IND vs PAK, Asia Cup 2023: India registered their win by the highest-margin against Pakistan in their Asia Cup Super Fours fixture at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. The Men in Blue beat their arch-rivals by 228 runs. In a match that was played across Sunday and Monday, each of India’s top four batters scored at least a half-century. While Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill scored half-centuries , KL Rahul and Virat Kohli slammed unbeaten hundreds to help India post 356/2.
In response, Indian bowlers led by Kuldeep Yadav’s 5 for 25, restricted Pakistan to 128/8 but with neither of Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf coming out to bat due to injury concerns, it was enough for the Men in Blue to complete a comprehensive victory. While it was Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj who started the proceedings with the new ball for India, Bumrah, also marking his ODI comeback, much like Rahul, provided India the early breakthrough, getting rid of Imam-ul-Haq with the new ball.
Soom after Hardik Pandya cleaned up Babar Azam with a superb delivery. However, rain returned with Pakistan reeling at 44/2 and it looked like the rain could save the Men in Green from an embarassing defeat but that was not to be as play resumed with no overs in deducted and the target as it is. After the play resumed, Shardul Thakur removed Mohammad Rizwan to push Pakistan futher back after which the evening belonged to Kuldeep Yadav.
Kuldeep showed yet again why he was the preferred spinner of the team management and bamboozled the Pakistani batters one after the other who were unable to read him. He ended up with figures of 5 for 25 and had some important scalps against his name with wickets of Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf and Fakhar Zaman.
Earlier, Kohli slammed a record-breaking ton. He broke Sachin Tendulkar’s century record against Pakistan. On his way to what was his 47th ODI ton, he also became the fastest man to reach 13,000 ODI runs. He is now just two hundreds behind Tendulkar’s ODI hundreds tally of 49. On the other hand, comeback man’s Rahul’s ton was also equally important as he was in the Playing XI after a last-minute injury to Shreyas Iyer. Moreover, he also kept wickets in India’s innings to shatter all kinds of doubts over his fitness.
As a result of India’s record win over Pakistan, they are now at the top of the points table with 2 points from 1 match and a whopping net run rate of +0.4560. On the other hand, the heavy defeat means Pakistan must win against Sri Lanka to qualify for final as their net run rate has taken a heavy beating and stands at -1.892 after 2 points from 2 matches. Meanwhile, India will take the field for the third consecutive day as they take on Sri Lanka in Colombo on September 12 (Tuesday).