Great performance by Hardik and Ishaan pair, Team India gave Pakistan a target of 267 runs


Pallekele (Uttam Hindu News) – Pakistan bowled out India for 266 in their Group B match of the Asia Cup on Saturday, riding on a fire-breathing bowling led by Shaheen Shah Afridi (35/4).

For India, Hardik Pandya top-scored with 87 off 90 balls with seven fours and a six, while Ishaan Kishan scored 82 off 81 balls with nine fours and two sixes. Apart from these two, no Indian batsman could touch the figure of 20 runs.

Shaandaar Shaheen took 4/35 in 10 overs, while Naseem Shah (8.5 overs, 36 runs) and Haris Rauf (9 overs, 58 runs) took three wickets each.

India won the toss and elected to bat but the Pakistani bowlers made full use of the early swing at a cloudy Pallekele stadium. Rain stopped play in the fourth over and soon after returning to the field, Shaheen Afridi bowled skipper Rohit Sharma (11) with a spectacular in-swinger. Virat Kohli opened the account with a four but he too was bowled by Shaheen.

Shreyas Iyer, who started well with two fours, was caught by Fakhar Zaman off Rauf’s short ball, while Shubman Gill, who took a long time to open the account, was bowled after scoring 10 runs in 32 balls.

When India’s top order returned to the pavilion for 66 runs, Kishan handled the innings. Kishan, who came into the team due to KL Rahul not being fit, did not hesitate to attack the fire-breathing Pakistani bowling. He picked up the pace by hitting a short ball from Haris Rauf over deep backward point for a six and then did not look back.

Kishan completed his half-century in 54 balls to take India past 150 runs in the 30th over. His 138-run partnership with vice-captain Pandya took India to a respectable score. India was easily moving towards 300 runs when the fast bowlers got Pakistan back in the match.

Rauf broke India’s only successful partnership by dismissing Kishan 18 runs before his century. Pandya tried to increase the pace by hitting Rauf for three fours but Afridi dismissed him and Ravindra Jadeja (14) in the 44th over to give Pakistan the upper hand once again.

Shardul Thakur could only manage three runs before becoming the first victim of Naseem Shah, although Jasprit Bumrah hit a valuable 16 off 14 balls with three fours to take India to 266 before falling to Naseem.

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