Published on: Sep 03, 2023
The much-hyped India vs Pakistan Asia Cup 2023 match in Pallekele on Saturday, September 2 produced some fascinating moments, worthy of an Indo-Pak clash. However, fans’ worst fears came true in the end as weather played spoilsport and forced a no result.
The day began on a promising note as the toss took place at the scheduled time. Team India won the toss and batted first. However, play was interrupted after 4.2 overs, with India on 15/0 loss. When the match resumed after a short interruption, Shaheen Afridi had his tails up as he clean bowled Rohit Sharma (11) and Virat Kohli (4).
India were 48 for 3 when Shreyas Iyer, playing in his comeback match, was out for 14. He once again fell to the short ball, trying to take on Haris Rauf. The Men in Blue were 51/3 in 11.2 overs when rain forced players of the field again.
On resumption, India suffered another setback, losing Shubman Gill for 10 off 32 balls. The young opener was knocked over by Rauf. At 66/4, the batting side were in trouble. However, Ishan Kishan (82 off 81) and Hardik Pandya (87 off 90) featured in a brilliant rearguard for the Men in Blue, adding 138 runs for the fifth wicket.
Kishan struck nine fours and two sixes, while Pandya hit seven fours and one maximum. The duo lifted India past the 200-run mark as there were no further interruptions. The wonderful stand was broken when a tired Kishan miscued an attempted pull off Rauf, but ended up giving a catch.
India crumbled after Kishan’s exit. Pandya struck a few impressive blows before being outfoxed by a slower one from Afridi. He ended up spooning a catch to cover. Ravindra Jadeja also did not last long and was caught behind off the left-arm seamer for 14. Shardul Thakur (3) was the next to go, lobbing a catch off the leading edge while trying to guide Naseem Shah on the on-side.
Jasprit Bumrah hit three fours in his cameo, which ensured India crossed 265. Naseem ended India’s lower-order resistance by dismissing Kuldeep Yadav (4) and Bumrah (16). No further play was possible in the match and the teams shared one point each.
With three points from two Group A matches, Pakistan have qualified for the Super Fours. India will need to avoid defeat against Nepal on September 4 to ensure their qualification for the Super Fours. A win or a washout will be enough for India to make the next round.
–By A Cricket Correspondent