DUBAI: India crushed Pakistan by eight wickets on Wednesday in a long-awaited Asia Cup match which failed to live up to its hype.
Pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3-15) and part time off-spinner Kedar Jadhav (3-23) sent Pakistan, who won the toss and batted, collapsing to just 162 all out in 43.1 overs at Dubai Stadium.
Skipper Rohit Sharma then struck three sixes and six boundaries in his 39-ball 52 while fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan hit a six and six fours in his 54-ball 46 as India romped home in 29 overs.
Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik both finished on 31 not out as India exacted some revenge for their humbling 180-run defeat in the final of the Champions Trophy in London last year -- the most recent match between the teams until Wednesday.
Both Pakistan and India had already qualified for the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup and will meet again in Dubai on Sunday.
Bangladesh and Afghanistan meet in Abu Dhabi in the last Group B match on Thursday.
The top two teams from the Super Fours will play the final in Dubai on Sept 28. Once Pakistan’s unpredictable batting crumbled, Wednesday’s match turned into a damp squib for a near-capacity crowd.
Kumar ran through the top order by dismissing openers Imamul Haq (two) and Fakhar Zaman (nought) inside five overs, before Babar Azam (47) and Shoaib Malik (43) rebuilt the innings during their 82-run stand for the third wicket.
But after Azam was dismissed in the 22nd over, bowled by left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav, Pakistan lost their last seven wickets for 77 runs.
Azam hit six boundaries in his 62-ball knock while Malik, dropped on 26 by Dhoni off Hardik Pandya, cracked one six and one four in a vigilant innings which lasted 67 balls.
R. Sharma b Shadab 52
S. Dhawan c Azam b Ashraf 46
A. Rayudu not out 31
D. Karthik not out 31
EXTRAS: (nb2, w2) 4
TOTAL: for two wkts; 29 overs 164
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-86, 2-104.
BOWLING: Amir 6-1-23-0, Shinwari 4-0-27-0 (1nb), Hasan 4-0-33-0, Ashraf 5-0-31-0 (2w, 1nb), Shadab 1.3-0-6-1, Zaman 6.3-0-25-0, Malik 2-0-19-0
RESULT: Indian win by eight wickets
UMPIRES: Marais Erasmus (S. Africa) and Ruchira Palliyaguruge (Sri Lanka)
TV UMPIRE: Gregory Brathwaite (W. Indies) Match referee: David Boon (Australia).
Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2018