India had a tough start to the 2018 Asia Cup as they were scheduled to play back-to-back matches in the searing heat of the United Arab Emirates. They had a slow start on Tuesday when they played Hong Kong and looked sluggish but still managed to win. They knew they would have to bounce back hard on Wednesday as they were facing arch-rivals Pakistan. They did just that and are now through to the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup.
Bowlers Demolish Pakistan
Pakistan won the toss and surprised a lot of the cricketing pundits by electing to bat. They were in trouble immediately as B Kumar struck twice to remove Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman. The experienced S Malik and B Azam rebuilt the innings and put together a nice littler partnership before K Yadav struck.
Pakistan found it hard to stitch together a partnership as part timer K Jadhav proved difficult to score off and also picked up 3 wickets in the middle overs. Once S Malik was run-out, B Kumar and J Bumrah polished off the tail to restrict Pakistan to a meagre 162.
In a statement, man of the match B Kumar said “Need to get initial wickets if you want to beat your opponents. On a track which doesn’t swing, you can just bowl stump-to-stump and hope not to give too many runs. That way they make mistakes and that’s the best way to get them out. ”
Batsman Complete Quick Chase
S Dhawan coming off a century against Hong Kong played another good knock and was dismissed for 46. Captain R Sharma played freely and brought up another half century before falling for 52. Both A Rayudu and D Karthik remained unbeaten on 31 as they helped India chase down the score in just 29 overs.
India’s next match is against Bangladesh on Friday, September 21. They will be forced to make atleast one change as all-rounder H Pandya suffered a back injury and had to be stretchered off the field.
Pakistan Will Try To Even the Score
Although the first match between India and Pakistan turned out to be pretty one sided, fans will be hoping the second encounter will be a lot more competitive and exciting. The two sides will clash again on Sunday, 23 September and Pakistan will look to even the score. If things work out for both sides, it is quite possible that India and Pakistan could play each other for the third time in the Asia Cup final.