Thursday, June 4, 2020 05:09:30 PM
Defending champions India maintained their perfect start at the World Cup as they outclassed United Arab Emirates in a one-sided contest in Perth on Saturday. India were on top throughout and dismissed UAE for 102 - the lowest total at the World Cup so far, behind England's 123 against New Zealand. Only a spirited 35 from Shaiman Anwar spared UAE from real embarrassment.
India lost just one wicket as they raced to their target in 18.5 overs, Rohit Sharma hitting a half-century.
"The bowlers have really stepped up and that has led to improvements in other parts of the side," said a satisfied India captain MS Dhoni. "We are getting wickets with the new ball and as a bowling unit they are doing well and showing they can do it game after game." The part-timers of the UAE won the toss and opted to bat, but lost wickets on a regular basis as a confident-looking India quickly took control.
Ravichandran Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers, taking four wickets and registering his best one-day-international figures as the underdogs were reduced to 71-9.
Only a fighting last-wicket stand of 31 between Shaiman Anwar (35) and Manjula Guruge (10 not out) - the highest partnership of the innings - took UAE past three figures.
But the total was never going to be enough to trouble an Indian side who, after a run of poor form coming into the tournament, now look a force to be reckoned with.
UAE did have one magical moment in the field - Rohan Mustafa taking a superb one-handed catch off the bowling off Mohammad Naveed to dismiss Shikhar Dhawan for 14.
But otherwise it was a routine victory for the Indians, with Sharma (57 not out) and Virat Kohli (33 not out) guiding the team home without alarm.
"We were outplayed by the Indian bowling, because what we got was not a par score on this wicket," said UAE captain Mohammad Tauqir.
"We should have scored 200 plus but Ashwin bowled brilliantly and we couldn't cope."
India, who beat Pakistan and South Africa in their opening Pool B games, face West Indies next in Perth on Friday.
UAE are still waiting for a first World Cup win for 19 years, since beating Netherlands in 1996.