The Group B India-Pakistan Champions Trophy at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground witnessed a record 24156 in attendance - the highest-ever for an ODI at this venue and millions back home.
Top-order batsmen Rohit Sharma (91 runs in 119 balls), skipper Kohli (81 not out), Shikhar Dhawan (68 runs in 65 balls) and Yuvraj Singh (53 runs in 32 balls) were the major contributors.
Pakistan never got going in their reply were all out for 164 chasing a revised Duckworth/Lewis total of 289 in 41 overs.
The 124-run margin is the biggest win for India in terms of runs in CT. In all ODIs against Pak, it is India's second biggest win after 140-run win in Mirpur in 2008.
India has now beaten Pakistan in 13 matches in tournaments, the most a team has beaten an opposition. SL has 12 wins over NZ in 19 matches in events.
"With the bat and the ball we were right up there, 9 out of 10. In the field we were 6 out of 10. If we tune that up to 8 or 9, we will be a very strong side in the tournament. I think this was a very complete performance starting the tournament. We took the momentum that we gained from the practice games into this game. Skillwise we were really very good. This is a tournament of all champion teams, where you can't let off at any stage. The batsman chipped in with the runs. Last time we won here, Shikhar and Rohit were the key," said Kohli after the victory.
"I think we were not up to the mark with the fielding. Everything was under control till the 40th over. We lost the plot in the last 8 overs. No regrets. We leaked over 100 runs in the last 8 overs and lost the momentum to India. We need to sit together and decide how to control the bowling rate in the death. This tournament has given good pitches. We need to sit together and decide how we can get to more than 300," reflected Pak skipper Sarfraz Ahmed after the match.
The second rain break reduced the match to 48 overs per side. After Rohit was run-out for 91, the big-hitting by Yuvraj and Kohli sent two Pakistan bowlers Amir and Wahab (after bowling the most expensive spell in Champions Trophy) back to the pavilion.
Kohli remained unbeaten on 81. Hardik Pandya sizzled with a 6-ball 20 right at the end to lift India to 319/3.
"Yeah definitely to get some runs on the board it feels good. We all batted well. The openers gave us a very good start. Virat batted well. I was given the opportunity to go out there and attack. Not easy at all. I think you have to back yourself. You have to tell the opposition you are out there to attack and score runs. Depends on how you are feeling that day. I was feeling good today. Lucky got dropped and then capitalized in the end. Finished really well. India-Pakistan is always a big game. I think it sets up nicely. We will take the confidence and momentum forward. Our bowlers did very well throughout the game. We will take the confidence into the game against Sri Lanka," said Yuvraj Singh who bagged his ninth Man of the Match award in ICC tournaments (WC, CT, T20 WC), the second most for India behind Sachin Tendulkar's ten.
The win moves India to the top of the pool on net run-rate ahead of South Africa, who defeated Sri Lanka in their opening match on Saturday. India face the Lankans in their second fixture at The Oval on Thursday.
Check out the images from the encounter.
Inputs: IANS, SIFY