Pakistan and India share points as the hosts advance to the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup
By PakPassion Staff (2 September, 2023)
In the much-anticipated encounter between arch-rivals India and Pakistan in the Men's Asia Cup, the weather turned out to be the biggest game-changer. The match, touted as the blockbuster tie of the tournament, unfortunately, ended in a disappointing washout due to persistent rain.
Earlier in the match, after winning the toss, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma chose to bat. The decision seemed to backfire initially, as Pakistan's pacers exploited the overcast conditions magnificently. India was quickly reduced to 66-4. However, the Indian middle-order, particularly the young and dynamic Ishan Kishan (82) and the fiery Hardik Pandya (87), showcased resilience and built a brilliant 138-run partnership, putting India back in the driving seat. This comeback was partially attributed to Pakistan skipper Babar Azam's surprising decision to hold back his pacers in the middle overs.
However, as India looked poised for a strong finish, a dramatic collapse, led by Pakistan's pace battery, saw them losing their last five wickets for just 27 runs. Shaheen Afridi emerged as the hero for Pakistan, claiming four crucial wickets, including those of Sharma and Kohli. Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf picked up three wickets each, resulting in the entire Indian side being bowled out by seamers, a first in Men's Asia Cup history. India eventually managed to set a target of 267 for Pakistan.
The second half of the game was heavily marred by rain interruptions. Despite several attempts to resume play and live visuals showcasing India's readiness to defend their total, the rain had the final say. The consistent drizzles and ground coverage meant that the much-awaited clash of titans had to be abandoned, leaving fans and players alike in sheer disappointment.
With this rain-washed tie, both teams earn a point each. Pakistan, having already secured a win against Nepal, now move to the Super Four. India will have to secure a victory against Nepal in their next outing to progress further in the tournament.
All in all, while the weather played spoilsport in what promised to be a classic, the glimpses of high-quality cricket by both teams left fans eagerly waiting for their next showdown.