Asia Cup 2023, India vs Pakistan: Shubman Gill-Rohit Sharma's 121-run stand, Virat Kohli-KL Rahul's 233-run partnership and Kuldeep Yadav's 5-25 are top performances. India beat Pakistan by 228 runs in Super 4 game.
Brief Scores: Pakistan 356/2 (Virat 122*, Rahul 111*, Shadab 1/71) beat Pakistan 128 (Fakhar 27, Kuldeep 5/25) by 228 runs.
Player Of The Match: Virat Kohli (122* off 94)
While Pakistan had defeated Bangladesh in their first Super 4 game at Lahore by seven wickets, this was India’s first game in this tournament stage. With rain playing spoilsport, this game extended to the reserve to get a result, and eventually, it was a one-sided game where India thumped Pakistan by 228 runs.
Pakistan won the toss and opted to field first, with Babar Azam naming the playing XI on the eve of the game day. Their team remained unchanged, while for India, KL Rahul made a comeback in place of injured Shreyas Iyer. Also returning was pacer Jasprit Bumrah.
Talking Points from India vs Pakistan game
Haris Rauf’s unavailability proved costly for the Pakistani team as their pace attack seemed to lack potency in his absence. Indian batters took advantage of this situation, scoring freely against the 6th bowler.
KL Rahul’s form is a positive sign for India as it came against a quality bowling attack. His numbers in the middle-order have always been good in ODIs, and Rahul proved why he is considered a certainty for the No.5 batting slot.
After being put into bat, India started on a strong note with both the openers, Skipper Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, taking attack to the potent Pakistani pace attack, unlike the last match. They succeeded, as India made 61/0 in the first ten overs. The pair went to make their 2nd successive 100-run stand for the 1st wicket, with Shubman Gill getting to fifty off just 37 balls and Rohit reaching his in 42.
However, their 121-run stand ended when Rohit got out against the run of play for 56 to Shadab Khan, and Gill departed for 58 in the next over. Soon, rain ended day 1 of the match, with India going strong at 147/2 in the 25th over and the KL Rahul & Virat Kohli duo at the crease.
Play resumed on Monday, and the pair steadily but accumulated runs rather easily. They reached their respective half-centuries first and then converted into a century. They eventually added 233 runs for the 3rd wicket as India finished at a massive score of 356/2.
Pakistan started their chase on a bad note, with Imam-ul-Haq getting out early to Jasprit Bumrah. The Indian pacers breathed fire with the new ball, and the first 10 overs yielded just 43 runs for the loss of one wicket. Babar was the next to go as he was cast by a beauty of delivery by Hardik just before the rain break.
Post resumption, it was all India as Pakistani batters had no clue in facing the spin of Kuldeep Yadav as the chinaman bowler picked up his 2nd five-wicket haul of his ODI career. India eventually won by a huge margin of 228 runs.
Top performers from the India vs Pakistan game, Asia Cup 2023
Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma take India off to a flying start
After the first league game, questions were asked about how the Indian openers would fare against the Pakistani pace attack. And the Indian duo of Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill answered them in a style as the pair took the game to the opposition. Thanks to their efforts, India laid a solid foundation for the middle-order batters to cash in on what was a very good pitch to bat on.
Virat Kohli and the comeback man KL Rahul engage in a marathon partnership
We all know as the game duration gets longer, partnerships play a major role in deciding the team’s fate. Just after the loss of 2 quick wickets, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul joined forces in what was the highest-ever stand in Asia Cup history for any wicket.
The duo cautiously weathered the initial storm and rain breaks to play a very long innings that kept Pakistanis at bay. Their unbroken 233-run stand came in just above 32 overs. Virat (122*) reached his 47th century in 84 deliveries, while KL Rahul (111*) scored a ball ton on his comeback ODI. India piled up 356/2, their joint highest-ever total against Pakistan.
Kuldeep spins a web with a 5fer
Pakistan were already tottering at 47/3 with their big batting all back in the hit, even before Kuldeep Yadav was introduced into the attack. The spinner has historically done well against Pakistan and continued his successful work even at Colombo. He first accounted for dangerous opener Fakhar Zaman and then grabbed every other Pakistan wicket to fall.
With Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf unavailable to bat, Kuldeep’s scalp of Faheem Ashraf gave the spinner his 2nd 5-wicket haul in ODIs as India registered a comprehensive 228-run win.
Records from India vs Pakistan, Asia Cup 2023
Virat Kohli scored his 47th ODI century in 267th innings. With this, he became the fastest to do so, beating Sachin Tendulkar by 166 innings.
In the process, Virat Kohli completed his 13000 ODI runs, becoming the fastest to do so (along with being the fastest to hit 8000, 9000, 10000, 11000, and 12000 runs)
This is Rahul's first hundred in only his 2nd ODI against Pakistan and 6th overall in ODIs. He also surpassed the 2000 ODI run mark in his 53rd innings.
228 run-win is India's biggest margin over their arch-rivals Pakistan, surpassing their 14-run win at Mirpur in 2008.
This was also the 4th biggest margin of win ever in Asia Cup history.
This is the 3rd lowest total posted by Pakistan against India in ODIs.
With this massive win, India reached the top of the standings and is scheduled to take on the hosts, Sri Lanka, at the same venue tomorrow.
On the other hand, Pakistan will face the same opponents in 2 days in a must-win game.