Allround Hardik leads India to thrilling win over Pakistan

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28 Aug 2022 | 06:48 PM
authorcricket.com staff

Allround Hardik leads India to thrilling win over Pakistan

Hardik Pandya claimed 3-25 and scored an unbeaten 33 off 17 balls as India beat Pakistan by five wickets in Asia Cup opener

Hardik Pandya hit an unbeaten 33 off 17 balls and claimed 3-25 as India beat Pakistan by five wickets in a thriller to get their Asia Cup title defence off to a winning start on Sunday in Dubai.

Chasing 148 for victory, Ravindra Jadeja (35 off 29 balls) and Pandya put on a key fifth-wicket stand of 52 as India reached their target with two balls to spare. Virat Kohli also played a crucial role in the top order with 34-ball 35 but perished in Mohammad Nawaz's bowling who also removed India captain Rohit Sharma (12 off 18 balls).

Debutant Naseem Shah (2-27) sent back KL Rahul for a first ball and then claimed the key wicket of Suryakumar Yadav to leave India reeling at 89/4.

Jadeja, who was promoted up the order and Pandya then carefully navigated as run-scoring became difficult in the middle overs. With 32 runs needed off 18 balls, Jadeja hit Naseem for a six and a boundary before Pandya smacked three boundaries off Haris Rauf's 19th over to bring India closer.

With 7 runs needed off the last six balls, Nawaz castled Jadeja off the first ball, gave away a single and then bowled a dot ball before Pandya launched him to a six over the leg side to end the match.

Earlier, Rohit won the toss and put Pakistan to bat as Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4-26) and Pandya (3-25) helped restrict them to 147 all out in 19.5 overs.

Pakistan lost skipper Babar Azam cheaply when he hooked a surprise short ball from Bhuvneshwar to Arshdeep at short fine leg. Avesh Khan, who was the third seam option for the match, dismissed Fakhar Zaman in his opening over.

Rizwan (43 off 42 balls) then shared a 45-run stand with Iftikhar Ahmed (28 off 22 balls) before Pandya removed the pair with well-directed short balls. Pakistan were soon reduced to 97/5 in 14.3 overs after Khushdil Shah top edged Pandya's short ball to deep point.

Despite losing four more wickets in a heap, Pakistan went past 140 thanks to Haris Rauf (13 not out off 7 balls) and Shahnawaz Dahani (16 off 6 balls) who scored 19 runs off 8 balls.

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India vs PakistanAsia Cup, 2022IndiaPakistanRavindra JadejaHardik PandyaBhuvneshwar KumarMohammad NawazNaseem Shah

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