India registered a comprehensive victory in their 2nd match of the Asia Cup as they returned triumphantly against arch-rivals Pakistan by 8 wickets and with deliveries to spare. It was a thoroughly professional performance by the Men in Blue as they thrashed Pakistan quite convincingly. Not many would have predicted the result especially after India’s below-par performance in their opening game against Hong Kong.
Pakistan got off to the worst possible start and lost their both openers in very quick time. Bhuneshwar Kumar bagged the two prized wickets of Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman. From there on it was Shoaib Malik and Babar Azam who batted sensibly and stitched together a crucial partnership. However, it was Kuldeep Yadav who bagged the wicket of Babar Azam with a brilliantly flighted delivery.
India was all over Pakistan in the bowling department
It was all India from there on. Pakistan kept losing wickets at regular intervals and couldn’t quite recover from the slide. It was a brilliant spell of slow bowling by Kedar Jadhav who bagged three wickets for 23 runs in his 9 overs spell. It was an exceptional spell which stalled Pakistan’s progress. Jasprit Bumrah also bowled brilliantly in the death overs as he bagged two crucial wickets.
Eventually, Pakistan was bowled out for a paltry score of 163 runs. It was always going to be a relatively easy task for India to chase the mediocre target down. They began in a cautious fashion. However, Rohit Sharma suddenly took the attacking approach from the 6th over and turned the match on it’s head.
He smashed Usman Khan for a towering six which went 96 metres deep inside the crowd. On the other hand, Shikhar Dhawan also chipped in with some good shots. Rohit Sharma was castled by a brilliant delivery by Shadab Khan. However, Shikhar Dhawan kept going. After his dismissal, Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik took the onus on themselves to finish off the match for the Men in Blue. Both batted sensibly and ensured India won by 8 wickets and with more than 21 overs to spare.
Now here is what winning skipper Rohit Sharma said at the post-match presentation
Right from the start, we were quite disciplined. We wanted to learn from the mistakes we made in the last game. It was a great game for the bowling department because I knew the conditions weren’t great for it. We stuck to our plans. Spinners kept it tight, got the odd breakthroughs. The bowlers took wickets early as well, it was important to do that because they have quality in there and we wanted to make sure not to make things easy for them.
We spoke about not giving room to the batsmen and it worked. The first few overs disciplined and the spinners took over. Once they had a partnership, we discussed not to panic and it was important to just stick to the plans. He (Jadhav) has been working on his bowling, takes his bowling very seriously. Every now and then, he does the job which is crucial.
Enjoyed the little innings that I played, got out to a great delivery. We haven’t played here much and we have understood how to plan on such pitches. Opening partnership sets the key on such tracks and it was a fine finish by Dinesh and Rayudu.