India’s Asia Cup campgain has reached a new height. They have beaten Pakistan for the second time in the tournament and even more convincingly than the last
Paksitan made one change to their side. Leg spinner Shadab Khan came in place of Haris Sohail. India named an unchanged playing XI from their win against Bangladesh. Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and elected to bat first.
Indian pacers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah bowled brilliant line and length in the initial overs to not give away runs easily to the Pakistani batsmen. And their persistence helped Yuzvendra Chahal to dismiss Imam Ul Haq in the 8th over and give India their first breakthrough. Fakhar Zaman wanted to leave his poor form and tried playing strokes. But the left handed batsman was picked up Kuldeep Yadav, whose ball wrapped Zaman’s pads straight in front of the wickets. And in the following over Babar Azam went back to pavilion after a miscommunication between him and Sarfraz resulted in his run out.
The score was 58-3 in 15.5 overs when Pakistan’s in form batsman, Shoaib Malik came out to bat. The duo of Ahmed and Malik frustrated the Indian bowlers. After a slow start to their partnership, both of them started switching gears. They added 107 runs for the fourth wicket before Kuldeep picked up Sarfraz who hit a flighted ball directly into the hands of Rohit Sharma. But Malik was in no mood to throw his wicket. Asif Ali struck 2 sixes and 2 fours as he mustered 21 runs of Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s seventh over. Just when Pakistan were about to explode, Bumrah struck gold. His legside delivery was enough to get an edge from Malik’s bat and Dhoni completed the catch. He scored 78 runs from 90 deliveries. The dangerous Asif Ali too departed quickly. Brilliant death bowling from Indian bowlers especially from Bumrah restricted Pakistan to just 237 runs in their 50 overs.
Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have been in fine form. Both the batsmen have got runs under their belt in this tournament. And they continued their impressive form. Dhawan played the role of the aggressor as he found boundaries with ease. Rohit on the other hand supported him like a sensible partner. Poor catching from Pakistanis didn’t help their cause. Imam Ul Haq missed a dolly from Rohit Sharma in the initial overs. The two had another 100 run partnership to their name in the 20th over. Both reached to their respective fifties. Once Dhawan got to his fifty, he accelerated the run rate. The southpaw smashed 16 fours and 2 sixes to complete his 15th ODI century and second of the tournament. Just when it looked like India are going to win the match without losing a wicket, a catastrophic run out sent Dhawan back to the pavilion. Rohit Sharma too completed his century after the dismissal of Dhawan. Rayudu supported his captain duely as India chased down the target in 39.3 overs with 9 wickets remaining.
This win bestows India with a place in the finals of this year’s Asia Cup. Erstwhile Pakistan next face Bangladesh which is a potential semi final. The winner of that match will take on India on 28th of this month in the final.
Pakistan: 237/7(50 o.)
Shoaib Malik: 78(90)
Sarfraz Ahmed: 44(66)
Jasprit Bumrah: 10-2-29-2.
India: 238/1(39.3 o.)
Shikhar Dhawan: 114(100)
Rohit Sharma: 111(119)
Shoaib Malik: 4.3-0-14-0.
Man of The Match: Shikhar Dhawan.