After a bright start to the day, Manchester was back to its usual gloomy self on Sunday but then came Rohit Sharma and he took it upon himself to light it up with a classy knock at Old Trafford.
As fans rushed to the ground and kept their fingers crossed for some game time amidst the weather forecasts of continuous rain, Rohit with utter nonchalance brought up his 24th ODI hundred and his second in this year's World Cup with a fine cut on the off side.
Deprived of his regular opening partner at the other end, the responsibility to give India a good start was on his broad shoulders and the man didn't disappoint one bit. While KL Rahul took time to settle in the challenging conditions against the likes of Mohammad Amir and Hasan Ali, Rohit was at his fluent best. After seeing off the initial burst from Amir, Rohit went on accumulating the runs while Rahul adjusted to the conditions, thus, playing a perfect foil to Rahul's watchful knock. Rohit reached his fifty in the 12th off Shadab Khan's bowling and just 35 balls as India solidified their grip on the game.
As the sun came back, Rohit's innings only got better. With Rahul also going strong by now, Rohit now kept the scorecard ticking along with the occasional boundary here and there. But once the Karnataka batsman fell for 57 in the 24h over, Rohit was again back at it. Joined by captain Virat Kohli now, India's vice-captain now upped the tempo and reached the three-figure mark in the 30th over of the bowling off Shadab Khan.
This was Rohit's second century against Pakistan with the first coming at UAE during the 2018 Asia Cup last year. Rohit's century was also the second against Pakistan by any Indian in a World Cup, Kohli was the one to do so in the 2015 World Cup in Adelaide when he smashed 107 off 126 balls in a match that India won by 76 runs.
Not only centuries, the 32-year-old also broke a hoard of records along the way. Rohit has now hit the most number of sixes by any Indian in international cricket. He is now ahead of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh, who make the top four. The Mumbaikar is also the fifth Indian to register five consecutive 50+ scores in ODIs. He also became the fourth Indian to score fifties in the first three games of a World Cup. Before him, Navjot Singh Sidhu (1987), Sachin Tendulkar (1996) and Yuvraj Singh (2011) achieved the feat.
This was also Rohit's third century in a World Cup game. The first came against Bangladesh in the 2015 World Cup and the second versus South Africa in the opening game of the tournament.
His stand along with Rahul's for the opening wicket on Sunday was also the highest by an Indian pair against Pakistan in a World Cup game. The pair today scored 136 and overtook the second and third wicket partnerships of Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli and Kohli and Suresh Raina -- which were 110 and set in 2015.