Dubai: After a wake-up call against Hong Kong, India ticked all cases as they wrecked Pakistan by eight wickets in an Asia Cup 2018 group league encounter on Wednesday.
It was an outstanding effort from the bowling unit that puts pressure on Pakistan and wrapped them on 162 in 43.1 overs before Captain Rohit Sharma (52 off 39 balls) and Shikhar Dhawan (46 off 54 balls) added 86 partnership for the opening wicket to ensure a smooth chase for the Team India in just 29 overs. This was India’s most comprehensive victory in terms of balls remaining (126).
After a match against Hong Kong, the match against Pakistan was a close ideal execution for ‘Men in Blue’ as Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/15 in 7 overs) and part-timer Kedar Jadhav (3/23 in 9 overs) were perfectly complemented by Jasprit Bumrah (2/23 in 7.1 overs) and Kuldeep Yadav (1/37 in 8 overs).
Babar Azam’s wicket was the turning point on Kuldeep’s googly, while Kedar Jadhav’s whimsical side-arm off-breaks broke the lower middle-order of Pakistan batting line-up as they never recovered from the batting collapse. With the pressure of scoreboard virtually non-existent, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit demonstrated why they are one of the most impressive opening pair in one day cricket.
The eighth over Rohit hit first hooked for a six using the pace of Usman Khan delivery and followed it with a pull shot for a boundary and then again short arm pull in-front of the square for another six. Total 19 runs coming off that over, there was no looking back for India.
Rohit completed his 35th half century in ODIs by a drive through mid-off on Hasan Ali’s bowling. He was tricked by a googly from Shadab Khan but by then India was closed for a comprehensive triumph. Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik both contributed 31 to take India past end goal without breaking a sweat.
The two teams will now meet in Super Four on September 23. Earlier young Babar Azam (47) and experienced Shoaib Malik (43) added 82 runs stand for the third wicket and looked like taking control of the proceedings.
However, Pakistan endured a big batting collapse losing five wickets for 36 runs before Faheem Ashraf (21) and Mohammed Aamir (16) added an invaluable 37 runs for the eighth wicket to take the total past 150-run mark.
Put into bat, Pakistan were in bad position straight away as Indian Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar managed a twin blow removing the in-form duo of Imam ul Haq (2) and Fakhar Zaman (0) to reduce them to 2 for 3.
Then, Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik recovered the innings with an excellent partnership. The half-volleys on both sides of the wicket were driven with fierceness. Shoaib Malik, who is a decent player of the spin bowling attack, gave Kuldeep Yadav the charge to hit him for a six and rotated the strike well.
Babar failed to read Kuldeep Yadav’s googly as it clipped his off-bail. From 85 for 2, it soon became 100 for five as Pakistan lost wickets in a heap.
Then Jadhav dismissed Sarfraz Ahmed (6) as substitute fielder Manish Pandey took a blinder at the boundary line. The Pakistani batsmen found it very difficult to read Jadhav’s round-arm action as he bowled straight and wide result in the big collapse for Pakistan.
No one score big except Faheem and Aamir tried their bit as Pakistan crossed the 150-run mark before Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah wrapped up the tail in the 44th over.