India had to play their second game in the Asia Cup in almost 16 hours after the finishing their first game against Hong Kong last night. Last day India had committed many mistakes which allowed Hong Kong to go closer to their target of 285, today wasn’t the case. They dominated Pakistan’s team in all department as Pakistani team were bit confused about their shot selection and eventually all out at 162 runs which wasn’t a challenging total to a team Like India, whose strength is batting for decades now.
The captain of Pakistani team Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and elected to bat first on a batting pitch and wanted to post a match winning total and later on banking on their brilliant bowling attack. The plan was set to launch, but all went in vain when both Pakistani openers disappointed their captain and given away their wickets at only 2 runs at the board inside three overs. Babar & Malik (who was promoted ahead of Sarfraz) put 82 together to give some stability to Pakistan’s team, that partnership was broken by the brilliant delivery of Kuldeep, who deceived Babar (47) with variation, an unplayable delivery went on to hit the off stump at 85. Malik who was dropped twice by Indian fielders, but he made a wrong decision to take a single when Asif Ali denied to take a run, Malik found himself at nowhere when he has to return back to the non-strikers’ crease it was a brilliant direct hit by Rayudu. Before Malik’s wicket our captain Sarfraz Ahmed tried to pace up the innings but only picked up Manish Pandey at the long on who took a brilliant catch (Fielding at the place of injured Hardik Pandya) after Sarfraz and Malik’s dismissals Pakistan were at 100 for 5. Pakistani lower order never been capable of making a recovery and whole team was all out at 162 inside 44th over.
A big question mark was raised by cricket pundits about the shot selection of Pakistani batsmen and also a debate kicked off about the form of Pakistani captain on social media and stats were also shared:
162 wasn’t enough for batting line in the likes of Rohit and Dhawan, they both gave them a perfect start to the run-chase. They both put 86 runs together, Rohit Sharma was looked more compact at the crease, and he has hit some brilliant shots during his 52 off 39 balls. Dhawan also took proper chances with his form of batting he is in, he played some superb shots in his 46 runs innings followed by brilliant hundred he made against Hong Kong last night. Fahim Ashraf got the wicket of Dhawan at 110 for 2; later Rayudu and Karthik finished the job with the unbeaten partnership of 60 at the end of 29th over. With this result and the way Pakistani bowlers performed raised almost same questions as was on batsmen (although it wasn’t much score to defend) but they could have bowled well, provide some resistance to Indian batsmen, but they failed miserably.
Pakistan will play India on 23rd of the September again in super 4 round game, and fans of Pakistan are still optimistic that their team will pull of a win in the next round.
Player of the Match: Bhuvi was awarded as the player of the tournament on his brilliant bowling spell against top order of Pakistani team after a disappointing performance against Hong Kong.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: “On a track where the ball doesn’t swing, it’s important to bowl back of a length and try to hit the stumps. Key is not to give too many runs and force the batsmen to make mistakes. It’s tough and hot, also the tracks are flat and perhaps due to the heat, Hardik got injured as he was playing in England and couldn’t adjust to the different conditions here.”
Pakistan 162/10 in 43.1 overs (Babar Azam 47, Shoaib Malik 43; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 15/3, Kedar Jadhav 23/3)
India 164/2 in 29 overs (Rohit Sharma 56, Shikhar Dhawan 46; Shadab Khan 6/1)
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