Rain washed out the thrilling Pakistan-India Asia Cup 2023 match at the Pallakele Stadium in Sri Lanka on Saturday and brought about an anticlimactic end as the Green Shirts were left waiting for their chance at the bat.
India were bowled out for 266 in the 49th over against Pakistan and had set a target of 267. The teams will now share points while the Green Shirts qualified for the Super 4s.
None too glad about the development, the Pakistan Cricket Board said rain acted as the “spoilsport” in the second innings.
Close to 76 per cent of Dawn.com pollers had predicted the Green Shirts for the win in tonight’s match.
India set a target of 267 for the boys in green. It was a doable total since India were under siege by Pakistan’s pace attack led by Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah. It was up to skipper Babar Azam and his batters to take it home before rain poured water over those hopes.
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar called on the team to make the nation proud.
Former cricketer Wahab Riaz was all praise for the pace trio.
It seems former premier Shehbaz Sharif’s enthusiasm for seeing Shaheen in action did not abate during the match’s course.
49th over: Naseem finds his second and his third wicket in the last over of his spell. The twin wickets for the young pacer ends the Indian innings early in the 49th over with the score at 266 runs. Pakistan will now have to chase 267 in 50 overs.
48th over: Shaheen ends his quota of 10 overs with four wickets in the bag. He gave away just 35 runs. The Indian score now stands at 261 for the loss of 8 wickets.
47th over: Bumrah’s four off Haris’s fifth ball ruined what was a perfect over until that point. The pacer gives away 5 in his 9th over to take the Indian score to 257 for 8.
46th over: Shaheen goes for 6 in his 9th over as India surpass the 250-run mark. Indian score now stands at 252 for the loss of 8 wickets.
45th over: Naseem got Thakur on the first ball of the over as the 8th Indian batter walked back to the pavilion. Five runs off the 45th over placed the Indian score at 246 for the loss of 8 wickets.
44th over: Pace ace Shaheen is brought back and he claims the prized wicket of the settled Hardik Pandya, who departs after scoring a crucial 87 off 89 balls. He also got Jadeja out for 14 in the same over as the Indian side now stands at 242 for 7.
43rd over: A very tidy over from Naseem, giving away only 2 runs in his 7th. Indian score now at 239 for 5.
42nd over: Shadab gets to bowl his 9th over despite spin failing to make any impression so far. The leggie was dispatched for 11 runs with the Indian score now at 237 for the loss of 5.
41st over: Naseem goes for 5 in his 6th over as the Indian innings progresses to 226 for the loss of 5 wickets.
40th over: Consecutive boundaries from Pandya on the first two balls in Haris’s 8th over as Indian run rate gets a boost. He pulled Haris again for a boundary on the fourth ball of the over, which leaked 12 runs in total. Indian score now at 221 for 5.
39th over: Sloppy fielding again at the end of Shadab’s 8th over which costs 5 runs. Indian score now stands at 209 after 39 overs for the loss of 5 wickets.
38th over: Kishan was finally removed by Haris in the 38th over with a short of length delivery which the India batter skied. His wicket means Jadeja walks in to replace him. A visibly pumped Haris gave away only 1 from the over. India now 204 for five.
37th over: Kishan stepped back and dispatched Nawaz for a boundary on his first ball of the 37th over. Later in the over, Pandya dispatched Nawaz for a six as Nawaz finishes his 8th over for 16 runs.
36th over: Haris Rauf was brought back in the 36th over but much needed breakthrough still eludes the Green Shirts. Indian score now stands ath 187 for 4.
35th over: Five off Nawaz’s 7th as India are at 183 for the loss of 4 wickets.
34th over: Kishan started the over with a boundary as poor fielding from Pakistan continued. Babar needs to rally his men together if Pakistan want to finish the innings strongly. Meanwhile, Pandya completed his half century in 62 balls with the Indian score placed at 178 for the loss of 4 wickets.
33rd over: The pair completed their 100-run partnership on the third ball. With eight runs coming off Nawaz’s sixth, India stand at 168 for four at the loss of four wickets.
32nd over: Another reasonably tidy over from Salman, giving away only 4 runs. Pandya edges closer to his half-century as India stand on 160 for four.
31st over: A mix-up between Pandya and Kishan creates an opportunity for a run-out in the 31st over, however, Naseem was unable to capitalise on the chance. Runs and then some off every ball ends the over with seven runs. India are now at 156 for four.
30th over: A good over from Salman ends the over for the blue team on a low note. Only two from it puts India’s score at 149 for four.
29th over: Kishan completed a hard-fought half century in Shadab’s sixth over. Kishan, thanks to some misfielding, dispatched Shadab for four on the fifth delivery. India are now at 147 for the loss of four wickets.
28th over: Salman Agha was called in by the skipper to bowl the 28th over. The part-time spinner overstepped his line on his first delivery, giving away a free hit. The Indian batters are keeping their head through the middle-overs as they keep ticking the score. Five runs from the over with India now at 140 for the loss of four wickets.
27th over: One off Shaheen’s seventh ends the over with India at 135 for four. The tidy over from Shaheen helps build back some of the pressure that was released by the Indian side’s quick flow of runs.
26th over: Nawaz was kept in attack as he bowled his fifth over. Kishan was shuffling in his crease as he paved the extra cover region with a confident stroke. India is creeping back into the game again. Nawaz ends the over giving away 7 runs. India are now at 134 for the loss of four wickets.
25th over: The newsroom’s call for the pacers to be brought in has been heard by skipper Babar as Shaheen was brought back into the attack, replacing Shadab. But Pandya dispatched him for a boundary on the fourth ball of the over. India stand at 127 for four halfway through the innings.
24th over: Babar sticking with his spinning options as the skipper decides to keep Nawaz on. A good over from Nawaz — all things considered — giving away four runs while just missing Pandya’s edge on the fifth ball. A double for the all-rounder ends the over with India on 121 for 4.
23rd over: Runs keep ticking for the blue team as the pair of Kishan and Pandya successfully complete a 50-run partnership off 52 balls. India ends the over at 117 for 4.
22nd over: Sloppy fielding from the green team is giving away runs. The spinners are not able to apply the pressure that is needed. Four runs from Nawaz’s third over gets the Indian total to 112 for the loss of four wickets.
21st over: Shadab concedes six from the over as Kishan rocks back and cuts him behind point for a boundary on the fourth ball. India end the 21st over at 108 for 4 wickets.
20th over: Nawaz got dispatched for a boundary from a paddle sweep by Pandya. A 100 comes up for India on the fourth ball of the 20th. Eight runs off the 20th over. India are now 102 for four.
19th over: Shadab only goes for two, Pakistan trying to put a halt on the flow of runs. India now 94 for four after the end of 19th over.
18th over: Nawaz creeps outside Kishan’s edge as Pakistan use up a review. A tidy over from Nawaz giving away only three runs ends the 18th for India at 92 for the loss of four.
17th over: Six runs from Haris moves India to 89. The blue team not letting the Pakistani side stop the flow of runs as the runs keep flowing at a rate of more than 5. Mohammad Nawaz is brought in to replace Shadab.
16th over: Shadab, in what seemed as an effort to buy Kishan’s wicket was dispatched for 11 runs in his second over. India, trying to rebuild with Pandya and Kishan, stand at 84 for the loss of 4 wickets.
15th over: Did we say Haris was leaking runs? He is making the Indians leak wickets with a blazing fast delivery that hits Gill’s wickets. Bowled for 10 off 32 balls. Haris ends the 15th for six runs and a wicket. India now 72 for 4.
14th over: Leggie Shadab Khan was brought in to replace Haris Rauf who was leaking runs. A good decision to bring Shadab in, considering he has been previously vital in cracking the Indian middle-order. Shadab ends the 14th, giving away three runs. India is now 66 for three.
13th over: Naseem started the 13th over with the same kinetic energy that he left with. A tight over from the pacer turned sour as Kishan edged it just wide of slip for a boundary on the fifth ball. India are now 63 for the loss of three wickets.
12th over: Haris Rauf was dispatched for a six by Kishan on the fourth ball of the over after the game resumed post-rain. Haris goes for seven in his third as India stand on 58 for the loss of three.
11th over: Two off the bat with a leg bye ends Naseem’s fourth for three runs. India now 51 for the loss of three wickets.
10th over: Fakhar Zaman holds on to a blinder! Haris Rauf, who was dispatched for a boundary by Gill on the second ball gets Shreyas Iyer caught at square who pulled the pacer as Fakhar manages to grab it. India end the 10th over with 48 runs on the board at the loss of three wickets.
Shaheen was taken off the attack after his five. Naseem replaces the lanky left armer.
Ninth over: Shaheen starts another over as Babar keeps him on. Gill is wary of the left armer who is swinging it both ways. A maiden from the pacer to end the ninth over with India 42 for 2.
Eighth over: Haris Rauf started with the eighth over, replacing Naseem, with the express pacers conceding 12 runs in what was an expensive first over.
Seventh over: An inside edge for the Indian great Kohli and he has to walk back to the pavilion for the measly four runs off seven balls.
Former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif reacted with enthusiasm to the star pacer’s performance.
Sixth over: Five wides for Naseem as Kohli comes out to bat, a tidy over up until that point. Pakistan has leaked extras in the early stages as the ball swings both ways. Kohli with a crashing cover drive in the fifth ball ends the over with 11 runs.
Fifth over: Rohit’s poor form against the left-hander continued as Shaheen’s blistering delivery hit his off stump.
Earlier, heavy showers brought the blockbuster match to a halt at the beginning of the fifth over. According to an update on ESPNcricinfo at 3:07pm, the covers had started to come off and the day “has got brighter”.
Fourth over: Naseem kept it tight in his second over, bowling with a lot of swing and heat. The ball looked to be going either way with the determined Gill standing tall against a good spell of bowling. With chances of rain looming, Naseem ends the first over for a single wide. It was 15 in four overs without a loss.
Third over: On the second ball of pacer Shaheed Shah Afridi’s second over, the same result as the first, Rohit Sharma casually clipped it off the toes for four, the ball falling just inside the ropes. Four runs off the bat and a wide in the third over takes India to 14 for none.
Second over: In the second over, pacer Naseem Shah saw some early movement with the ball. With the bounce varying throughout, it will be a challenge for the Indian batters at least in the early game. Naseem finishes the over giving away two overs and a bye.
First over: Rohit flicked it off the pads on the second ball of the first over. The ball was in the air but went wide of square leg — much-needed runs for the Indian captain. With a single and a wide, Shaheen ended the first over giving away six runs.
Toss: As the sun peeked through the clouds during the toss, Rohit opted to bat first. He said India, who play their opening match of the tournament, were ready to “embrace the challenge”.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, who was hoping to go into bat first, said the Green Shirts would try to take early wickets.
“Asia Cup is good because the top teams in the world are playing in it. Before the World Cup, we have a good opportunity. We will try to do our best in this Asia Cup,” he said.
Azam added that the team’s combination “is the same” and was not changed.
“Look when you perform always do it with confidence. We will try to utilise this confidence. You know Pakistan-India matches are high-intensity games. We are calm and cool,” he stated.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wicket-keeper), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah.
Header image: Pakistani fans wait out a rain delay during the Asia Cup 2023 one-day international cricket match between India and Pakistan at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy, Sri Lanka on September 2. — AFP