Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar on Sunday performed impressively to secure a win for India in a crucial match against arch-rivals Pakistan.
Batting first, Pakistan were bowled out for 147 with Mohammad Rizwan emerging as the top scorer. Rizwan, the wicketkeeper-batsman for Pakistan, made 43 from 42 balls.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up four wickets for India, while Hardik Pandya finished with a spell of 3-25 in four overs. Arshdeep Singh picked up two wickets.
India’s run chase did not start on a positive note as they lost opening batsman KL Rahul when the team’s total was just one. Skipper Rohit Sharmaalso perished by scoring just 12 runs from 18 balls.
Virat Kohli added the much-needed support to the Indian innings by scoring 35 from 34 balls. His knock included three fours and one six.
However, despite Kohli’s knock, India continued to score well below the asking rate. It all changed after Ravindra Jdeja and Hardik Pandya began to face Pakistani bowlers. Jadeja made 35 from 29 balls, while Pandya remained unbeaten at 33 from 17 balls. Pandya scored a huge six off the bowling of Mohammad Nawaz to secure a five-wicket win for India in style.
Nawaz was the most successful bowler for Pakistan as he picked up three wickets. Naseem Shah dismissed the remaining two Indian batsmen.
Former India batsman, VVS Laxman, tweeted, “A high voltage contest these #INDvPAK games, and the boys have shown tremendous composure and character. Very well played to begin the Asia Cup with a remarkable win.”
Reacting to his side’s defeat, Pakistani skipper Babar Azam said, “We started well with the ball. In the end, we were about 10-15 runs short. Bowlers did really well to make a match of this. Our tail also stepped up to add those handy runs. The thought was to take the game deep. Idea was to create pressure but Hardik finished well.”
Pandya was adjudged Player Of The Match for his all-round performance.