ICC defend India-Pakistan finish as pundits slam farce

Imran Khan | Asad Zaidi  Bloomberg

Imran Khan

While Virat Kohli was busy captaining his team against Pakistan in a World Cup match at Manchester, Stokes tweeted about how he is exhausted of being mentioned in tweets which suggest that Kohli actually pronounces the English all-rounder's name every time he is celebrating on the pitch.

Their efforts were all the more impressive as they were opening together for the first time at this level.

Imran sent out a series of messages on Twitter to convey that Pakistan should elect to bat unless there was moisture on the pitch. However, with captain Virat Kohli's second-ranked ICC ODI decisively stronger than Ahmed's sixth-ranked team, critics have argued that the hype surrounding the match is more about politics than the actual play.

Chasing a mammoth total of 336 at the start, Pakistan faltered after a steady start.

Shankar was asked to complete Bhuvneshwar Kumar's over after the Indian paceman left the field with what appeared to be a leg injury after bowling four deliveries in the fifth over.

Shankar was a late addition to the starting XI, drafted in when opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out with a fractured thumb after scoring a century in India's previous win over Australia.

Rohit Sharma went into the 90s with an extraordinary square-cut six over paceman Hasan Ali.

Mohammad Amir is a left-arm quick who has the responsibility of carrying a rich legacy of Pakistan pacemen.

Amir (3-47) was pick of the Pakistani bowlers again, his immaculate "death overs" denying India a 350-plus total.

He bowled fast and swung the white ball to trouble the Indian batsmen despite getting warned twice for running on to the pitch early in his spell.

Despite big fears of rain ruining the match before it had started, things did get underway as planned as Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz won the toss and put India in to bat, perhaps judging that the overcast conditions would be conducive to bowling early on.

The left-armer spun one past Azam's tentative bat to castle him and, in his next over, induced an ill-timed sweep from Zaman which Yuzvendra Chahal pouched at short fine leg.

Virat Kohli has often called his two wrist spinners "world class" and the 24-year-old Yadav justified his captain's faith with figures of 2-32 from his nine overs.

From 800,000 ticket applications for the Old Trafford showdown, 26,000 lucky fans from India and Pakistan filled the packed stadium and made the day their own with music and revelry.

But Pakistanis made their presence felt by cheering their team on with shouts of "long live Pakistan".

Organisers received almost 800,000 applications for tickets at the 23,000-capacity stadium in the northern English city to watch the former champions who play each other only in global tournaments due to their soured political relations.

Another one billion are expected to watch it on television.

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