Asia Cup 2022: Group A, India vs Pakistan: Hardik Pandya's all round show (3-25, 33*), Bhuvneshwar Kumar's 4-26 and Naseem Shah's 2-27 are top performances. India beat Pakistan in Group A game by 5 wickets.
Brief Scores: India 148/5 (Jadeja 35, Hardik 33*, Nawaz 3/33) beat Pakistan 147 (Rizwan 43, Bhuvneshwar 4/26, Hardik 3/25) by 5 wickets.
Player of the Match- Hardik Pandya for his 33* and 3/25.
Defending champions India who are the seven-time Asia Cup winners took on the two-time champions Pakistan in the second game of the Asia Cup 2022 in its fifteenth edition at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai on Sunday evening.
In this competition, India have a superior 8-5 win-loss record against the arch-rivals. Since 2010, India have won five of the six Asia Cup meetings between the two sides.
India captain Rohit Sharma on winning the toss decided to bowl first. Pakistan handed a T20I debut cap to Naseem Shah as India opted for Dinesh Karthik in place of Rishabh Pant in the playing eleven.
Virat Kohli becomes the first Indian and second player overall after recently retired New Zealand batter Ross Taylor to feature in 100 international games across the three formats.
India sealed tense victory in the heat of Dubai to beat Pakistan
Put into bat first, Pakistan lost captain Babar Azam early in the third over before Fakhar Zaman showed his sportsmanship to walk off himself to see themselves 43/2 in the powerplay. Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed recovered them to 87/2 in 12 overs but India shouldering on Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s terrific bowling pushed the rivals to 128/9 in 18.3 before Shahnawaz Dahani’s couple of late sixes flew them to 147 all out in 19.5 overs.
Pakistan began well sending back KL Rahul early to reduce India to 38/1 in the powerplay before slowing them down more to the halfway mark at 62/3. With regular wickets and not letting the boundaries, India could reach 97/4 in 15 overs but the 52-run stand between Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja for the fifth wicket propelled them to a close victory.
Let’s take a look at the top three performances from the second game between India and Pakistan in Asia Cup 2022:
Skilful Bhuvneshwar Kumar broke Pakistan with 4/26
The masterclass bowling both in the powerplay and at the death overs from Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been one of the reasons for India’s recent progress in the shortest format of the game since the ICC T20 World Cup in 2021. He displayed that in a pressurized game against Pakistan on another biggest stage.
In his very second over, he sent back Babar Azam who was late to play the pull shot off a short ball as the ball went big on him to get high in the air before Arshdeep Singh at short fine leg region grabbed it easily. It was the 39th T20I wicket of an opener that Bhuvi pocketed which is second most after Tim Southee’s 42.
As India have done in T20Is, Bhuvneshwar was called back in the 17th over and in the third ball of the over, he dismissed dangerous Asif Ali who swung his bat hard at a leg cutter to be caught at long off position.
In his next over, he made double strikes; first, he trapped Shadab Khan with an off-cutter as Shadab was pinned on the backfoot to be adjusted LBW. Bhuvi on the very next delivery with another leg cutter trapped Naseem Shah before the stumps as the umpire raised his vital finger.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar who now has 77 T20I wickets in 73 games, finished with figures of 4/26 in his four overs to pack up Pakistan on 147. It was also the best figure for India against Pakistan in T20Is. Bhuvneshwar now has the most 4-wicket hauls (4) for India in T20Is.
Unstoppable Hardik blew away Pakistan with 3/25 and 33*
Even after losing a couple of early wickets, Pakistan recovered well to 87/2 in 12 overs and India was required to break the partnership of Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed quickly and Hardik Pandya who has made a huge impact for India with his bowling displayed his trick.
On the first ball of his third over, Pandya surprised Iftikhar with a 142 kmph+ bouncer as the batter pulled only to get a faint edge that was caught by a jumping Dinesh Karthik.
In his last over, Pandya caged Mohammad Rizwan who trying to play a ramp shot got a clean contact as the back sailed towards the third man where Avesh Khan running forward put a dive to grab a good catch.
Pandya in the same over with another short ball got the better of Khushdil Shah who flashed his bat to go for an aerial cut as Jadeja caught a good running catch. Hardik Pandya who now has 53 T20I wickets in 68 games, returned with figures of 3/25 in his four overs. It was his second 3-wicket haul against Pakistan in Asia Cup T20Is after his 3/8 in 2016.
Coming at the crucial stage of the game, Pandya also managed unbeaten vital 33 runs in just 17 balls with four boundaries and one maximum.
Naseem Shah won millions of hearts on both sides of the border with 2/27
To defend such an average total, Pakistan needed early wickets and in the absence of their star bowler, Shaheen Shah Afridi who has been ruled out of the tournament due to injury, the 19-year-old Naseem Shah won millions of hearts.
In his second ball, he uprooted the stumps of India opener KL Rahul with a short-of-length ball that came back quickly to get an inside edge of Rahul’s bat to hit the timber as Naseem Shah registered his maiden T20I wicket. He finished his powerplay spell with 1/8 in two overs without conceding a boundary.
Pakistan was required to break the dangerous-looking stand of Ravindra Jadeja and Suryakumar Yadav and when Naseem was called in the 15th over, he delivered in his second ball as Surya was beaten with pace; the ball went through to hit the timer in a lightning speed.
He was struggling with cramps to bowl his last over but even on one leg, he completed the whole over to win millions of hearts to finish with 2/27 in his four overs.
Asia Cup 2022 Points Table
What’s to come
The third game of the Asia Cup will see Bangladesh locking horns with Afghanistan on August 30 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah.