Rumman Raees to replace injured Wahab Riaz in Champions Trophy

Frederick Owens
June 6, 2017

Shahid Afridi was appalled by Pakistan's abject surrender but he credited India for their commanding show, saying the defending champions lived upto the favourites tag in their Champions Trophy opener here.

India's top four batsmen helped themselves to half-centuries, but none of them looked as fluent as Yuvraj, whose quickfire 53 off 32 balls enhanced his reputation as one of the sweetest timers of the ball.

"But surprisingly for the whole team, Sarfraz chose to bowl first", the source told SAMAA.

When play got underway, India set Pakistan a daunting target of 320 to win a rain-affected Group B match, which was reduced to 289 from 41 overs.

The highly anticipated match at Edgbaston proved anti-climactic as Pakistan were thrashed by 124 runs, extending their winless streak against India to three years. However, we came across an adorable video of Yuvraj that revealed that Yuvi is not just an exceptional cricketer but also a talented actor. Kohli, who on Saturday had dismissed reports of a rift with India coach Anil Kumble, was equally contemptuous of Pakistan's attack during a blistering innings of 81 not out off just 68 balls that included six fours and three sixes.

Riaz was unable to take the field after his injury and didn't come out to bat after Umesh picked up the ninth Pakistani wicket of Hasan Ali in the 34th over.

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Yuvraj should have been out for eight but Hasan Ali, sliding round at long-on, dropped the two-handed catch off Shadab. We don't run well enough between wickets. He took all the pressure off me and played the way only he can. Shoaib Malik was the only man who looked in good form and could have been a threat, but thanks to the poor running between the wickets even he got out to Jadeja's brilliant throw from deep point.

Paceman Riaz gave away 87 runs in 8.4 overs - the most expensive figures yet in the Champions Trophy - before limping off with an injured ankle.

Opening the batting together after nearly a year and a half, Rohit and Dhawan got off to a slow but steady start. "When it comes to ICC tournaments, I doubt I can think of any other player that rises to the occasion as frequently and as brilliantly as Yuvraj". "But his innings was the difference in the game".

"We were in control for 40 overs but we lost the plot in the last eight overs", Sarfraz admitted. "And everyone agreed, because he just can strike the ball from ball one and has unbelievable ability", Kohli said.

While India were clinical with both the bat and ball, their fielding left a lot to be desired, and Pakistan were worse than the men in blue, giving Yuvraj Singh three lives, besides being sloppy with ground fielding. "That's something that I need to take up with the medical team", Arthur said.

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