Monday, July 22
Asia Cup 2023 1

Photo Credit: AFP

Asia Cup 2023, IND vs Pak | Kohli, Rahul, and Kuldeep Shine as India Dominates Pakistan

“These two elegant IND batsmen set multiple records with their unbroken 233-run partnership, while the left-arm spinner takes five wickets, leading to a resounding 228-run defeat for Babar’s Pakistan.”

The reserve day was hastily added, primarily to ensure the broadcaster maximizes the marquee clash between India and Pakistan. The extra day of play proved beneficial for both the broadcaster and the Indian cricket team.

India not only secured a comfortable 228-run victory in their opening Super 4s fixture at the Asia Cup against Pakistan but also achieved nearly all of their desired objectives over these two days.

On September 10, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill provided India with a blazing start at the R. Premadasa. Subsequently, Virat Kohli and K.L. Rahul continued to build upon this foundation in a stylish manner. The outcome was a monumental total of 356 for two, which stands as India’s joint-highest score against Pakistan in ODIs.

Considering that no team had previously successfully chased a target exceeding 301 at this venue, Kohli, who effortlessly notched up his 47th ODI century, and Rahul, who marked his first competitive outing after a four-month injury lay-off with a stylish hundred, effectively took Pakistan out of contention.

An all-around bowling performance from India sealed the deal with a remarkable 18 overs to spare. After the pacers dismantled Pakistan’s top order, Kuldeep Yadav, who had struggled for rhythm against Nepal in the group stage, went on to bamboozle the Pakistani batsmen.

The day experienced two rain interruptions. The first delay extended the game’s resumption by 100 minutes, while the second break, with Pakistan at 44 for two in 11 overs, lasted over an hour before India resumed its pursuit of excellence.

Pakistan, on the other hand, had a forgettable day. After losing Haris Rauf to an injury, Naseem Shah, one of their standout pacers, was also unable to complete his full quota. During the chase, Agha Salman suffered an injury near his eye while attempting a reverse sweep.

In the field, it was Kohli, Rahul, and Kuldeep who shone the brightest. While Rahul accumulated his runs through a combination of smart strike rotation and big hits, Kohli’s mastery was evident in his ability to exhaust both the bowlers and fielders simultaneously.

Despite hitting just six boundaries and two sixes, Kohli reached his century in an unassuming fashion with a quick single off Shaheen Shah Afridi in the 48th over. In the final five overs, as they approached individual milestones, the duo unleashed a flurry of boundaries, contributing to India’s total of 350-plus runs.

Jasprit Bumrah initiated Pakistan’s troubles by forcing Imam-ul-Haq to edge one to Shubman Gill at second slip, while Hardik Pandya delivered the delivery of the day to dismiss Babar Azam. Babar had no answer to a delivery that jagged back in to hit the stumps.

After the break, Shardul Thakur displayed his worth by dismissing Mohammad Rizwan. From there onwards, it was the Kuldeep Yadav show as he made the Pakistan middle and lower-order look ordinary with his spin artistry.

With two injured pacers not taking the field, Kuldeep completed the game by breaching Faheem Ashram’s defense and earning a well-deserved five-wicket haul. The early finish also allowed India to rest before preparing for their upcoming clash against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

Scoreboard

India innings:
Rohit Sharma c Ashraf b Shadab 56
Shubman Gill c Salman b Afridi 58
Virat Kohli not out 122
KL Rahul not out 111
Extras: 9 (nb-1, w-8)
Total: 356/2 in 50 overs
Fall of wickets: 1-121, 2-123

Pakistan bowling:
Shaheen Shah Afridi 10-0-79-1
Naseem Shah 9.2-1-53-0
Faheem Ashraf 10-0-74-0
Haris Rauf 5-0-27-0
Shadab Khan 10-1-71-1
Iftikhar Ahmed 5.4-0-52-0

Pakistan innings:
Fakhar Zaman b Kuldeep Yadav 27
Imam-ul-Haq c Shubman Gill b Bumrah 9
Babar Azam b Hardik Pandya 10
Mohammad Rizwan c Rahul b Thakur 2
Agha Salman lbw b Kuldeep Yadav 23
Iftikhar Ahmed c and b Kuldeep Yadav 23
Shadab Khan c Thakur b Kuldeep Yadav 6
Faheem Ashraf b Kuldeep Yadav 4
Shaheen Afridi not out 7
Naseem Shah absent hurt
Haris Rauf absent hurt
Extras (lb 3, w 14) 17

Total (10 wickets, 32 overs) 128

Fall of Wickets: 1-17, 2-43, 3-47, 4-77, 5-96, 6-110, 7-119, 8-128

India bowling:
Jasprit Bumrah 5-1-18-1
Mohammed Siraj 5-0-23-0
Hardik Pandya 5-0-17-1
Shardul Thakur 4-0-16-1
Kuldeep Yadav 8-0-25-5
Ravindra Jadeja 5-0-26-0