Pakistan trump India by 5 wickets in high-scoring Asia Cup 2022 Super 4 thriller ￼
Wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan anchored the chase for Pakistan with a splendid 71 in the company of Mohammad Nawaz (42) as Pakistan recorded their first victory in the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup 2022 tournament against archrivals India by 5 wickets on Sunday night in Dubai.
In a high score in thrilling match played on a flat wicket at the Dubai international Stadium, batsmen from both the teams had their moments but Pakistan had the last laugh with a more calculated and determined performance which was highlighted by the fact that they did not lose too many wickets in the middle overs — something that hampered India’s rapid start.
The Indian batsmen came out all guns blazing on Sunday night after Pakistan won the toss and invited them to bat with the opening pair of KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma breaking down the shackles to score 28 each and add more than 50 runs inside the first 5 overs.
After the pair was broken, it was time for Virat Kohli to turn on the heat on Pakistan once again, with the former Indian captain scoring a splendid 60 not out from 44 balls with 4 boundaries and a six.
At one stage it looked like India would score in excess of 200 but losing Suryakumar Yadav (13), Rishabh Pant (14) and Hardik Pandya (0) in quick succession hurt their chances. Virat Kohli led the fight right until the end to take India to a competitive total of 181/7 at the end, which was strong enough to intimidate the opposition batsmen but not guarantee his side a victory.
India made an early breakthrough in the form of Babar Azam who was caught at short midwicket off Ravi Bishnoi for 14, while Fakhar Zaman could not convert another start as he was dismissed for 15.
But the pair of Mohammed Rizwan and Mohammad Nawaz batted with extreme determination and calculation to keep Pakistan on track of a tricky chase, with one of them playing the aggressive knock.
After sending down an impressive spell of 4-0-25-1 earlier in the first half of the match, Mohammed Navas scored 42 from just 20 balls with six boundaries and two sixes. On the other hand, wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan top scored with 71 which came from 51 balls and included six boundaries and two sixes as well.
The contest witnessed a thrilling end with the pair of Khushdil Shah and Iftikhar Ahmed taking Pakistan past the finish line, with India’s young player Arshdeep Singh bowling a tense final over in which he had to defend just 7 runs, having earlier dropped a sitter at backward point to give Asif Ali (16) a lifeline that India could have afforded.
India will have to pull up their socks and record a big win which also improves their Net Run Rate when they take on a spirited Sri Lanka on Tuesday night in Dubai, whereas Pakistan will now travel to Sharjah to face an upbeat Afghanistan team which won both their matches in the league round against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.