Champions Trophy 2017 India vs Pakistan Highlights : Defending champion India put up an all-round show to drub arch-rivals Pakistan by 124 runs via Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain-marred Group B encounter of the ICC Champions Trophy in Birmingham on Sunday. Asked to bat, the Indians rode on a power-packed performance by the top order to post a challenging total of 319/3 in an innings affected by rain twice -- and consequently shortened to 48 overs. Further rain interruptions forced the match officials to revise the target to 289 runs off 41 overs according to the DL method. Pakistan were off to a steady start thanks to openers Azhar Ali and Ahmed Shehzad, who put together an opening stand of 47 runs in nine overs before pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck the first blow for India by trapping the latter leg before. Ali continued to battle on, top scoring for Pakistan with a steady 50 runs off 65 balls before being dismissed. But the rest of the Pakistan batsmen seemed to buckle under pressure and failed to rise to the challenge. (INDIA vs PAKISTAN - UPDATES)
Coming to the much-awaited cricket match, millions of supporters are expected to tune in and watch the teams fight for national pride at Edgbaston on Sunday. Due to diplomatic tensions between India and Pakistan, the two teams rarely lock horns against each other barring an International Cricket Council (ICC) event, and the hotly fought battle has over the years drawn a wide range of audience.
For almost 18 years, wars stood in between the two outfits playing each other in a bilateral series until the ice was broken in 1978, but even today matches are few and far between. The two sides have not played a bilateral series since 2012-2013, and India have refused to juggle with the idea without an end to "cross border terrorism", which essentially means militant incursions along the disputed Kashmir border.
Not only will a victory for either side mean taking a huge step towards the semi-finals in a four-team group which also has Sri Lanka and South Africa, it will also be a diplomatic point-scoring in terms of the stand-off between the two parties.
On the pitch, India would go into the tie as favourites, as former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi has also said -- not only because of their emphatic 45 and 240 -run wins in the two warm-up games, but because the opposition doesn't smell the same anymore.
A line-up that boasts of Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni can be intimidating for any bowling attack. But facing Amir and an equally talented Junaid Khan in English conditions, despite Edgbaston showing signs of being a batting-friendly track, will be testing for the Indian batsmen.
In any case, Pakistan can be brilliant on a given day and rubbish on several others.