Fiery centuries from Virat Kohli and KL Rahul followed by Kuldeep Yadav’s five-wicket haul powered India to 228 runs win over their traditional rival Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2023 Super Four clash here at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Monday.
Kuldeep bagged his second ODI five-for as India clinched a huge 228-run win – Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf didn’t come out to bat in Pakistan’s chase. With this mammoth victory, India clinched the top spot in of Asia Cup 2023 Super 4s table.
Defending a challenging target of 356, India pacer Jasprit Bumrah breathed fire in the 5th over of the game as he removed opener Imam-ul-Haq, giving Pakistan a big blow. All-rounder Hardik Pandya bamboozled Babar Azam with an absolute ripper in the 11th over of the game.
Shardul Thakur bowled a peach to get the better of Mohammad Rizwan. It was bowled around off stump but the ball shaped away from Rizwan, who closed the face of his bat and got an outside edge. KL Rahul comfortably collected the ball behind the stumps. Rizwan departed for two runs off 5 balls, leaving Pakistan in great trouble.
The Indian pacers continue to trouble Pakistan batters with some amazing movement on the ball. Fakhar Zaman was getting restless as the required run rate was going high for Pakistan. He tried to take on Kuldeep Yadav and perished in the process. It was a fuller ball from Kuldeep that rattled the stumps. Fakhar departed after scoring 27 runs off 50 balls.
In the 21st over of the game, Agha Salman got seriously injured as he was hit on his face by the ball on the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja.
The Pakistan batter Salman walked to play a sweep shot but missed the ball completely which caught him plumb in front of the stumps on the delivery of Kuldeep. Salman took a review but ball tracking suggested that would have clipped the leg stump.
Kuldeep picked his third wicket as Shadab Khan was caught by Shardul Thakur in the deep and left Pakistan tottering at 111/6 after 28 overs.
Kuldeep broke Pakistan’s back as he picked his fourth wicket of the match, removing Iftikhar Ahmed for 23.
The Indian spinner bowled Faheem Ashraf to complete his fifer and the match ended with India winning by a huge margin of 228 runs as Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf, who went off while fielding with niggles, did not come out to bat.
Earlier, Virat Kohli’s vintage performance and KL Rahul’s unbridled century powered India to 356/2 against arch-rivals Pakistan in their Asia Cup Super Four clash.
Captain Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill’s half-centuries laid the foundation for India, while the unbeaten 233-run partnership between Kohli and Rahul added the icing on the cake as the former skipper finished the innings in style with a maximum.
Kohli finished his innings with an unbeaten 122, which came from 94 deliveries, while Rahul smashed a fiery 111 of 106 balls.
Brief score: India 356/2 (Virat Kohli 122*, KL Rahul 111; Shaheen Afridi 1-79) vs Pakistan 128 (Fakhar Zaman 27, Agha Salman 23; Kuldeep Yadav 5-25).
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