Dubai: India put up an all-round show to register a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over their arch rivals Pakistan in their second group game of the Asia Cup here, Wednesday.
Chasing a small target of 163 at a flat wicket, Indian openers skipper Rohit Sharma (52, 39b, 6×4, 3×6) and Shikhar Dhawan (46, 54b, 6×4, 1×6) gave India a perfect start and dashed the Pakistani hopes of any fightback.
However, Shadab Khan (1/6) raised some hope dismissing Rohit, before Faheem Ashraf (1/31) getting rid of Dhawan to reduce India to 104/2. But Ambati Rayudu (31 n o, 46b, 3×4) and Dinesh Karthik (31 n o, 37b, 2×4, 1×6) finished off the match with much ease.
Earlier, Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s (3/15) tidy seam bowling was complemented by Kedar Jadhav’s (3/23) unconventional off-breaks as India skittled out Pakistan for a modest 162 in 43.1 overs.
While Bhuvi provided initial breakthroughs, Jadhav, making a comeback to the national team, bowled with control to return to break the backbone of the Pakistani lower middle-order. Jasprit Bumrah (2/23) and chinaman Kuldeep Yadav (1/37) also accomplished their task to perfection.
Jadhav’s performance is even more laudable as he did the job of a frontline spinner after Hardik Pandya (0/24 in 4.5 overs) was stretchered off the field due to an acute lower back injury.
This was after young Babar Azam (47, 62b, 6×4) and veteran Shoaib Malik (43, 67b. 1×4, 1×6) added 82 runs for the third wicket after losing both their openers early on.
However, Pakistan suffered a batting collapse losing five wickets for 36 runs before Faheem Ashraf (21) and Mohammed Aamir (16) added an invaluable 37 runs for the eighth wicket to take the total past 150-run mark.
Put into bat, Pakistan were in trouble straight away as Bhuvi dealt a twin blow removing the in-form duo of Imam ul Haq (two) and Fakhar Zaman (0) to reduce them to two for three.
Babar and Malik then resurrected the innings with a fine partnership. The breakthrough came when Babar failed to read Kuldeep’s googly and it clipped his off bail. From 85 for two, it soon became 100 for five as Pakistan lost wickets in a heap.
Faheem and Aamir did try their bit as Pakistan crossed the 150-run mark before Bhuvi and Bumrah wrapped up the tail in the 44th over.