Dubai, September 20: India ticked all boxes as they clinically decimated Pakistan by eight wickets in a lopsided Asia Cup group league encounter Wednesday.
It was a superlative effort from the bowling unit that saw them shot out Pakistan for a paltry 162 in 43.1 overs before Rohit Sharma (52 off 39 balls) and Shikhar Dhawan (46 off 54 balls) added 86 for the opening wicket to ensure a smooth chase for the ‘Men In Blue’ in only 29 overs.
This was India’s most comprehensive victory in terms of balls remaining (126).
After a wake-up call against Hong Kong, the Pakistan match was a near perfect performance for India as Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/15 in 7 overs) and Kedar Jadhav (3/23 in 9 overs) were perfectly complemented by Jasprit Bumrah (2/23 in 7.1 overs) and Kuldeep Yadav (1/37 in 8 overs).
If Kuldeep’s googly to snuff out Babar Azam was the turning point, Kedar Jadhav’s unconventional side-arm off-breaks broke the lower middle-order as Pakistan never recovered from the batting collapse.
With the pressure of scoreboard virtually non-existent, Rohit and Dhawan showed why they are one of the most formidable opening pair in white ball cricket.
The eighth over from Usman Khan enabled India cut loose as Rohit first hooked him for a six using the pace of the delivery and followed it with a ‘Nataraja’ pull shot for boundary and then short arm pull in-front of the square for another six. With 19 runs coming off that over, there was no looking back for India.
Rohit’s third six was a another hook shot off Hasan Ali followed by a drive through mid-off to complete his 35th half century in ODIs. He was fooled by a googly from Shadab Khan but by then India were on course for a comprehensive victory. Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik both contributed 31 to take India past finish line with consummate ease. (PTI)