Kohli repeatedly described such stories as "baffling", "ridiculous" and "disrespectful" as he addressed the media on Monday.

The India skipper insists he has a good relationship with Rohit and the rest of his team-mates, questioning the reason for such reporting, given a lack of evidence.

"In my opinion, it is baffling, to be honest," he told a news conference. "It is absolutely ridiculous to read such stuff.

"I have been to public events and the public says to me, 'We have so much respect for you'.

"We are feeding off lies, we are overlooking facts and we are turning a blind eye to all the good things that have happened, creating fantasies and scenarios in our heads, wanting to accept this is the truth.

"I've seen this for too long now, bringing personal lives into the picture, it's disrespectful honestly. I've played the game for 11 years, Rohit's played the game for 10 years.

"It's bizarre that people are creating this on the outside. It baffles you as a leader, as a coach, as a team when lies are being floated around and are being made to look like they are believable. It's actually very disrespectful, to be honest."

Kohli added he does not understand who would benefit from claims that would do more harm than good to Indian cricket.

"If I don't like a person or if I'm insecure with a person, you will see that on my face or in my behaviour to a person - that's how simple it is," he continued.

"I have always praised Rohit whenever I have had an opportunity because I believe he is that good. We have had no issues. As I said, it's baffling, to be honest.

"I don't know who is benefiting from all of this. We here are living, breathing, working towards getting Indian cricket to the top. And here there are people who get some kind of pleasure in bringing it down.

"I don't understand how that works. You work hard for four years to bring a team from seven to one [in the world rankings], and after four years, what are we talking about?

"Within the team, it's for everyone to see our camaraderie and friendship - and it's evident on the field. You can't play with that kind of passion if people don't get along with each other. It's as simple as that.

"It's baffling and it's time we focus on bringing Indian cricket forward and not on things that are not even there at the moment."

The dust is still settling on a truly remarkable Cricket World Cup final at Lord's, where England edged New Zealand in enthralling fashion.

The hosts could only muster the same amount of runs as the Black Caps and actually produced fewer wickets, yet Eoin Morgan's men still scraped home on the boundary countback after a dramatic Super Over.

Statistics counted in England's favour on Sunday and they predictably led the way in a number of metrics as we look back on the tournament as a whole.

Using Opta data, we highlight the most outstanding figures from an incredible few weeks.

 

6 - Victory at Lord's on Sunday saw England claim their first World Cup title, becoming the sixth different team to win the competition.

12 - Meanwhile, New Zealand, beaten in such agonising fashion, are the team to have appeared at the most tournaments without getting their hands on the trophy.

22 - Ben Stokes saw a couple of bizarre sixes fall his way in the final, but team-mate and captain Morgan hit the most maximums at the 2019 finals.

4 - Four players this year passed the 1000-run mark for their World Cup careers. Virat Kohli (1,030), Shakib al Hasan (1,146) and the retiring Chris Gayle (1,186) were joined by Ross Taylor (1,002) on Sunday.

4.15 - Of the 48 players to bowl at least 40 overs, Colin de Grandhomme boasted the best economy rate. It was an outstanding 2.50 in the final.

648 - Rohit Sharma recorded the most runs at the 2019 tournament - the third most at a single World Cup - while no player in history can match his five centuries at a single edition.

27 - Mitchell Starc was also a record-breaker, with his wicket tally never bettered at a World Cup. After tying Trent Boult in 2015, he was on top of the pile again.

371 - Jofra Archer's inability to slow New Zealand in the Super Over almost cost England, but he contributed more dot balls than another bowler at the tournament. Boult, his Super Over rival, was second (351).

0 - His work with the bat in the final - intentional and otherwise - made Stokes the hero, yet he was also the only man to bowl at least 30 overs at the World Cup and not be hit for a six.

13 - England had a whole host of heroes throughout the tournament and Test captain Joe Root made more catches as a non-wicketkeeper than any player in the history of the World Cup.

21 - Including the men in the gloves, Tom Latham got 21 fielding dismissals - matching Adam Gilchrist's 2003 record.

Trent Boult says it was just a case of New Zealand's bowlers "keeping it simple" in the crucial opening spell that left India 5-3 in the Black Caps' 18-run Cricket World Cup semi-final triumph.

In a rain-affected contest that spanned two days at Old Trafford, 2015 finalists New Zealand booked their return to the showpiece despite only posting 239-8 with the bat.

Yet a 19-ball passage from Boult and Matt Henry swung the momentum firmly in the Black Caps' favour as Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul all departed for singles.

Henry accounted for Rohit, who had scored five centuries and has more runs than anyone at this World Cup, and his opening partner Rahul, while Boult trapped Kohli lbw and later revealed there were no special plans behind the electric start that led to India being dismissed for 221.

"It wasn't planned, I don't want it to sound like I'm a magician against the best player in the world," Boult said of removing the ICC's top-ranked ODI batsman Kohli.

"We know if we can get sides two or three down inside that first 10 [overs], and put pressure on the middle order, of course it's going to be challenging for anyone.

"We didn't really try too much, in my opinion, it was just about keeping it simple.

"It was nice to put a bit of pressure on those guys but I thought they absorbed it very nicely."

Dinesh Karthik's dismissal meant India were four down by the end of the powerplay and though Ravindra Jadeja (77) and MS Dhoni (50) gave India a fighting chance, the chase got away from them.

India captain Kohli pointed to the shocking start to their reply as being pivotal in the match, with Henry (3-37) enjoying some Old Trafford redemption after returning 1-76 in an expensive nine-over spell against West Indies in the group stage.

"Coming into the semi-final, we talked about it a lot, it doesn't matter what happened in the past," Henry added.

"We knew if we got to 240 we were confident we could defend that if we bowl well.

"I don't think we were expecting the start we got but taking those early wickets meant we could really put some pressure on and squeeze the run-rate."

Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni did their best, but once again India were found wanting in a big spot.

As was the case in the 2015 Cricket World Cup semi-final and the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final, India cruised through a tournament before stumbling in a high-stakes situation.

A target of 240 against New Zealand should have been easily attainable for an experienced batting line-up that had Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in imperious form, even on an Old Trafford track that had provided little pace and assistance to batsmen.

But having fallen to 5-3 just 19 deliveries into their reply, their soft underbelly was exposed and neither Jadeja (77) nor Dhoni (50) could prevent the Black Caps returning to the World Cup final, India dismissed for 221 to slip to an 18-run loss.

In a unique contest that spanned two days due to rain, the odds had been in India's favour throughout New Zealand's innings on Tuesday. The Black Caps were restricted to 27-1 in the powerplay - the lowest total in the opening 10 overs of this World Cup - with only captain Kane Williamson (67) able to find any real fluency.

Persistent showers forced New Zealand to resume Wednesday's reserve day on 211-5 after 46.1 overs and though Ross Taylor (74) finished as his team's leading run-scorer in their 239-8, India looked set to get home.

"Around 250 would never be enough in a bilateral series between these two teams on this surface but in a World Cup semi-final... it may just be," New Zealand great Brendon McCullum had tweeted on Tuesday.

He had a point - India have developed a habit of floundering in key major ODI games.

Four years ago, they stormed through the group stage, winning six out of six and crushing Bangladesh by 109 runs in the last eight. In the semi-finals, their bowlers were taken apart by an Australian team that reached 328-7 to set up a 95-run victory.

Two years ago, they finished top of their Champions Trophy group and then lost just one wicket in chasing down 265 in the semi-final against Bangladesh. In the final, however, a revitalised Pakistan team they had thumped by 124 runs in the group stage piled on 338-4, India wilting to 158 all out in reply.

Here, the target was considerably smaller, but the story remarkably similar.

Rohit arrived in Manchester as the competition's leading scorer having plundered five centuries, but he edged a terrific Matt Henry delivery behind on one. Kohli, the number-one ranked batsman in ODI cricket, had also made a single before being given out lbw and when KL Rahul departed for the same score from the first ball of the fourth over, India were reeling.

Dinesh Karthik's dismissal from the final delivery of the opening powerplay left India four down. They had lost a combined four wickets in the powerplays of their previous nine matches combined. How would they fare without their leading batsmen?

The pressure appeared too much for Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya, leaving India still needing 148, their fate in the hands of Dhoni and Jadeja - two men with a combined age of 68. 

Dhoni, in likely his final World Cup, would only tick along, as has been the case in recent years, while a pumped-up Jadeja provided the fireworks, dragging India back into position with four boundaries and as many maximums.

But when their 116-run partnership ended as Jadeja miscued to Williamson at long off, India still needed 32 from 13.

Dhoni slapped one delivery for six but for once he could not be the finisher, run out to end potentially his last ODI innings.

India's hopes went with him, too. They had only themselves to blame.

India's top order was blown away by New Zealand seamers Matt Henry and Trent Boult at Old Trafford to leave Virat Kohli's side reeling at 24-4 in pursuit of a victory target of 240 in the first Cricket World Cup semi-final.

The Black Caps resumed their innings on Wednesday, with rain having halted their progress after 46.1 overs on Tuesday, and they reached 239-8, a total that looked below par against an India side with such an explosive batting line-up.

However, the momentum had shifted firmly in New Zealand's favour after the opening 19 deliveries of the reply. Rohit Sharma, Kohli and KL Rahul were all sent back having scored just a single run each, before Dinesh Karthik (6) fell from the final ball of the powerplay.

Rohit, the competition's leading run scorer who had amassed three straight centuries and five in total heading into this contest, feathered an edge through to wicketkeeper Tom Latham off Henry.

Kohli was the next to depart, unsuccessfully reviewing Boult's lbw shout as replays showed the ball would have gone on to clip the top of the bails, with Rahul also nicking behind to complete a remarkable early passage.

Rishabh Pant and Karthik were given the task of rebuilding the innings, but the latter was removed by a superb one-handed take from Jimmy Neesham at backward point to give Henry a third wicket of a remarkable start.

The Cricket World Cup group stage is over and the build-up to the semi-finals is under way.

Group winners India will take on New Zealand at Old Trafford on Tuesday, with hosts England facing rivals Australia at Edgbaston two days later.

With the feast of cricket coming towards its conclusion, we take a look back at some of the stats from the first round with the help of Opta.

 

BATSMEN

Most runs

1. Rohit Sharma (India) 647
2. David Warner (Australia) 638
3. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 606
4. Aaron Finch (Australia) 507
5. Joe Root (England) 500

Batting averages

1. Kane Williamson (New Zealand) 96.20
2. Rohit Sharma (India) 92.42
3. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 86.57
4. David Warner (Australia) 79.75
5. Samiullah Shinwari (Afghanistan) 74.00

Fours

1. Rohit Sharma (India) 67
2. David Warner (Australia) 64
3. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 60
4. Jonny Bairstow (England) 55
5. Babar Azam (Pakistan) 50

Sixes

1. Eoin Morgan (England) 22
2. Aaron Finch (Australia) 18
3. Rohit Sharma (India) 14
4. Chris Gayle (West Indies) 12
5. Jonny Bairstow (England) 11

Fastest hundreds (by deliveries)

1. Eoin Morgan (England) 57 v Afghanistan
2. Jos Buttler (England) 75 v Pakistan
3. Carlos Brathwaite (West Indies) 80 v New Zealand
4. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 83 v West Indies
5. Rohit Sharma (India) 95 v Pakistan

BOWLERS

Most wickets

1. Mitchell Starc (Australia) 26
2. Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh) 20
=3. Lockie Ferguson (New Zealand) 17
=3. Jaspirt Bumrah (India) 17
=3. Mohammad Amir (Pakistan) 17
=3. Jofra Archer (England) 17

Economy rate (from seven or more innings)

1. Colin de Grandhomme (New Zealand) 4.46
2. Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan) 4.47
3. Jasprit Bumrah (India) 4.48
4. Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan) 4.61
5. Ben Stokes (England) 4.65

Dot balls

1. Jofra Archer (England) 300
2. Pat Cummins (Australia) 295
3. Mitchell Starc (Australia) 288
4. Trent Boult (New Zealand) 284
5. Kagiso Rabada (South Africa) 273

Sixes conceded

1. Rashid Khan (Afghanistan) 14
2. Yuzvendra Chahal (India) 13
=3. Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan) 10
=3. Adil Rashid (England) 10
=5. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) 9
=5. Dawlat Zadran (Afghanistan) 9
=5. Glenn Maxwell (Australia) 9

Runs conceded

1. Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh) 483
2. Adil Rashid (England) 433
3. Mitchell Starc (Australia) 432
4. Gulbadin Naib (Afghanistan) 419
5. Mohammad Saifuddin (Bangladesh) 417

India opener Rohit Sharma will not let himself think about breaking Sachin Tendulkar's record for the most runs in a Cricket World Cup.

Rohit moved to 647 runs for the tournament in England after making his fifth century in Saturday's seven-wicket win against Sri Lanka.

He needs just 27 more runs to surpass India great Tendulkar's haul of 673 at the 2003 World Cup.

Matthew Hayden amassed 659 for Australia in 2007, meaning Rohit sits third in the all-time standings with one and possibly two innings still to come.

No batsman had ever made five centuries before in a single World Cup, so Rohit has already entered the record books.

India's semi-final place was assured long before their trip to Leeds, where Rohit and KL Rahul both made centuries at the top of the order to pave the way for an emphatic victory.

"I'm not thinking about milestones," Rohit said after his innings of 103, which included 16 boundaries.

"I know if I play well all these things will happen along the way. My job is to keep my head straight, keep playing and get the team to the finishing line.

"I want to start every day afresh and I try and come out thinking I've not played any ODIs, I've not made any hundreds in the tournament, it's just the first game of the tournament. That is the kind of mindset I want to get in.

"People around me are talking about hundreds, but that's the challenge of a sportsman: try to keep your head straight and focus on the job at hand."

Captain Virat Kohli has seen his side win seven and lose just one match in the group stage.

Kohli said at the post-match presentation: "We wanted to play good cricket but we didn't expect this kind of scoreline heading into the semis. That's what hard work and consistent performances get you.

"It's a real honour for all of us to play together on the field for India."

Asked about his team line-up for the semi-finals, Kohli said: "More or less everything is set, but we don't want to be one-dimensional. The team that is flexible on the day has more chance of executing what they want to.

"We need a good balance and whatever combination provides the balance for us, I think we'll go ahead with that. We're happy with the way we've played but it's about turning up on the day now and putting another performance in."

Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne praised veteran fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who was playing his final World Cup match in the 50-over format.

"Of course Sri Lankan cricket will miss him. In Test cricket and one-day cricket, he was wonderful - he was the man," Karunaratne said. "He's done a really good job. Everyone has to end their chapter. After that we have to find a new guy."

Virat Kohli hailed Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah as "the best around" after they helped send India into the Cricket World Cup semi-finals.

India booked their last-four place with a 28-run win over Bangladesh on Tuesday, set in motion by Rohit's brilliant 92-ball 104 - his fourth century of the tournament.

A chase of 315 always looked beyond the Tigers, yet Bumrah made absolutely sure with a stunning spell to end the match, collecting wickets from consecutive balls to bowl Bangladesh out for 286.

In the post-match presentation, Kohli took the opportunity to pick out both players for individual praise.

"I have been watching [Rohit] for years now and I have been saying openly, in my opinion, he is the best one-day player around," the captain said.

"When he plays like that, it's a joy to watch. He's having the tournament of his life. We are so, so delighted to see him bat the way he is, because when he plays well, we know we are heading towards a big score.

"That's all we need in the changing room. When he plays like that with so much confidence, all the guys in the changing room get so much confidence watching him play.

"I'm really, really happy for him. He's really going well and hopefully, with three more games to go, he can put two big scores there."

Turning to top-ranked bowler Bumrah, Kohli continued: "Bumrah's overs were always going to be crucial, so that's why we stopped him after four overs initially.

"He is someone you can bank on at any time in the game. He's a world-class bowler, the best in the world at the moment. There's a good reason for that. He's been bowling consistently well."

Tamim Iqbal dropped Rohit early on, but Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza was not ready to acknowledge that moment as a turning point.

"With a batsman like Rohit Sharma in such good form, it obviously affects it," he said. "But that's what happens in cricket. We can't blame it just on that catch."

And Mortaza rued Bangladesh's failure to produce their own big-scoring partnership in the manner of Rohit and KL Rahul's opening stand.

"If one of them could have made 80 or 90 then it would have been a different match," he said. "With 47 and 41 [two of Bangladesh's three biggest stands], it's asking too much."

Rohit Sharma made his fourth century of the 2019 Cricket World Cup as India booked their place in the semi-finals with a 28-run victory over Bangladesh, who can no longer qualify for the last four.

Virat Kohli's men saw their unbeaten start to the tournament ended by England on Sunday, but they got back on track two days later, thanks largely to in-form opener Rohit striking 104 off 92 balls in another batting masterclass.

Bangladesh needed victory at Edgbaston to keep their slim hopes of progression alive, yet a chase of 315 proved beyond them as Hardik Pandya (3-60) and Jasprit Bumrah (4-55) starred with the ball.

An early Tamim Iqbal drop off Mustafizur Rahman allowed Rohit to build momentum alongside KL Rahul (77), the pair combining for the biggest opening partnership of the tournament so far, which finally ended on 180.

Rohit fell to Soumya Sarkar two balls after reaching his hundred and India were rocking slightly when captain Kohli (26) and Pandya were both dismissed by Mustafizur (5-59) within the space of three balls.

However, Rishabh Pant and MS Dhoni hit 48 and 33 respectively to help their side to a healthy total of 314-9, the latter one of three victims for Mustafizur in the final over of India's innings.

Bangladesh made a steady start in reply, but talisman Shakib Al Hasan was the only member of the top five to kick on, reaching 66 in a continuation of his fine form.

When Shakib fell to Pandya, who had earlier dismissed Sarkar and Liton Das, the Tigers were 179-6 in the 34th over and staring defeat in the face.

Mohammad Saifuddin showed admirable defiance on his way to 51 not out off 38 balls, while Sabbir Rahman also chipped in with 36 as Bangladesh fought to stay in the game.

Yet Bumrah, who earlier required treatment following an awkward fall at the boundary, starred in the closing overs to make sure India prevailed.

 

Rohit reigns again

Rohit now has more runs at this tournament than any other player. He moved through the gears after being dropped on nine by Tamim in the fifth over and helped India to their best powerplay of the campaign, before continuing at a great pace to seemingly take the game away from Bangladesh.

Pandya spell pivotal

Mustafizur and Shakib threatened to really make things difficult for India. First, the bowler took a brilliant five-for to give Bangladesh hope, then Shakib produced another fine knock, becoming the first player to score more than 500 runs and take 10 wickets in a World Cup. However, Pandya's three wickets - including that of Shakib - came at a key time to restore control and Bumrah then came into his own at the death.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is set to miss India's next two to three games at the Cricket World Cup after sustaining a hamstring injury against Pakistan.

India cruised to an 89-run win over their arch rivals at Old Trafford on Sunday, triumphing on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method as Pakistan could only reach 212-6 in a rain-affected run chase after Virat Kohli's side cruised to 336-5.

However, paceman Bhuvneshwar was forced to leave the field while bowling the fifth over of Pakistan's chase, with his replacement Vijay Shankar trapping Imam-ul-Haq lbw with his first ball.

India will be heavy favourites for their upcoming matches with Afghanistan and West Indies, and Bhuvneshwar is poised to miss those games, and potentially the blockbuster clash with hosts England at Edgbaston.

Speaking at the post-match presentation, captain Virat Kohli said of Bhuvneshwar's injury: "Slight niggle, it was because of slipping on the footmarks, so it doesn't look too serious at the moment.

"We're going to give it some time, hopefully he'll be ready in a couple of games, if not, max three games from now.

"He's going to be a very important factor for us so hopefully he can recover well in time. We've got [Mohammed] Shami ready and raring to go so we're not too worried about where the situation stands even after he got injured.

"I think the way the bowlers took responsibility was really good to see. Bhuvi should be fine, he feels the niggle is not too bad, time will heal it."

Rohit Sharma scored a sublime 140, becoming the fourth India player to tally 50-plus in five successive ODIs, recording partnerships of 136 and 98 with KL Rahul and Kohli, who reached 11,000 runs in the 50-over game in 54 fewer innings than Sachin Tendulkar en route to 77.

Kohli added: "The template's been really nice in the first three games, Rohit single-handedly playing that brilliant knock in the first [against South Africa], second [against Australia] was again a team batting effort, this one as well, Rohit's knock was outstanding but you could say to get 335, 340, 350 you need a team batting effort and that's what exactly what happened.

"KL set a good foundation with Rohit, then Rohit after getting to 75 was unstoppable and he showed why he's such a good ODI player again, then it allowed me to play a certain kind of role and Hardik [Pandya] can come in and explode, that's the kind of template we've followed and it's working now, it gives us a lot of solidity in the middle.

"I'm happy playing that role for the team, the other guys are doing their role perfectly. It's going really nicely."

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli enjoyed landmark days as India routed Pakistan to severely dent their rivals' Cricket World Cup hopes.

Unbeaten at this World Cup, with a washout against New Zealand the only game in which they have not taken maximum points, India demolished Pakistan by 89 runs on Duckworth-Lewis-Stern, with Rohit producing a sublime 140 to help India reach 336-5 at Old Trafford.

In doing so he became the fourth player to score 50 or more in five straight innings for India and compiled respective partnerships of 136 and 98 with KL Rahul (57) and Virat Kohli (77), who reached 11,000 ODI runs in his 222nd innings – 54 fewer than previous record holder Sachin Tendulkar.

Pakistan were initially solid if unspectacular in response, but perhaps the most unpredictable side in limited-overs cricket were unable to reproduce the kind of performance that saw them shock England in their only win of the tournament as they crumbled from 117-1 to 165-6.

Kuldeep Yadav removed the productive pairing of Babar Azam (48) and Fakhar Zaman (62). A brilliant delivery through the gate denied Babar a half-century before Fakhar gave the spinner his second scalp with an ill-advised sweep.

Pakistan's middle order wilted in the face of quick bowling from all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Vijay Shankar, leaving the tail with a mountainous test they were never likely to pass. 

Hardik took two wickets in two balls and Shankar followed up the dismissal of Imam-ul-Haq, which he claimed first ball upon replacing Bhuvneshwar Kumar after he went off with hamstring tightness, by bowling Sarfraz Ahmed.

Rain that had briefly delayed the conclusion of India's innings arrived again, with the stoppage leading to the bizarre spectacle of Pakistan needing 136 off five overs when they returned for a near-impossible chase of a revised 40-over target of 302.

India moved up to third and remain on course for the semi-finals ahead of a meeting with winless Afghanistan, while Pakistan's fading hopes will hinge heavily on their forthcoming clash with South Africa.

ROHIT GIVEN HELPING HAND

Rohit has not needed any assistance during his superb run of form, but he made the most of a pair of huge let-offs early in his latest exhibition of batting prowess as Pakistan missed two run-out opportunities in successive overs.

First Fakhar threw to the wrong end as Rohit made the rash decision to run two, and Shadab Khan then missed with his throw when a direct hit would have seen the opener out on 38.

He went on to reach his century in just 85 balls and hit 14 fours and three maximums before flicking Hasan Ali to short leg.

In scoring five successive ODI fifties for India Rohit joins the elite company of Tendulkar, Ajinkya Rahane and Kohli, who reached 11,000 runs with a glanced four but made the bemusing decision to walk despite getting no top-edge to an attempted hook off Mohammad Amir.

FAKHAR AGAIN AT FAULT

Any hopes Pakistan had of completing a difficult chase went with the exits of Babar and Fakhar.

There was little Babar could do to avoid being clean bowled by a stunner from Kuldeep, but Fakhar's top-edged sweep that presented Yuzvendra Chahal with a dolly was poorly judged and poorly executed.

That set in motion a dismal collapse from Pakistan, for whom the DLS scoreline of their seventh defeat in as many World Cup games with India was flattering.

Ultimately, the most eagerly awaited fixture at the 2019 Cricket World Cup ended in a comfortable win for favourites India against their fiercest foes Pakistan.

This – at a raucous, rowdy and sometimes rainy Old Trafford – was a triumph for cold, calm efficiency over a more impassioned, excitable approach.

Ahead of Sunday's momentous meeting in Manchester, India captain Virat Kohli faced the media and repeatedly played down the size of the occasion, insisting he and his squad would treat it no differently to any other ODI.

"In our minds, nothing changes according to the opposition," he said on Saturday. "We're only focused on playing the type of cricket we're known for, not singling out any player from the opposition or focusing more on one particular player than the other."

Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur, meanwhile, took an altogether different tack.

"It doesn't get bigger," he told his news conference. "It doesn't get more exciting. I'm telling our players in the dressing room, you could be a hero.

"Your careers are going to be defined by a moment in the game. You do something incredible, you'll be remembered forever."

One can understand Arthur's attempts to fire up his erratic side; India-Pakistan games come around all too infrequently, but Kohli sensed no such need to issue a similar rallying cry.

And those opposing attitudes were borne out when the action got under way as India set about ruthlessly compiling a total of 336-5 that Pakistan never looked likely to reach, even when Bhuvneshwar Kumar exited with a hamstring injury after he had sent down just 2.4 overs.

Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam briefly threatened to heed Arthur's words and attain hero status, but when Kuldeep Yadav accounted for both and Hardik Pandya ousted Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik from successive balls, Pakistan had lost four for 12 and eventually toiled to 212-6 following a rain break, leaving them well short of their DLS target.

Under overcast skies, Sarfraz Ahmed had opted to put Kohli's side in to bat and one could sense Pakistan's desperation to make best use of seemingly favourable conditions – such anxiety perhaps the result of having lost all six previous World Cup meetings with their neighbours.

But while Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul set about their task with quiet confidence, Pakistan grew increasingly ragged.

Rohit ought to have been run out twice in successive overs while he was still in the 30s – misses that proved decidedly costly as the opener cruised to an almost effortless century off 85 balls before perishing for 140.

Pakistan, by contrast, were looking ever more agitated. Wahab Riaz and Sarfraz were unhappy to see the left-armer warned for running on the pitch, while a number of fumbles in the outfield prompted double-teapots aplenty among the men in green as the relentless Rohit accumulated his runs.

Rohit's knock was a clinic in punishing poor bowling, and even his departure only cleared the stage for Kohli to claim a slice of history.

His fluent 77 saw him pass 11,000 ODI runs in his 222nd innings, usurping Sachin Tendulkar as the fastest man to that milestone. The Little Master needed 276.

Kohli's achievement was met with an almighty roar from the hordes of India supporters, who outnumbered their counterparts by perhaps four to one and were encouraged by their captain to become fully swept up in the occasion, in contrast to the message sent to his players.

"Look, I can't tell the fans to think of the game in a particular manner," Kohli had said. "For us, it's a professional approach to the game, which is most important.

"They [fans] should enjoy the atmosphere. They should enjoy the occasion the way they want to and the way it's been enjoyed for years, but the players obviously have to maintain the mindset we have for years approaching any kind of game."

Kohli certainly saw both of those wishes granted. The Bharat Army revelled in a resounding win over their great rivals in the stands, while on the field India's cold, calculated charge towards the World Cup semi-finals continued unchecked.

Rohit Sharma's commanding 140 put India firmly on top against Pakistan as Virat Kohli's side racked up 336-5 at a deafening Old Trafford.

Sunday's encounter between the two fierce rivals was the most eagerly anticipated of this Cricket World Cup and Rohit thrived on the grandest of stages.

After India were put in by Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed, Rohit combined in a first-wicket stand of 136 with KL Rahul, who made 57 having been promoted to open due to Shikhar Dhawan's injury-enforced absence.

Once Rahul departed, Rohit brought up his second century of the tournament – following his unbeaten 122 against South Africa – off just 85 deliveries, featuring nine fours and three sixes.

He found the ropes five more times before eventually flicking Hasan Ali to short fine-leg to end his 113-ball stay, a dismissal which allowed Kohli to take centre stage.

A glanced four took the India captain to 11,000 ODI runs, reaching the milestone in his 222nd innings – 54 fewer than previous record holder Sachin Tendulkar.

Kohli made 77 off 65 - bizarrely opting to walk despite getting no top-edge to an attempted hook off Mohammad Amir - as even a late rain interruption did little to halt the momentum of India, seeking to extend their perfect World Cup record against Pakistan to seven wins from seven matches.

Page 1 of 4
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.