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India beat Pakistan after ruthless Rohit Sharma sets insurmountable target at Cricket World Cup

Nick Hoult
Hardik Pandya took two wickets in two balls as Pakistan crumbled - ICC

It was always impossible for this game to live up to the hype but there is no question that India are matching expectations at the World Cup.

They were too powerful, too ruthless and too composed for Pakistan, beating them by 89 runs via the DLS method in another one-sided rain-hit contest at a tournament crying out for a close game and a sunny day.

Only England boast India’s strength but can their players show the same nerve under pressure? India were so steely and focused against Pakistan that this could have been any old, one-day international rather than one of the world’s great sporting contests.

Rohit Sharma’s 140 off 113 balls propelled India to the kind of total that wins matches at this World Cup, while the new-ball skills of Jasprit Bumrah, and the flight and mystery of Kuldeep Yadav, were too much for an overwhelmed Pakistan team.

Only two of the Pakistan side: Mohammad Amir and Babar Azam, – would realistically have a chance of breaking into a combined XI. Whereas Pakistan looked like a side burdened by carrying the hopes of a nation, India welcomed it. They had too much depth for Pakistan and too many players accustomed to the high octane, big occasion thanks to Indian Premier League exposure.

Pity poor old Sarfaraz Ahmed. It cannot be easy when the prime minister is the most legendary Pakistan captain of all time. Imran Khan took to Twitter in the morning to give the team a pep talk in front of his 9.7 million followers and one of his decrees was to bat first if Sarfaraz won the toss. He did and decided to bowl, lured into the decision by thinking the recent rain had juiced up the pitch and the ball would move in the overcast conditions at 10.30am.

That is Test-match thinking at Old Trafford when bowlers are armed with a red Duke but in this tournament they are using a Kookaburra white which sounds like a butterfly and floats like one, too, for those without genuine pace.

Pakistan picked only three seamers, packing their bowling with spin instead because they did not trust the inexperience of the two 19-year-old quicks in the squad, but it was a lopsided attack made even lighter by Hasan Ali bowling so poorly.

Pakistan were frustrated, too, by officialdom, with both Amir and Wahab Riaz warned twice for running on the pitch. Riaz was forced to bowl around the wicket for the rest of the innings and Pakistan always looked like a side on the edge, juggling the risk of one of their key fast bowlers being banned from the attack with the knowledge their spinners were being played with ease by Indian batsmen brought up on such bowling.

Ahmed grew frustrated with his bowlers who were unable to bowl to the fields he set and when his side had a chance to run out Sharma on 32, Fakhar Zaman threw to the wrong end. Sharma is one of the best pullers and cutters in world cricket, he just waited on the back foot for bowlers to drop short and there was plenty of opportunity for him to do that. India paid Amir respect, seeing him off while happily taking on the other bowlers.

Sharma eased his way to 50 off 34 balls, his quickest half-century in one-day internationals, and once he is past 30 he becomes very difficult to dislodge. He did not try anything flashy, there was no need. He hit the bad balls, rotated the strike, confident with his rhythm and timing. Pakistan could not build pressure. Spinners are there to apply the squeeze. But Shadab Khan bowled an awful first over that cost 17, while back up bowlers Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik were belted out of the attack with disdain.

After the century opening stand, Kohli added magic with some glorious drives while Sharma moved to his hundred, his second of this World Cup, and the third-fastest of his career, off 107 balls. Kohli reached his own milestone, clocking up 11,000 ODI runs. Naturally, he is the fastest to reach the landmark, managing it 52 innings quicker than the previous record holder, Sachin Tendulkar.

Sharma departed the first time he tried to be flashy, caught at fine leg attempting a ramp, but at 234 for two with 12 overs to go, India were looking at 350. Hardik Pandya’s strength and bat speed enabled him to hit a one-handed top edge for six but it did not last. He tried the helicopter shot but did not quite have the MS Dhoni-like flourish and was caught on the boundary. Dhoni was out second ball as Amir bowled a masterful final spell, and his skill and accuracy saved his side from a real pummelling. Even Kohli was overwhelmed, walking for a non- existent edge.

Pakistan could not cope with Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowling beautifully with the new ball. Kumar went off with a hamstring injury but Vijay Shankar stepped up and with his first ball removed Imam-ul-Haq with a big inswinger.

Zaman and Azam rebuilt but Kohli could attack with his mystery spinners on a pitch starting to turn. Azam was bowled by a magical delivery that spun wickedly through the gate to spark a collapse of four wickets for 12 runs that sealed the result. Pandya took two in two balls including Malik for a golden duck. Ahmed eked out 12 singles from 30 balls before he played on, and anyone with a heart would have ended the game there and then but another rain break held up the inevitable for another hour.

7:29PM

Game over: India beat Pakistan by 89 runs (DLS)

That's it - India have won and let's not let this frankly ludicrous end to the match take anything away from their performance. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli won this one with the bat earlier, and they keep up their impressive start to this tournament with another win over rivals Pakistan. 

Here's how that result leave the table:

7:24PM

OVER 39: PAK 208/6 chasing 302 (DLS) (Imad 44* Shadab 18*)  

Bumrah again, smacked down the ground by Imad for four. He'll be gaining some confidence here, if nothing else is to be gained from these five overs... He moves onto 44.

Instead of following the end of this match, you should give this a read on today's match-winner:

7:19PM

OVER 38: PAK 196/6 chasing 302 (DLS) (Imad 34* Shadab 17*) 

Shadab goes after a couple of balls and spoons a big slog up in the air. A tired Rahul is underneath it on the rope, and he should take it easily, but it slips through his fingers. I suppose a wicket would only delay the inevitable.

7:16PM

OVER 37: PAK 182/6 chasing 302 (DLS) (Imad 27* Shadab 11*)

Bumrah comes on to work on his death bowling in World Cup circumstances. Shadab swings wildly once, twice, gets a few runs and a four to finish the over off. It's all a bit pointless though, isn't it?

Shout out to the fans who have stuck it out at Old Trafford by the way. There are a good few thousand still making a decent noise to see India finish this one off.

7:12PM

OVER 36: PAK 172/6 chasing 302 (DLS) (Imad 24* Shadab 4*)      

Chahal bowls, Shadab goes over the first ball, but can only take a single. Another single for Imad and all of a sudden the required run rate is even higher. Imad attempts a slog sweep but doesn't connect, and then Shadab tries another but miscues. It lands safe.

7:09PM

We are ready

There are LOAD of empty seats, the floodlights are on, and for some reason we are coming back out for five more overs of play.

7:01PM

There will be more play!!!

I really thought we were done for the day... but we are restarting at 7.10pm!

Pakistan will need 136 runs off five overs that will be played. That's 27.2 runs an over. Or 4.5 runs per ball. Utterly ridiculous. Is there any point in this?

6:38PM

Seven out of seven

This result will make it seven wins from seven for India against Pakistan at World Cups... and this one is by a significant margin. 

6:25PM

It's not looking great for Pakistan

The Met Office are predicting bad weather for the rest of the day in Manchester. Even if there were time for a few more overs, it surely wouldn't be enough for Pakistan to wrestle their way back into the match. 

And I don't see many fans sticking about too much longer. 

Credit: getty images

6:14PM

It's raining: play suspended

The rain has started coming down harder now, the players are going off and here come the covers.

As it stands, India are clear winners, with Pakistan 86 runs behind par score.

Credit: Sky sports

6:12PM

OVER 35: PAK 166/5 chasing 337 (Imad 22* Shadab 1*)     

Empty seats are appearing all around the ground, with Pakistan fans starting to leave, now sure there is no way back into this and - to top it all off - getting rained on, too.

6:09PM

WICKET! Sarfaraz b Shankar 12

Sarfaraz shifts across to off stump as Shankar comes in for the first ball of this over, but the lack of pace on the ball seems to slightly unsettle the Pakistan captain, who gets it all wrong with a horrible swing and plays onto his own stumps. Fow 165/6

6:07PM

OVER 34: PAK 165/5 chasing 337 (Sarfaraz 12* Imad 22*)    

Imad with a baseball swing at a short Bumrah ball and he wacks it straight back down the ground so hard it nearly takes the umpire out but the man in red is quick to react and get himself out of the way.

It's raining harder and harder at Old Trafford now and the umpires are having a little chat. We're playing on for now but the groundsmen are loitering near the covers. It doesn't look good.

6:02PM

OVER 33: PAK 157/5 chasing 337 (Sarfaraz 11* Imad 16*)   

Shankar comes back on, having done very little since his two-ball opening over when he replaced the injured Bhuvneshwar. He only concedes a few runs but has Jadeja to thank that it isn't more, due to some fine fielding at point.

5:55PM

OVER 32: PAK 154/5 chasing 337 (Sarfaraz 10* Imad 15*)  

Jasprit Bumrah comes back on for India. Imad controls a pull nicely and it races away for four. Time for drinks.

5:49PM

OVER 31: PAK 146/5 chasing 337 (Sarfaraz 8* Imad 9*) 

The batsmen do well to keep the scoreboard ticking over with single after single after single, but even that pushes the required run rate up further. It has passed 10 now.

Apparently the forecast is for rain soon. That would be the final nail in the coffin for Pakistan.

5:46PM

OVER 30: PAK 140/5 chasing 337 (Sarfaraz 5* Imad 6*)

Twenty overs left and still 197 runs to get for Pakistan. They need a miracle or three.

This says it all, really Credit: sky sports

5:42PM

OVER 29: PAK 137/5 chasing 337 (Sarfaraz 3* Imad 5*)         

Finally, Pandya's hat-trick ball... he steams in and gives it everything. It's pitched up nicely, but Sarfaraz isn't playing along. He steps to the ball and blocks convincingly.

Imad doesn't comply either, pulling a bouncer for four.

5:38PM

OVER 28: PAK 132/5 chasing 337 (Sarfaraz 2* Imad 1*)        

Kuldeep again. Just three runs off it.

The game has completely got away from Pakistan in the last 20 minutes.

5:36PM

OVER 27: PAK 129/5 chasing 337 (Sarfaraz 0* Imad 0*)       

Pandya will have to wait until his next over to find out if he can get a hat-trick.

Here's that sensational Kuldeep ball from earlier that started this collapse, by the way:

5:35PM

WICKET! Malik b Pandya 0

Shoaib Malik is the new man in and Pandya gives a little extra oompf to this ball. Malik dangles a bat at it succeeds only in inside-edging onto his leg stump. Game well and truly over now. 129/5

5:33PM

WICKET! Hafeez c Shankar b Pandya 9

Hafeez's six a couple of overs ago may have convinced Kohli to bring Pandya back on and he looks so much less comfortable immediately. He tries to clip one innocuously off his pads but he chips it right up in the air to deep square leg and Shankar takes a dolly. 129/4

5:28PM

OVER 26: PAK 126/3 chasing 337 (Hafeez 7* Sarfaraz 0*)      

Sarfaraz is the new man in and he tries to attack but just can't connect. Four dots confirm a maiden-wicket over for Kuldeep. The game has swung in Kuldeep's last couple of overs.

5:26PM

WICKET! Fakhar c Chahal b Kuldeep 62

Oh dear oh dear oh dear! The sweep has been Fakhar's friend up until this point today, and attempts another but top edges and spoons it up into the air for the easiest catch Chahal will ever take. Fow 126/3

5:24PM

OVER 25: PAK 126/2 chasing 337 (Fakhar 62* Hafeez 7*)     

Hafeez is the new man in and he isn't hanging around! A single off his first ball, and then when he is back on strike he sweeps a huge shot over the rope for six! Might we just have a game on our hands here?

5:21PM

WICKET! Babar b Kuldeep 48

Ohhhh wow what a ball from Kuldeep Yadav! Just when it seemed this partnership might be giving Pakistan hope, Kuldeep sends a wicked ball down. It pitches outside off, Babar steps towards and tries to block but it spins sharply back at him far more than he expects and slips through the gate and into his stumps. Babar falls just short of his half-century. India strengthen their position. Fow 117/2

5:15PM

OVER 23: PAK 113/1 chasing 337 (Fakhar 58* Babar 46*)    

Babar with arguably the shot of the day, here, lunging forward and slogging a huuuuuge six over deep midwicket. It's a straight ball he has to get right and he does exactly that. 

More like it from Pakistan, and fans are just starting to believe a little bit, now. 

5:11PM

OVER 22: PAK 103/1 chasing 337 (Fakhar 56* Babar 38*)   

Another beauty from Fakhar. A huge stride and he smacks a half volley over midwicket for four, and that is Pakistan's 100.

5:09PM

OVER 21: PAK 95/1 chasing 337 (Fakhar 51* Babar 35*)  

Fakhar Zaman hears my calls for more runs by slog sweeping just over the rope for six to take him to 50. Then he is unsure about how hard to go after the next ball, with a bit more flight on it and he very nearly chips it straight to Kohli at midwicket.

On that earlier appeal from Kohli, we've just been treated to ultra edge, and it was in fact bat before pad, so Kohli should have stuck to his guns and reviewed. How costly will that prove?

5:04PM

OVER 20: PAK 87/1 chasing 337 (Fakhar 44* Babar 34*) 

What a ball from Kuldeep, it completely upends Fakhar and Dhoni thinks he has stumped him, but the third umpire rules 'not out' as Fakhar got his foot back in time.

Credit: sky sports

Pakistan survive, but they only manage one run off the over. The required run rate is up to 8.33 now. They're going to have to start scoring soon to have any chance in this match. 

5:01PM

OVER 19: PAK 86/1 chasing 337 (Fakhar 43* Babar 34*)

Chahal again, and again little for Pakistan to feed off. Babar blocks one deep in his crease and out of nowhere Kohli comes charging out of the slips appealing for lbw, hoping that it clipped the pad first. MS Dhoni quickly talks him out of it. Replays are inconclusive.

4:56PM

OVER 18: PAK 84/1 chasing 337 (Fakhar 42* Babar 33*)     

Kuldeep switches ends but maintains the same high standards he bowled with from the other end. Fakhar and Babar do well to take five easy singles off the over with little else on offer.

4:52PM

OVER 17: PAK 79/1 chasing 337 (Fakhar 40* Babar 30*)    

Chahal comes into the attack as Kohli switches spinners. Hardik saves a certain four with a superhuman dive low to his right at backward point.

4:49PM

OVER 16: PAK 75/1 chasing 337 (Fakhar 38* Babar 28*)   

After a short pause for drinks Pandya continues. The Pakistani batsmen have had a word and are going to push for runs at every opportunity. They run a couple of singles well, and then Fakhar swings at a short one and smacks it away for four down to cow corner, and then edges another one to the top. Better from Pakistan there.

4:42PM

OVER 15: PAK 64/1 chasing 337 (Fakhar 28* Babar 27*)  

Kuldeep is just so consistent. Another over that the batsmen struggle to score from. Fakhar loses patience with a slightly short one and tries to sweep but completely misses it. It's outside leg so he survives, but that was pretty risky. He then pushes one through the gap down to third man for three. 

4:39PM

OVER 14: PAK 58/1 chasing 337 (Fakhar 24* Babar 25*) 

Innovative from Fakhar here. He needs to score some runs and he shapes up to hook a short Pandya ball but sort of just guides it fine and it flies to the rope. Then, Babar pushes at a full ball and the gets a decent edge on it, but there is no slip in place and it goes down to third man for a single.

4:35PM

OVER 13: PAK 51/1 chasing 337 (Fakhar 19* Babar 23*)

Kohli turns to spin with Kuldeep, and Fakhar continues to plod along, struggling to score properly. It's a good start from the new bowler, with just two runs off it. Fifty up for Pakistan.

Bhuvneshwar's absence, meanwhile, has been confirmed for the rest of the game, and put down to "tightness". 

4:31PM

OVER 12: PAK 49/1 chasing 337 (Fakhar 18* Babar 22*)

India will have been so happy with how things are going, with Shankar giving nothing away... up until the final ball which Babar gust guides backward of square on the off side and finally, FINALLY Pakistan find the gap. Eight off the over.

4:25PM

OVER 11: PAK 41/1 chasing 337 (Fakhar 17* Babar 15*)

Pandya again and a couple of decent shots from Babar but both times he picks out the man on the rope. The run rate falls further...

4:21PM

OVER 10: PAK 38/1 chasing 337 (Fakhar 16* Babar 13*)         

As we finish the first powerplay, Pakistan may well be content at only having lost one wicket, but they are way, way behind the required run rate, and even though the sun is out right now, the forecast is for more rain and the batsmen will be well aware they need to start finding the gaps in an impressive Indian field.

  • Pakistan's current run rate: 3.8
  • Required run rate: 7.47

4:17PM

OVER 9: PAK 34/1 chasing 337 (Fakhar 15* Babar 11*)        

Hardik Pandya comes into the attack. Four dots, a single and an absolute beauty of a cover drive from Babar goes for four.

4:13PM

OVER 8: PAK 29/1 chasing 337 (Fakhar 15* Babar 6*)       

What an over this is from Bumrah, and he is really unfortunate to concede four runs off a hardly convincing edged pull shot that goes fine.

Meanwhile, a message comes from the changing rooms to Kohli and it looks like Bhuvneshwar's injured hamstring will mean he is not coming back out today. A real blow for India but Kohli doesn't look too flustered. It could throw the game open, though. We shall see.

4:07PM

OVER 7: PAK 25/1 chasing 337 (Fakhar 11* Babar 6*)      

Shankar again. Was that first (third of an) over a one-off? His first ball is too far down leg and Fakhar pushes it fine for four, and then there are two balls that are too wide and should go for four but pick out the man at cover on each occasion.

4:02PM

OVER 6: PAK 20/1 chasing 337 (Fakhar 6* Babar 6*)     

One loose Bumrah ball and Babar slaps it away for four. Beautiful shot.

3:57PM

OVER 5: PAK 14/1 chasing 337 (Fakhar 5* Babar 1*)    

Babar survives the final ball - but only just, with it nipping back at him and coming off an inside edge onto his pad and away to safety. Two balls, one wicket for Shankar.

3:56PM

WICKET! Imam lbw Shankar 7

More seam movement, this time for Bhuvneshwar, who sends down a peach with the most perfect seam position you'll see. He pitches this one up a bit and and it swerves away from Imam, who just can't respond... but then a hope for Pakistan - and a really unfortunate one for India.

Bhuvneshwar slipped after that delivery and has pulled up holding his hamstring... and he's gone off. Vijay Shankar comes onto complete the over...

Nobody is expecting much here, but Shankar sends down a brilliant first ball and Imam can't get across to it as it slams into his pad. A huge appeal goes up, and so does the umpire's finger! A surprising source for India's breakthrough, but they won't care about that! Fow 13/1

Credit: sky sports

3:49PM

OVER 4: PAK 13/0 chasing 337 (Imam 7* Fakhar 5*)   

Bumrah gets one to nip away from Fakhar off the seam and it completely beats him. That felt like an over for Pakistan to survive... and they managed it, taking just the one run.

3:45PM

OVER 3: PAK 12/0 chasing 337 (Imam 6* Fakhar 5*)  

There is such pace to this opening Indian partnership and Pakistan's batsmen are taking their time getting into it, but they are punishing anything too far onto leg.

Bhuvneshwar beats the bat again with a beauty of a delivery that is too full for the cut Imam attempts, but then he clips one off his legs for four.

3:40PM

OVER 2: PAK 6/0 chasing 337 (Imam 1* Fakhar 5*) 

Bumrah next. Early wickets could decide this and Bumrah is really dangerous, but then he sends down an absolute gift, a wide full toss that Fakhar swats for four.

Next ball is back in at the body, just short of a length and Fakhar plays and misses. Better from Bumrah.

3:36PM

OVER 1: PAK 2/0 chasing 337 (Imam 1* Fakhar 1*)

We are playing! Pakistan will have to be wary of falling behind the required run rate of 6.74 as the weather may decide this game.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar opens the bowling, and he hits a length four balls out of six. The two that stray too straight are prodded away for a single apiece.

3:29PM

The hokey cokey

The covers are back off again, the players are ready. Let's play some cricket - quick!

3:27PM

The good old British weather...

The weather is playing tricks on us. It looked to be holding out and the players came back out, only to turn straight back for the pavilion when the heavens opened again. The covers are brought back out, but then the rain stops again! The sun has come back out, too! 

We have a bizarre situation now where the players are out on the pitch in the sun but the covers are on. Who knows what is going to happen now.

Credit: sky sports

3:18PM

Play to restart at 3.25pm

Ominous-looking clouds are circling, but the restart of play has been set for seven minutes' time. Let's see if that happens...

3:11PM

More on the Kohli dismissal

Incredibly, he says he checked for a click in his bat handle this morning, so any damage must have occurred during the day's play...

Meanwhile, the rain has stopped - for now at least - but no sign of the covers moving just yet.

3:08PM

A quick turnaround now more

After the earlier rain break of around an hour, the players should have had just 15 minutes between the two innings... but the forecast is bad for the rest of the day and BAD NEWS: it is indeed raining again at Old Trafford. The covers are back out and the restart will be delayed.

3:00PM

OVER 50: IND 336/5 (Shankar 15* Jadhav 9*)               

Amir's variations and accuracy restrict India to two off the first three balls...but then Shankar gets hold of a full delivery to send it over extra cover for four. There's then a wide before Shankar powers Amir down to long on for a single.

Last ball coming up...Jadhav runs at Amir and cloths him to deep cover. Just one. Pakistan will chase 337 to win.

Mohammad Amir was superb again, picking up 3/47 off his 10 overs. That helped Pakistan pull things back after Rohit's assault, but they will still need a wonderful batting display to overhaul this total.

Credit: AFP

Thanks for your company today. My colleague Ali Tweedale will be with you for the chase. 

2:54PM

OVER 49: IND 327/5 (Shankar 9* Jadhav 7*)              

Quite a strange one, here. Kohli walked when Amir appealed for that top edge...but Ultra Edge seems to show that there was no contact between bat and ball.

Credit: Sky Sports

And the India skipper looks frustrated in the changing room. He walked, says Sourav Ganguly on commentary, because there was a creak in the handle of his bat. That is the sound he heard and why he walked.

Credit: Sky Sports

 Meanwhile, India take 12 from Wahab's over including a strong bunt over mid-off from Jadhav.

2:47PM

OVER 48: IND 315/5 (Shankar 5* Jadhav 1*)             

Kedar Jadhav defends his first ball to point and then guides a single to third man. He'll keep the strike. Twelve balls remaining.

2:45PM

Wicket! Kohli c Sarfaraz b Amir 77

Shankar plays and misses at the outstanding Amir before adding one to long on. Kohli pats a couple out to cover. He's aiming for a ton here.

But he won't get one! Amir bumps him and a thin top edge is gathered by Sarfaraz. FOW 314/5

2:42PM

OVER 47: IND 311/4 (Kohli 75* Shankar 4*)            

Shankar shovels a single over extra cover before Wahab is collared for a harsh wide - it was a slower-ball bouncer that lobbed Kohli.

India's skipper makes the extra delivery count, guiding it past short third man for four.

2:39PM

In position

Wahab is ready to resume.

Credit: Sky Sports

2:30PM

Restart at 2.40pm

No overs have been lost but the break between innings has been cut to 15 minutes. Twenty balls remain.

2:29PM

Umpires out

I don't think we're too far away from a resumption. The covers are off and the umpires are checking out a few areas.

1:47PM

Rain stops play

Kohli adds one and Shankar waves two to deep backward square leg. He's then given out after appearing to nick Wahab through to Sarfaraz. Shankar reviews immediately...

Credit: Sky Sports

...and Ultra Edge saves him. Shankar stays but must head back in the changing rooms with everyone else because the umpires have decided that the rain has become too heavy for now. 

1:42PM

OVER 46: IND 302/4 (Kohli 70* Shankar 1*)           

Vijay Shankar misses his first ball and receives a "get-me-back-on-strike" mid-pitch pep-talk from Kohli. A single follows. Kohli adds two more before getting off strike. That takes India past 300.

Shankar can't quite squeeze the last delivery past backward point. Uh oh. Umbrellas are going up in the crowd.

1:38PM

Wicket! Dhoni c Sarfaraz b Amir 1

It's up from Amir and Dhoni heaves but only succeeds in scratching the ball through to Pakistan's skipper. Ami celebrates heartily. He pulled things back brilliantly against Australia and is aiming to do the same here. FOW 298/4

1:36PM

Good company

Credit: Sky Sports

1:36PM

OVER 45: IND 298/3 (Kohli 67* Dhoni 1*)          

Back to back boundaries from Kohli, both of them glanced as Hassan Ali spears into the pads. The first of those boundaries brings him past 11,000 ODI runs. 

Kohli and Dhoni then trade singles.

1:34PM

OVER 44: IND 286/3 (Kohli 56* Dhoni 0*)         

MS Dhoni joins Kohli, who ends the over by pressing forward and pushing one to long-off.

Credit: AP

1:31PM

Wicket! Pandya c Babar b Amir 26

Slower ball from Amir first up. Kohli waits for it and works two to reach a half-century. Kohli smears four past mid-off and then rotates the strike with a dabbed single.

Lovelu shot from Pandya now. He picks up a slower ball and muscles four through the off-side. The next delivery is full and straight. It's there for the helicopter and Pandya connects but it's not far enough. Babar snaffles it on the rope FOW 285/3

1:26PM

OVER 43: IND 274/2 (Kohli 48* Pandya 22*)        

Kohli pushes one...and then Pandya picks up six in remarkable fashion. Aiming down the ground, he is flummoxed by a slower ball from Ali but skews an edge the complete opposite direction - 180 degrees opposite, in fact - and it loops all the way.

Ali beats him with a slower ball but then strays and Pandya pummels a leg-side full-toss for four. Again Ali beats him before the over finishes with a quick two towards long-on. Back comes Amir. 

1:22PM

OVER 42: IND 261/2 (Kohli 47* Pandya 10*)       

Breath-taking from Kohli. He sends Wahab over mid-off powerfully to pick up four. But the bowler comes back extremely well. There are only three further singles are added. Eight overs remain. 

1:16PM

OVER 41: IND 254/2 (Kohli 41* Pandya 9*)      

Hassan Ali is worked for two singles and then finds Pandya's edge. It drops just short of a diving Sarfaraz. Ali is accurate and uses his variations but there are two more singles and a two to Pandya to end the over.

1:13PM

Rohit seeing it big

1:12PM

OVER 40: IND 248/2 (Kohli 39* Pandya 5*)     

Shadab drops short, Kohli rocks back and pulls four over mid-wicket. He then picks up two as Imam-ul-Haq spills out in the deep. A late cut picks up one.

Pandya plays and misses but drives one at the second attempt. Another Kohli two ends the over. Ten from it. India can target 350 here.

1:09PM

OVER 39: IND 238/2 (Kohli 30* Pandya 4*)    

A couple of hard-run twos to get Pandya going. 

1:08PM

Wicket! Rohit c Wahab b Hassan 140

Rohit is furious with himself. He greets Hassan Ali with a pull shot over mid-wicket for four. Sarfaraz promptly brings up fine leg and Rohit cannot resist the scoop, but the ball only lobs into the hands of Wahab.

Hardik Pandya has been promoted. India want to accelerate. FOW 234/2

1:04PM

OVER 38: IND 230/1 (Rohit 136* Kohli 30*)         

Kohli gives the strike to Rohit by dropping his hands and guiding Wahab to third man. Then Rohit goes to work, scooping a pull for four and then turning another for a single.

Wahab persists with the same line to Kohli. He hits him on the body and there is a leg bye. Rohit steers two and then punches one to mid-on.

12:59PM

OVER 37: IND 220/1 (Rohit 128* Kohli 29*)        

Imad is driven down to wide long on by Kohli, who is biding his time out here. Rohit forces another single past point. Sachin Tendulkar is in the house.

Credit: Sky Sports

Three more singles are traded. That is the end of Imad's bowling allocation for today. He's gone for 49 runs from his 10 overs and has generally been tidy.

12:53PM

OVER 36: IND 215/1 (Rohit 126* Kohli 26*)       

Wahab replaces Shadab and hurries Kohli, who shovels an unconvincing single. Rohit is upper-cutting again. This one was a slower ball but he waited and lobbed backward point to pick up four.

Now Kohli is with him, Rohit is pushing twos. He goes to 125 with a nudge to mid-wicket and then steers a single to third man. Kohli flicks another. Drinks. Now, do India accelerate?

12:48PM

OVER 35: IND 206/1 (Rohit 119* Kohli 24*)      

Kohli's fast hands force a drive past the man at short extra cover, getting India to 200. Rohit pushes a couple and then edges Imam...for four! There is turn and bounce out there for the spinners. That won't offer great consolation to Pakistan at this stage, of course.

12:46PM

OVER 34: IND 199/1 (Rohit 113* Kohli 23*)     

India pick up two singles off Shadab, who sees some turn and bounce as Rohit leaves the fourth delivery. But then Rohit slog-sweeps a four and adds a couple with a push towards mid-wicket.

12:42PM

OVER 33: IND 191/1 (Rohit 106* Kohli 22*)    

Decent over from Imam but still four singles from it.

12:40PM

OVER 32: IND 187/1 (Rohit 104* Kohli 20*)                              

Kohli is beginning to find his rhythm. After three singles, he drives Shadab for two to bring up the fifty partnership. He adds another single towards cover. 

Imad is returning now...18 overs left.

12:37PM

OVER 31: IND 181/1 (Rohit 102* Kohli 16*)                             

Rohit steers a single off Amir and Kohli punches a brilliant, back-foot drive through extra cover. The batsmen trade singles and Kohli then unleashes a whirling pull shot for a couple.

12:33PM

OVER 30: IND 172/1 (Rohit 100* Kohli 9*)                            

Shadab's leg-spin is back. The batsmen work four singles before a lovely drive gives Rohit two. Shadab drops  short...and Rohit finds the sweeper to go to his century.

Credit: Sky Sports

 He's faced just 85 balls. It's been seriously impressive. And, for Pakistan, seriously ominous.

12:28PM

OVER 29: IND 165/1 (Rohit 95* Kohli 7*)                           

Rohit works the returning Amir for a single. Kohli plays and misses, copping an earful from the bowler. Just one from a very good comeback over. Amir is so important to this Pakistan side. 

12:25PM

Rohit run-fest

One of the great episodes of The Office, this one.

12:24PM

OVER 28: IND 164/1 (Rohit 94* Kohli 7*)                          

Wahab continues around the wicket. Rohit steps inside the second ball and pulls a single. Some extra bounce from Riaz, who gets a delivery to spit up into Kohli's gloves.

Credit: Sky Sports

 Kohli and Rohit trade singles either side of a wide from Wahab.

12:19PM

OVER 27: IND 160/1 (Rohit 92* Kohli 6*)                         

Masterful from Rohit. Ali is short and wide, so the batsman leans back and carves deliberately upwards for six.

Credit: Sky Sports

 He's into the nineties and looks extremely calm. This is a man with three 50-over double-hundreds.

A glanced single and then a scampered two from Kohli make it nine from the over.

12:16PM

OVER 26: IND 151/1 (Rohit 85* Kohli 4*)                        

Rohit punches Wahab to extra-cover for a couple and then drops his hands to ride a slightly shorter ball and pick up one to third man. Kohli has started busily. He drops and runs before Rohit drives another single.

The over ends with an abandoned lbw shout as Wahab cramps up Kohli.

12:11PM

OVER 25: IND 146/1 (Rohit 81* Kohli 3*)                       

More seam now, Hassan coming back. He is wided straightaway before Rohit and Kohli trade singles. Then the batsman gets lucky again. Rohit nearly drags on, picking up four.

A steer to third man takes Rohit to 81 before Kohli plays an aggressive, walking pull shot. That gets him two more. Ten from the over.

12:08PM

OVER 24: IND 136/1 (Rohit 74* Kohli 0*)                      

Kohli jabs at a wide one first up. He has a platform here.

12:07PM

Wicket! KL Rahul c Babar b Wahab 57

Wahab returns and Rohit chops one. A wide follows and umpire Marais Erasmus is not happy with Wahab's follow-through. There's another second warning. Remember Amir is also on two.

Credit: Sky Sports

 Wahab decides to come around the wicket to solve this problem...and it works! Rahul drives, mistimes and is caught easily by Babar Azam at short extra cover. That's the end of an excellent partnership. Here comes Kohli. FOW India 136-1

12:00PM

OVER 23: IND 134/0 (Rahul 57* Rohit 74*)                     

Mohammad Hafeez makes it two off-spinning all-rounders and Rohit asserts his authority. He steps down the track and whacks a straight four, adding a single immediately afterwards.

Rahul suddenly looks completely comfortable now. Following a couple of sighters, he backs away and elegantly lifts a six over wide long-off. Gorgeous. Where does Sarfaraz go from here?

11:56AM

OVER 22: IND 123/0 (Rahul 51* Rohit 69*)                    

The off-spin of Shaoib Malik arrives and is greeted by three very easy singles before Rahul cuts loose. He picks up a short ball and pulls for six between two boundary-riders. That is his half-century.

Two more singles follow. Eleven off that Malik introduction.

11:53AM

Colourful afternoon at Old Trafford

11:52AM

OVER 21: IND 112/0 (Rahul 43* Rohit 66*)                   

Five singles to India and a couple of strong off-side shots from Rahul, who then flicks a couple to the square leg boundary. Wahab cannot prevent them coming back.

Seven runs off the over, which eases any pressure that was building just slightly.

11:50AM

OVER 20: IND 105/0 (Rahul 39* Rohit 63*)                  

Rahul pushes one off Shadab and Rohit follow suit a couple of balls later. Rahul attempts a rever-sweep to a full-toss...and hits the fielder.

Credit: Sky Sports

 It was pre-meditated, and might be a sign of frustration for Rahul, who has now faced 64 balls...

11:45AM

OVER 19: IND 103/0 (Rahul 38* Rohit 62*)                 

Imad resumes and drops slightly short, Rohit pushing one to the off-side sweeper. The slow left-armer is testing the resolve of Rahul, who is content to defend until driving another single off the sixth delivery.

11:40AM

OVER 18: IND 101/0 (Rahul 37* Rohit 61*)                

Two dot balls from Shadab but then Rahul brings up the hundred partnership with a push to the off-side. Rohit then strokes down to long-on. Those are the only two off a good over. We go to drinks. 

11:38AM

Match action

Rohit's bat is sounding very sweet above the general crowd din, which is not insignificant.

11:37AM

OVER 17: IND 99/0 (Rahul 36* Rohit 60*)               

Four singles and then a leg-side wide from Imad. Rahul is angry at missing out on a paddle sweep. A dot and then a fifth single, punched off the back foot to long on.

11:34AM

OVER 16: IND 93/0 (Rahul 33* Rohit 58*)              

Shadab is extracting some turn but his first ball is too short and Rohit steers it for four through cover point. There is a sweep and a miss but two singles are added to end the 16th over. This is already a sturdy platform for India's dashers and bashers lower down.

11:32AM

OVER 15: IND 87/0 (Rahul 32* Rohit 53*)             

Imad holds a tight line but the batsmen are patient and sensible enough to pick off four off-side singles between them.

11:29AM

Wow

11:28AM

OVER 14: IND 83/0 (Rahul 30* Rohit 51*)            

This will be a test of Shadab's character. He passes. The leg-spinner is accurate enough to tie down India to three singles, the only blemish a low full-toss to Rahul.

11:26AM

OVER 13: IND 80/0 (Rahul 28* Rohit 50*)           

Imad rattles through a tidy over, just a Rahul single coming off it.

11:23AM

OVER 12: IND 79/0 (Rahul 27* Rohit 50*)          

Shadab replaces Wahab and starts poorly. He drags down three times. First he is cut for four by Rahul, then cut for a single and then pulled for two over straight mid-wicket.

Rohit gets a full-toss next, and whacks it miles over wide mid-on. The punishment continues with an imperious square drive that brings up fifty for Rohit off 34 balls. Seventeen off Shadab's first over - without India taking a risk - and the sun is out.

11:18AM

OVER 11: IND 62/0 (Rahul 22* Rohit 38*)         

Classy from Rahul. He sweeps fine for four and then sashays down the pitch, chipping over mid-wicket. A mis-field allows a third run. Rohit adds a single and then we get some turn! It squares up Rahul nicely, who shrugs. 

Another risky single follows but Shadab Khan's throw is way wide of Sarfaraz. Pakistan have to be careful here. They look close to unravelling. Then again, the batsmen's running between the wickets has not convinced.

11:14AM

OVER 10: IND 53/0 (Rahul 14* Rohit 37*)        

A big mix-up off Wahab's first ball! Rahul dinks into the leg-side. Rohit turns for two and gets stranded, almost shaking hands with his partner...

Credit: Sky Sports

 ...but the throw from the fielder goes to the wrong end! I think it was Fakhar Zaman out there.

Two more singles and a slashed four from Rohit end the over and bring up the fifty partnership.

11:09AM

Match action

Credit: Getty Images Europe 

 This was Rohit's six over mid-wicket.

11:08AM

OVER 9: IND 46/0 (Rahul 12* Rohit 32*)       

Imad spears a leg-side wide past Rahul before being milked for three singles through square leg. There is not much turn out there...

11:06AM

OVER 8: IND 42/0 (Rahul 10* Rohit 31*)      

Wahab starts on Rahul's hip and is flicked for one. Rohit swings a similar single next ball and Rahul dabs another one past gully to third man. Another four to finish the over. Wahab is on Rohit's hip again and gets swung over short fine leg.

Pakistan need something and Sarfaraz turns to the slow left arm of Imad Wasim.

11:01AM

OVER 7: IND 35/0 (Rahul 8* Rohit 26*)     

Understandably, India appear to be treating Amir watchfully. There is width for Rahul, but the batsman resists and leaves the first two deliveries.

The openers then trade neat singles into the off-side. Really good batting. There is another inside edge from Rahul but then some post-bat swing causes Sarfaraz to fumble and India finish the over with a bye.

It looks like Wahab Riaz is coming on.

10:58AM

OVER 6: IND 32/0 (Rahul 7* Rohit 25*)    

Rohit stands tall and turns a single to short mid-wicket off Ali. Rahul adds another with a wristy pull shot. Deep backward square had gone back for that ball so it's a simple single.

Ali is then short and wide to Rohit and gets dispatched! A diving Imam-ul-Haq was pretty close to an aerial shot at cover but it's four.

Credit: Sky Sports

And then we have a first maximum, too. Ali drops short and Rohit, who looks in the mood to go very big, lifts it easily over mid-wicket.

10:53AM

Scale

10:52AM

OVER 5: IND 20/0 (Rahul 6* Rohit 14*)   

First boundary for Rahul as Amir attempts a bouncer. The pull shot is not completely middled but without a deep backward square leg, it's reasonably risk-free.

Rahul loses shape the following delivery. Amir pitches the ball up and Rahul gets an inside edge, almost dragging on. 

Hmm...umpire Oxenford has given Amir another warning for running on the wicket! The bowler only has one left before he must be removed from the attack.

Credit: Sky Sports

 The over finishes with a lovely slower ball that beats Rahul. 

10:48AM

OVER 4: IND 16/0 (Rahul 2* Rohit 14*)  

Ali is slightly straight and Rahul works one. Then Rohit leans forward and stokes four past mid-off. That looked easy. Despite the cloud cover, this wicket seems true. 

Rohit is standing a fair way out of his crease to negate any movement.

Credit: Sky Sports

10:44AM

OVER 3: IND 11/0 (Rahul 1* Rohit 10*) 

Only two singles, one to each batsman, off this over but it's eventful as Amir is handed an official warning by umpire Bruce Oxenford for running on the wicket. The seamer followed through to have a word with Rohit.

Credit: Sky Sports

 Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed is slightly bemused.

10:43AM

OVER 2: IND 9/0  (Rahul 0* Rohit 9*)

Hassan Ali takes the new ball and makes Rohit play immediately. India's opener drives the first couple without nailing them...then he gets lucky! Ali jags one back and an inside edge narrowly misses Rohit's stumps and goes for four to fine leg.

Credit: Sky Sports

Rohit is more convincing thereafter. He flicks two off the front foot through square leg and then pushes three in the same direction off the back foot. Nine off the over.

10:34AM

OVER 1: IND 0/0 (Rahul 0* Rohit 0*)

Amir bounds in from over the wicket to a roar and is on the money straightaway. Rahul looks composed, though. He defends off the back foot and then off the front foot.

The third ball is fuller and shapes back at 86mph. Rahul pushes to mid-on. He was slightly rushed and Amir grins. That movement is encouraging. 

Rahul leaves the fourth, fifth and sixth deliveries, which are pushed across him. That's a maiden to begin.

10:30AM

Rahul takes strike, Amir opens up

Here we go...

10:29AM

What a crowd

Credit: Old Trafford

 A final huddle for Pakistan before the first over.

Credit: Sky Sports

 And here come KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma.

Credit: Sky Sports

10:26AM

Anthems

The players file out of the changing rooms to a huge swell of noise. Pakistan's anthem is first...

Credit: Sky Sports

 ...followed by that of India:

Credit: Sky Sports

10:25AM

A history of conflict

Another quick plug for this Tim Wigmore article. Here is a run-down of the volatile history that these nations share.

10:21AM

"Our mantra is 'how do you want to be remembered?'" 

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has told his players that they have a chance to be heroes tomorrow. 

Credit: Sky Sports

10:19AM

Sombreros and samosas

Credit: AP

 And shades, of course. 

10:16AM

Amir vs Kohli

Does relentless run-machine Virat Kohli have a weakness against left-arm seam bowling? Well, it's all relative. He only averages 50 against it.

Credit: Sky Sports

Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz will be going after him. 

10:11AM

A thread from Imran Khan

The Prime Minister of Pakistan has been on social media with some selection suggestions and advice for the national team...a thread of five tweets. It makes for a stirring, insightful pep-talk.

10:08AM

Pakistan win the toss and bowl

Credit: Sky Sports

 Sarfaraz Ahmed calls tails correctly and says that the weather influenced his decision. Virat Kohli explains that he would have bowled also, but is encouraged by the look of the pitch. Interestingly, both sides have opted for two spinners. India opener Shikhar Dhawan misses out:

India: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (captain), Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Kedhar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah

Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain and wicket-keeper), Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir

9:57AM

The sad decline of a sport which was once the heartbeat of the English summer

Thought-provoking stuff here from Isabelle Westbury. Never, she writes, has the contrast between cricket’s sub-continental allure and it’s domestic English apathy been more obvious.

Credit: Getty Images Europe 

9:53AM

Melon heads

These are great.

Credit: ICC

9:34AM

Conditions

It's overcast now in Manchester - not a huge shock, there. Here is the deck.

9:30AM

Behind the scenes

A nice video feature from the ICC here, concentrating on the preparations of these sides.

For what it's worth (absolutely nothing, probably) India' changing room...

Credit: ICC

 ...looks ever so slightly tidier than Pakistan's:

Credit: ICC

9:25AM

Fans filing in

Supporters from both Pakistan...

Credit: AP

 ...and India...

Credit: AP

are filling up the ground. This one is going to be loud.

9:20AM

Good morning!

Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport’s live text commentary of what my colleague Tim Wigmore has called “the most in-demand game of cricket ever played in England”. How about that for a tagline.

As Tim points out in this excellent preview that expands on the fixture’s socio-political tensions, over half a million people applied for tickets to today’s Cricket World Cup 2019 group match between India and Pakistan at Old Trafford. It should be fascinating. The atmosphere is sure to be fervent.

So far this tournament, Virat Kohli’s have won two of their three matches with one – Thursday’s meeting with New Zealand at Trent Bridge – abandoned due to the weather. Pakistan have blown hot, beating hosts England after plundering 348/8 in 50 overs, but have also lost twice against West Indies and Australia. Their game against Sri Lanka fell victim to the weather.

As for top individual performers, India’s Rohit Sharma has amassed 179 runs from just two innings. Mohammad Hafeez has 146 from three. Mohammad Amir, superb against Australia, has 10 wickets thus far. India’s Yuzvendra Chahal has six.

Some fantastic news to start the morning…there is some sunshine peeking out over Old Trafford!

Unfortunately, though, light rain is forecast for Manchester this later afternoon. Hopefully it will hold off long enough for a match to be completed.

Before the toss, make sure to read Michael Vaughan’s scene-setter. He says a Pakistan victory could give this tournament a spark. Here is a taster:

This World Cup needs a thriller. The tournament lost momentum last week because of the atrocious weather. The Women’s football World Cup has started and is being watched by millions on television, taking attention away from the cricket, so this tournament needs a great, high-profile game and there is no better way to trigger that than with an India-Pakistan thriller. What we don’t want is rain or a one-sided hammering.