In a rain-affected clash at Pallekele, India’s 266-run innings, anchored by Hardik Pandya and Ishan Kishan, faced Pakistan’s fierce bowling attack. The game ended in a washout, advancing Pakistan to the Super Fours.
The eagerly awaited clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2023 turned into a rain-affected thriller, ultimately ending in a washout without a ball being bowled during Pakistan’s chase. As a result, both teams shared points, with Pakistan securing their spot in the Super Fours. India, however, still has one more crucial encounter against Nepal in the group stage.
Before the rain intervened, the match witnessed a roller-coaster of action with India choosing to bat first. Despite early setbacks, a resilient partnership between Hardik Pandya (87) and Ishan Kishan (82) provided India with a fighting total of 266. Shaheen Afridi was the standout bowler for Pakistan, claiming four crucial wickets.
India’s innings got off to a shaky start, with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli falling early to Shaheen Afridi, leaving India at 27/2. Haris Rauf then struck to dismiss Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill, reducing India to 66/4.
However, the turning point for India was the 138-run partnership between Hardik Pandya and Ishan Kishan. The duo patiently rebuilt the innings, initially accumulating runs steadily before accelerating. Pakistan’s spinners, including Shadab Khan, struggled with wayward deliveries, allowing India to reach the 100-run mark for their partnership in the 33rd over.
Ishan Kishan, playing an unfamiliar role at No. 5, exhibited composure and power, while Hardik Pandya unleashed a flurry of boundaries. But Pakistan fought back with the introduction of pacers, as Haris Rauf dismissed a well-set Kishan and Shaheen Afridi deceived Pandya with a slower ball. Pakistan further capitalized on India’s late innings collapse, with Bumrah providing some resistance but eventually falling as India lost their last five wickets for just 27 runs.
In the end, India posted a competitive total of 266 in 48.5 overs. Shaheen Afridi was the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan, finishing with figures of 4-35, while Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah chipped in with three wickets each.
Despite the thrilling contest, the rain had the final say, forcing the match to be abandoned. Pakistan’s entry into the Super Fours stage was confirmed due to this washout, setting the stage for further exciting encounters in the Asia Cup 2023.