Dhawan-Rohit show flattens Pakistan – Asia Cup 2018 | India vs Pakistan: An on-song Indian opening combination of captain Rohit Sharma and his deputy Shikhar Dhawan literally toyed with the Pakistan bowlers to make a no-contest of a respectable target of 238 in the Asia Cup Super Four tie here on Sunday.
The nine-wicket victory, with Dhawan perishing thanks to a run-out, also meant that India will feature in the final on Friday, irrespective of its last Super Four clash against Afghanistan on Tuesday.
Both score centuries as India romps home with nine wickets to spare
Chasing 237 for seven, set by Pakistan, Dhawan and Rohit looked in no trouble. Pakistan had brought in senior pacer Mohammad Amir in place of youngster Usman Khan and bolstered the spin attack by including leggie Shadab Khan.
But if the fielders don’t back the bowlers, the team gets demoralised. Imam-ul-Haq spilled a mistimed drive off Rohit in the sixth over. Rohit, who was on 14 then, changed gears to kill the contest.
Almost a couple of hours later, he was dropped again, another straightforward attempt grassed by Fakhar Zaman on the edge of the circle. But by then, he had raced to 81 and India to 164 for no loss.
Dhawan set the tone with cuts and pulls and Rohit took the cue just like a musician would do while being on stage with another.
The target wouldn’t have been so easily gettable had Jasprit Bumrah and leggie Yuzvendra Chahal not pulled things back for India in the death overs, conceding just a single boundary and 45 runs in the last eight overs.
At 191 for four in 42 overs, Pakistan was set for a late charge and press to take the target beyond 260, but that didn’t materialise.
Shoaib Malik, who emerged the batting star for Pakistan for the second time in three nights, and Asif Ali, had tonked Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a whopping 22 runs in the 42nd over.
Rohit gave Bhuvneshwar a break and called his trump card Bumrah from the same end. He struck immediately as Malik edged to M.S. Dhoni.
The lower order then couldn’t tackle the pace-spin duo of Bumrah and Chahal. The last five overs saw Bumrah, leggie Yuzvendra Chahal and Bhuvneshwar concede just 26 runs to restrict Pakistan to a sub-240 total.
Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq lbw b Chahal 10 (20b, 2×4), Fakhar Zaman lbw b Kuldeep 31 (44b, 1×4, 1×6), Babar Azam run out 9 (25b), Sarfraz Ahmed c Rohit b Kuldeep 44 (66b, 2×4), Shoaib Malik c Dhoni b Bumrah 78 (90b, 4×4, 2×6), Asif Ali b Chahal 30 (21b, 1×4, 2×6), Shadab Khan b Bumrah 10 (16b), Mohammad Nawaz (not out) 15 (16b, 1×4), Hasan Ali (not out) 2 (2b); Extras (lb-5, w-3): 8; Total (for seven wkts. in 50 overs): 237.
Fall of wickets: 1-24 (Imam, 7.6 overs), 2-55 (Zaman, 14.3), 3-58 (Azam, 15.5), 4-165 (Sarfraz, 38.5), 5-203 (Malik, 43.4), 6-211 (Asif, 44.5), 7-234 (Shadab, 49.3).
India bowling: Bhuvneshwar 9-0-46-0, Bumrah 10-1-29-2, Chahal 9-0-46-2, Kuldeep 10-0-41-2, Jadeja 9-0-50-0, Jadhav 3-0-20-0.
India: Rohit Sharma (not out) 111 (119b, 7×4, 4×6), Shikhar Dhawan run out 114 (100b, 16×4, 2×6), Ambati Rayudu (not out) 12 (18b, 1×4); Extras (w-1): 1; Total (for one wkt. in 39.3 overs): 238.
Fall of wicket: 1-210 (Dhawan, 33.3 overs).
Pakistan bowling: Amir 5-0-41-0, Afridi 6-0-42-0, Hasan 9-0-52-0, Nawaz 7-0-35-0, Shadab 8-0-54-0, Shoaib 4.3-0-14-0.
India won by nine wickets with 63 balls to spare.
News Credit: The Hindu
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