BIRMINGHAM: India put already-eliminated Pakistan out of its misery in the Champions Trophy by thrashing its fierce rival by eight wickets in a rain-hit match on Saturday, clinching a third straight win for the tournament favorite. In-form opener Shikhar Dhawan caressed a fluent 48 at Edgbaston to help guide the Indians to their target, revised three times because of persistent showers in Birmingham, of 102 with 17 balls of their maximum 22 overs remaining.
Pakistan will return home with three successive losses from a miserable Group B campaign in which its malfunctioning batting lineup failed to pass 200.
Beating its biggest foe in what is always a spectacular, passionate sporting occasion would have given the Pakistanis something to cling to but they were bowled out for 165 in 39.4 overs, with two frustrating rain delays having initially reduced the match to 40 overs a side.
This result will hurt the pride of Pakistan’s players and fans, and but head coach Dav Whatmore refused to criticize his batting department after another sorry show here and will not be making wholsesale changes.
“We haven’t been able to score enough runs and we have been losing wickets in clusters,” he said.
“But this is a three-game series.”
“You don’t turn into a bad team overnight. We’re almost the same team that beat India in India, you know? Like 2-1, in Indian conditions. So it’s not a bad team. One series doesn’t make the team a bad team. You do have some bad games and unfortunately for us we strung three in a row,” Whatmore added.
“You do have some bad games and unfortunately we had three (in a row).”
Speaking about Pakistan’s malfunctioning batting lineup that failed to pass 200 in the tournament, Whatmore said: “We try hard and weren’t able to do so. We’re one ODI victory from having a good series, one ODI, but that’s the way it goes.
“So I think it’s easy to be critical on the surface of it. But from our point of view we’re looking to be objective and to improve things.”
When asked about the fate of the team with the 2015 World Cup in even tougher conditions in Australia and New Zealand, the coach said, “It really will be up to the Pakistan Cricket Board selectors to make the ultimate decision. As far as individuals playing all over the world, not sure if that can be done good. Certainly domestic cricket, the department cricket is quite strong, and I’m sure they’ll be looking for a team that will be ‑‑ with 2015 in mind, I’m sure.”