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CT 2017: Win over Pakistan emphatic start for title defence, says Yuvraj

Birmingham: Indian veteran batsman Yuvraj Singh feels that their emphatic 124-run win over arch-rivals Pakistan in an encounter of the Champions Trophy match here on Sunday has given them a flying start in their bid to defend the title.

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.

Top-order batsmen Rohit Sharma A(91 runs in 119 balls), skipper Virat Kohli (81 not out), Shikhar Dhawan (68 runs in 65 balls) and Yuvraj Singh (53 runs in 32 balls) were the major contributors.

Further rain interruptions forced the match officials to revise the target to 289 runs off 41 overs according to the DL method.

Pakistan were bowled out for 164 in 33.4 overs, thanks to precise bowling from paceman Umesh AYadav (3/30), medium pacer Hardik Pandya (2/43) and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (2/43).

“India-Pakistan is always a big game, and I think it has set us up really well. Hopefully we’ll take this confidence into the next game against Sri Lanka,” Yuvraj said, upon being adjudged player of the match.

Talking about his whirlwind knock, the left-hander felt that the foundation provided by the openers set the stage for him perfectly to showcase his power-hitting.

“I thought we all batted really well. The openers gave us a good start, Virat finished well, and it gave me the opportunity to go and attack. You just have to go and back yourself, and tell the opposition that you’re here to attack,” he said.

“I was lucky I was dropped, but I capitalised and I was hitting it well. I finished well.”

IANS