Despair in cricket, delight in hockey

Despair in cricket, delight in hockey

India lose to Pak in Champs Trophy; win in HWL

Despair in cricket, delight in hockey
The much anticipated India-Pakistan showdown in cricket proved to be a heart-breaker for the country on Sunday but solace arrived in the form of a thumping win in hockey over the arch-rivals.

In London, the Indian cricket team failed to rise to the occasion in the Champions Trophy final, losing by 180 runs. In another corner of the great city, the hockey team were winners by a rousing 7-1 margin in the World League Semifinals, lessening the pain somewhat.

At the Oval, Pakistan, put into bat, rode on Fakhar Zaman’s 114 to reach 338 for four in 50 overs, setting India a record target to chase in a Cup final.

Virat Kohli’s men then stumbled against an incisive opening spell from Mohammad Amir, losing three wickets early to the left-arm paceman. They never recovered from those setbacks and were bowled out for 158, handing Pakistan their first Champions Trophy success in their maiden appearance in the final. It was also Pakistan’s first global triumph since their World T20 victory in 2009.

India, the defending champions, were fancied to repeat their win over Pakistan in the league phase but the men in green shirts seemed a transformed side after notching up some impressive wins en route to the final. They showed it on the field, adopting a confident and aggressive approach from the start. India had a chance to make early inroads when Zaman, who was on three then, nicked a Jasprit Bumrah delivery to wicket-keeper M S Dhoni. But replays showed Bumrah had overstepped and the no-ball hurt India badly as the opener smashed the bowling around for his first ODI century.

On a flat pitch, the Indian bowlers didn’t show the required discipline and they were punished by the Pakistan batsmen as they pushed the score past 330. Against a daunting target, India needed a strong start but Rohit Sharma (0) and Kohli (5) were dismissed in quick succession by Amir and when he sent back Shikhar Dhawan for 21, the task looked far beyond India’s reach. Hardik Pandya applied some balm on their wounds with a quickfire 76 off 43 balls but his run-out extinguished the flickering hopes.

A couple of hours earlier at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, the hockey team had handed an embarrassing defeat to Pakistan.

The 7-1 win was India’s biggest-ever against them, with the former world champions unable to mount any serious offensive against India’s domination.

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