Pakistan trounced India by five wickets in their Super 4 encounter of the Asia Cup here on Sunday. Pakistan successfully completed the 182-run chase with one ball remaining to secure the victory. Pakistan achieved 182 for 5 in 19.5 overs thanks to Mohammad Rizwan’s high score of 71 off 51 balls and Mohammad Nawaz’s contribution of 42.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravi Bishnoi, Hardik Pandya, Arshdeep Singh, and Yuzvendra Chahal all claimed a wicket for India. India was given the opportunity to bat and scored 181 for 7. With 60 points off 44 balls, Virat Kohli led the way for India. KL Rahul and captain Rohit Sharma each added 28. Shadab Khan grabbed two wickets for Pakistan and scored 31 runs, while Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, and Mohammad Nawaz each took one wicket.
With just 25 runs allowed in his four overs and the removal of Suryakumar Yadav, Nawaz put the brakes on India’s batting after Rohit Sharma and K.L. Rahul launched their innings with a 54-run opening stand.
Virat Kohli top-scored with 60 off 44 balls, striking four fours and a six while racing hard between the wickets and was excellent against pacers in an innings even as others hit boundaries and fell in an effort to go big, as they resumed their aggressive attacking strategy.
Mohammad Rizwan led the chase with a 51-ball 71 as they attempted to chase down a challenging 181/7. But Nawaz’s move to number four and subsequent 42 off 20 balls, featuring six fours and two sixes, was the game-changer, providing Pakistan’s pursuit with the much-needed impetus.
Khushdil Shah and Asif Ali took 19 runs off Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the 19th over with 26 runs needed from the final two overs. After dropping Ali for a duck earlier in the over, Arshdeep Singh increased the situation to two runs off of two balls. With one ball left, Iftikhar Ahmed, though, gave Pakistan the victory.
Sharma and Rahul gave India a flying start, hitting eight boundaries in 4.2 overs to get the team to fifty. Haris Rauf broke the opening stand in the final over of the powerplay, when Sharma mishit a slower ball to point.
Rahul holed out to long-on off Shadab on the first ball after the powerplay. Kohli started with two fours, continuing India’s high-risk strategy. Nawaz struck in the tenth over, having Suryakumar Yadav slog-sweeping straight to backward square leg.
With Nawaz keeping things tight, Kohli resorted to pulling and driving fours off Shah and Hasnain. However, after hitting two fours, Rishabh Pant reverse-swept straight to backwards point off leggie Shadab Khan. Hardik Pandya departed for a two-ball duck in the next over, punching a cross-seam ball from Mohammad Hasnain straight to a forward diving short mid-wicket.
Deepak Hooda’s first four were firmly driven through the space between mid-off and extra cover off Rauf. He then arched back to ramp a Hasnain bouncer over the keeper’s head. Kohli reached his fifty in 36 balls, whipping Hasnain over deep mid-wicket for six.
The final two overs did not end well for India, as Hooda skied high to long-on off Shah and Kohli fell inches short of his crease while attempting to complete the second run. However, misfields in the deep on the final two balls allowed India to score back-to-back fours, pushing the total above 180.
Leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi struck in his first over in defence of 181, as Babar Azam chipped straight to mid-wicket. Rizwan didn’t slow down, hitting two fours off Pandya’s first over before whipping Arshdeep off his wrists over a backward square leg.
Nawaz then took advantage of Chahal’s loose deliveries by hitting fours through leg-side, before Rizwan hit the third four in a 16-run 15th over. In the 16th over, Bhuvneshwar Kumar ended the 73-run stand by having the dangerous Nawaz give a comfortable catch to long-off on an off-cutter. When Rizwan lofted a slower ball straight to long-off, Pandya’s strategy of bowling outside off worked.
Ali survived a tight caught behind call off Bishnoi in the 18th over and then got a reprieve when Arshdeep dropped a sitter at short third man. With the equation at 26 off 12 balls, Ali, Shah, and Ahmed completed an outstanding chase for Pakistan.
Brief Scores: India lost by five wickets to Pakistan 182/5 in 19.5 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 71, Mohammad Nawaz 42; Ravi Bishnoi 1/26, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 1/40) in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 60, Rohit Sharma 28; Shadab Khan 2/31, Mohammad Nawaz 1/25).