Top 5 Asia Cup encounters between arch-rivals India and Pakistan
Super Four Stage of the Asia Cup 2023 has begun with Pakistan winning the first match against Bangladesh in Lahore. With this victory, the Men in Green have moved one step closer to making it to the final of the tournament but still have to overcome the challenges against India and Sri Lanka.
On the other hand, India will play their first Super Four match on Sunday against Pakistan where the Men in Blue would like to start with a victory. Both teams have already met once before in a rain-affected match. Fans could only watch India’s batting before the poor weather became the reason for the match getting called off.
The upcoming match on Sunday between the two teams will take place in Colombo if the rain gods in the island country are kind to the cricketing fraternity. Before this high-voltage battle gets underway, let us take a look at the top five encounters between India and Pakistan in the Asia Cup to date.
#5 Pakistan defeated India in Karachi (July 2008)
This was the last time India toured Pakistan which didn’t prove to be as fruitful as it should be. After qualifying for the Super Four stage, both sides met each other and India opted to bat first. With no Sachin Tendulkar in the side, India still managed to put 308 runs on the board.
The openers Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag provided a great start with 88 runs in the first 10 overs but three wickets in the space of 10 balls saw both of them get dismissed in succession and Suresh Raina was also back to the pavilion after scoring only 1 run.
Now, the responsibilities were on MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh and both power-hitters contributed with the bat, scoring 37 runs and 78 runs respectively. Rohit Sharma contributed a valuable innings of 58 runs and an excellent cameo from Irfan Pathan helped India post over 300 runs and put the home side under pressure.
It seemed like a winning total at that time but Misbah-Ul-Haq & Co. had some other plans that day. The Indian seam trio of Pathan, Praveen Kumar, and Ishant Sharma failed to take even a single wicket on the day as veteran Younis Khan and Misbah had a brilliant partnership and the duo chased down the total in just 46th over.
Younis scored a phenomenal ton consisting of 11 four and a solitary maximum whereas Misbah scored 70 runs with an unbeaten partnership of 144 runs taking the Pakistan ship sailing across the sea.
#4 India defeated Pakistan in Karachi (June 2008)
This was the group stage match between the arch-rivals and India ended up winning the same by 6 wickets in the end. After electing to bat first, Shoaib Malik scored 125 runs off 119 balls before getting retired hurt as the hosts direly missed the opening batter in the last ten overs.
Younis was the other batter who scored a half-century while Mohammad Yousuf and Misbah played valuable cameos that helped Pakistan put up a score of 299 runs.
In reply, India started off with a bang as Sehwag and Raina put up a partnership of 198 runs in less than 25 overs for the second wicket after Gambhir’s early wicket. While Sehwag scored a century consisting of 12 fours and 5 maximums, Raina played a brisk innings of 84 runs off 69 balls with 10 fours and three maximums.
Yuvraj and Dhoni provided the finishing touches with the former missing out on a well-deserved half-century to help India win by 6 wickets with 47 balls in hand. Even after having two centurions in the game, it was Raina who was adjudged the Man of the Match for his splendid 84 runs off just 69 balls.
#3 India defeated Pakistan in Dhaka (March 2012)
Remembered as Sachin Tendulkar’s final ODI match, this Asia Cup fixture announced Virat Kohli to even greater recognition amongst his peers. After losing to Bangladesh a couple of days earlier, India needed a bonus point in this fixture to qualify for the final of the tournament and finish above the Tigers in the points table.
After batting first, opening batters Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed put on 224 runs for the first wicket before Ravichandran Ashwin broke the partnership in the 36th over. India made a slight comeback because of tight bowling from their seamers towards the end but couldn’t stop them from posting 329 runs on a flat batting track.
In reply, Gambhir got out for a duck while Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar added 133 runs for the second wicket. Maestro Tendulkar scored a vital half-century before getting out while Kohli scored a scintillating ton to help India chase down the target in the 48th over.
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Kohli was awarded the Man of the Match for his excellent innings of 183 runs under pressure which included 22 stupendous boundaries giving the Indian fans a treat that day. But, Rohit’s slow innings of 68 runs off 83 balls stole the chance from India to compete against Pakistan in the final after Bangladesh defeated Sri Lanka in the last league fixture to send India packing.
#2 India defeated Pakistan in Dambulla (June 2010)
After batting first, Pakistan scored a decent total of 267 runs with the help of half-centuries from Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal. On the other hand, Indian bowlers were pretty good in their bowling efforts as Praveen Kumar scalped three wickets while Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh bagged a couple of wickets each.
In the absence of Sachin, Sehwag failed to break the shackles and Kohli also failed to get going leaving Gambhir and the promoted Dhoni a big task to achieve. On a scratchy surface, Gambhir compiled 83 runs before getting dismissed off Saeed Ajmal’s bowling while Dhoni and Sharma were dismissed by Malik and Shahid Afridi respectively.
It looked like Raina would take India straight to the final with 7 runs required in the last over but the southpaw was run-out on the second ball of the over leaving the game back in Pakistan’s favor. Harbhajan rose to the occasion and smashed Mohammad Amir to a remarkable six towards deep mid-wicket to earn a sensational victory over the arch-rivals.
#1 Pakistan defeated India in Dhaka (March 2014)
After batting first, India posted 245 runs on the board. Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, and Ravindra Jadeja scored half-centuries for their side whilst Ajinkya Rahane and Dinesh Karthik failed to break the shackles as they scored a combined total of 46 runs off 96 balls restricting India to a sub-par total.
Hafeez and Ajmal created magic with the ball in hand giving some hope to the spin trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, and Jadeja. A paradise track for the spinners aided Ashwin and Mishra who went on to rampage the Pakistan batting line-up with Hafeez the lone star as he scored 75 runs off 117 balls taking the match deep.
Jadeja failed to get a grip that day and conceded 61 runs off his quota of overs which came back to haunt his team as the Men in Blue managed to keep Pakistan quiet till the 49th over but a couple of big hits from Shahid Afridi in the last over took the game away from India.
It was a heartbreak for Indian fans that day as they came closer to the game and ended up losing in that way. It was one of the closest encounters between the two sides to date which was eventually won by Pakistan in the end.