Asia Cup: India Vs Pakisthan match has been called off due to heavy rain at Pallekele in Sri Lanka
Here’s the unfortunate update. The match has been called off. Both teams get one point each … and … Pakistan are through to the Super Fours! We were able to witness just one innings but it was action-packed before rain played spoilsport.
With the conditions being overcast, both captains surprisingly wanted to bat first. Rohit called it right at the toss and got going with a couple of boundaries off Shaheen Afridi’s bowling.
The tall left-arm speedster altered his length after a rain break to dismiss Rohit and Kohli in quick succession. Rauf nipped out Shreyas Iyer and Gill which saw India getting reduced to 66/4 in the 15th over.
With their backs against the wall, India fought back with a fantastic 138-run partnership between Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya. Both of them fell in their 80s and India once again slipped (losing their last 5 wickets for 27 runs) to get bowled out for 266 (48.5).
The Pakistan pace troika took all the 10 wickets and India posted a competitive total despite a top-order collapse. Alas, there was no more cricketing action. We’ll be back tomorrow with some more action as Bangladesh lock horns with Afghanistan in much better conditions.
Rain had the final say at Pallekele after the halfway stage with Pakistan’s chase being washed out without a ball being bowled. The two teams ended up sharing points as a result with India still having one more encounter against Nepal in the group stage of the Asia Cup, 2023. As a result of the point, Pakistan are through to the Super Fours.
Before the washout, however there was plenty of see-saw action. Flanked by collapses on either side, India’s saving grace after opting to bat was the 138-run stand between Hardik Pandya (87) and Ishan Kishan (82). The duo ensured that India got a fighting score on board – 266 – after slipping up against Shaheen Afridi.
The start of the innings was peppered with rain-enforced breaks, but after the first of those breaks, Afridi started hitting a better rhythm. He had been flicked off the pads for a four and a six initially by Rohit Sharma, with the ball predominantly moving in. As soon as Afridi implanted some doubts by taking the ball across Rohit, he earned dividends having the India captain clean bowled with one nipping off the surface. Afridi topped this up with the wicket of Virat Kohli in his very next over, having him bowled off an inside edge reducing India to 27/2
Another rain break intervened before India stuttered again, with Haris Rauf striking in the midst of an indifferent spell. He had Shreyas Iyer pulling a long hop straight to midwicket before getting past the defence of an unconvincing Shubman Gill with an incoming delivery.
At 66/4, India’s innings was meandering uncertainly when Ishan was joined by Pandya. With spin being Pakistan’s prefered mode of attack during this period, the duo went about the course correction with little trouble. They milked their way to a 50-run stand initially before gradually shifting gears.
Pakistan’s spin attack was off-colour with Shadab Khan, in particular, dealing in full tosses and long hops. Kishan, playing a new role at No. 5 was as watchful as his senior partner but did not lose opportunities to strike big, lofting Mohammad Nawaz for a six down the ground to bring up the 100-run stand in the 33rd over. Hardik too chanced his arms against Nawaz later in the innings, hitting him for a six. He cashed in in an over from Rauf, where the bowler erred in lengths and went short, giving Hardik three boundaries in the process with the pick being a fiery pull through midwicket.
Just as the duo were threatening to take the score towards 300, and eyeing a big finish, Pakistan struck back with the introduction of the pacers. Rauf had Kishan, who had picked up a groin strain by then, caught at mid on while Afridi had Pandya caught at cover off a slower ball. Afridi made sure India were not going to add more in the death overs having Jadeja caught behind while Naseem Shah dismissed Shardul Thakur off a leading edge.
Although Jasprit Bumrah struck a few eye-catching boundaries, India ended up losing their last five wickets for just 27 runs to be bowled out for 266.
Brief Scores: India 266 in 48.5 overs (Hardik Pandya 87, Ishan Kishan 82; Shaheen Afridi 4-35, Naseem Shah 3-36, Haris Rauf 3-58) vs Pakistan