Asia Cup: India beat Pakistan by five wickets in low scoring match

Perfect Innings of Virat Kohli
Perfect Innings of Virat Kohli

Mirpur: India recovered from three early jolts, inflicted by a devastating spell from Mohammed Amir, before notching up a five-wicket victory against arch-rivals Pakistan in the Asia Cup T20 tournament, here today.
Amir (3/18) rocked the Indian top-order with a fast and furious four-over spell but the small target of 84 was not good enough to stop the ‘Men In Blue’ who knocked off the runs with 27 balls to spare.

Indian bowlers had demolished the Pakistan batting line up with a superlative show as they bundled out the arch-rivals for a paltry 83 in only 17.3 overs after opting to field.
But it required the calm and class of Virat Kohli (49) to take India home without further setbacks as his 68-run stand for the fourth wicket with Yuvraj Singh (14 not out) proved to be decisive. Kohli’s 51-ball innings had seven boundaries and he looked cut above any batsman, who featured in today s game. This is their second win for India in the tournament and takes them a step closer to the final of the continental championship.

What was supposed to be a cakewalk turned out to be a brief nightmare for the Indians.Rohit Sharma (0) and Ajinkya Rahane (0), replacing an injured Shikhar Dhawan, were beaten by sheer pace of Amir. They found the late movement at ferocious speed too hot to handle. The result was a couple of plumb leg-befores.
Suresh Raina’s (1) problems against short ball is well documented and Amir started teasing him with deliveries that kicked up viciously from length. Raina cut a sorry figure with his hop, skip and jump technique and when Amir bowled full, the left-hander expecting a shirt ball only lobbed it to Wahab Riaz at mid-on. India were tottering at 8 for 3 at that stage.

Run out dismissal Run out pakistan team
Run out dismissal

However, Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi had no choice but to finish Amir’s spell, in order to get a couple of more wickets and stay in the game. But it was Kohli, who has been Pakistan’s nemesis for some time now, showed why he is among the best in the world. He shielded Yuvraj from Amir by taking bulk of the strike. His footwork was precise and played close to the body.

In his final over Amir tried to change the tactic and Kohli promptly whipped towards square leg and cover drove him for two boundaries.

Once Amir’s spell was over, it was a formality for the Indians with Kohli gaining more confidence. Mohammed Irfan was deftly steered through third-man while Wahab was shown full face of the bat during the two imperious cover drives.

Yuvraj s job was to chip in with the singles and stem the rot that set in due to top-order collapse and he did his job. By the time, Kohli was adjudged leg-before off Mohammed Sami s bowling, India were eight runs short of victory. It was Dhoni, who cover drove Wahab to finish off the match.

Amir celebration after dismissal Amir Celebration after dismissal of indian wicket
Amir celebration after dismissal

Earlier, a collective effort from the Indians bowlers was backed brilliantly by the fielders as it became a ‘no-contest’ from the moment India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni opted to field on a pacer-friendly wicket.

The Indian bowlers made good use of the conditions and the fielding unit also put relentless pressure to effect two run-outs as it threw Pakistani innings in disarray. Ashish Nehra (1/20) and Jasprit Bumrah (1/8) dealt initial blows while new sensation Hardik Pandya (3/8) kept up the pressure and recorded the best figures among the bowlers.
Such was the pressure on Pakistan, that spin twins Ravindra Jadeja (2/11) and Ravichandran Ashwin were brought in the 12th and 13th over respectively.
The only Pakistan player to cross the 10-run mark was wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed (25). This was their lowest score in a T20 against India as they managed only 8 boundaries.
Nehra struck with the very third delivery when he got one to kick up from length. Mohammed Hafeez (4), failing to read the extra bounce, attempted a square cut with little room to play the shot and Dhoni took an easy catch.

Left-handed Sharjeel Khan (7) pulled Jasprit Bumrah in the fourth over but was undone by the extra bounce and seam movement as he was caught by Ajinkya Rahane in the first slip.
In the fifth over of the innings and the third bowled by Nehra, India could have made it three had umpire SIS Saikat not bungled with an easy caught behind decision of Khurram Manzoor.
Manzoor tried to play an ambitious dilscoop but only managed a tickle to Dhoni but the Bangladeshi umpire ruled it not out. So much so that Dhoni had a word with umpire.
But as luck would have it, Manzoor (10) was run-out in the very next over in freakish manner. Striker Shoaib Malik tapped one towards short cover and non-striker Manzoor immediately responded by taking a few strides.
But an alert Virat Kohli sprinted and successfully aimed at the stumps at the non-striker s end with Manzoor being hopelessly short of his crease.
Hardik Pandya made it 35 for four when Malik (4) chased a fullish delivery moving away, giving Dhoni his second catch of the match.
It didn’t take much time to make it 35 for five as Yuvraj, introduced in the attack before Ashwin and Jadeja, struck with his first ball. He flighted one that dipped and spun into Umar Akmal (3), who played a half-forward defensive stroke. It was a plumb leg before and umpire did not take much time to raise the dreaded finger.
Skipper Shahid Afridi (2) challenged India’s best fielder Jadeja going for a non-existent second run only to be run-out by a fair two feet distance, leaving Pakistan gasping at 42 for six by the end of 8th over.
At the halfway stage, Pakistan were 47 for six and truly out of the game.

Team India Celebration Indian Team Celebration
Team India Celebration against Pakistan in Asia Cup 2016

Highlight of India Vs Pakistan match:

India: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, M.S. Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah

Pakistan: Khurram Manzoor, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Irfan

Virat Kohli once again lived up to the his image here steering India to an important win against arch-rivals Pakistan in asia cup. Though he couldn’t take India past the target as he fell just before the line but his 49-run knock ensured that India beat Pakistan by 5 wickets with 27 balls to spare. It was a small chase but Mohammad Amir’s sensational spell made it difficult for India as he removed Top-3 of Indian batting line-up for just 8 runs. Earlier, bowlers made sure that India don’t have to chase a big target on such a bowling friendly pitch. Ashish Nehra, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja all bowled well.

What said by whom after match:

VIRAT KOHLI is the Man of the Match:

“It wasn’t an easy wicket to bat, I wasn’t happy with myself in the last game, where I went too hard at the ball, I had to respect the conditions, I made mistakes in the last innings but I dug in this time … I would like to congratulate Mohammad Amir for the way he bowled, I actually congratulated him while he was bowling. It was amazing to play such a spell. Counterattacking is the game I play, that’s why I bat at no.3 but sometimes you have to respect the conditions and play that way. It is very important to be able to change your shot at the last moment in such conditions … you need to be switched on mentally, stay calm and relaxed.”

Indian captain MS Dhoni:

“We are a team that loves to play aggressive cricket but this pushes us to respect the conditions which will be good going into the WT20. I’m glad we restricted them to 85 runs, 100 or 110 runs and the game was on. The fast bowlers did well but even after that we took wickets at regular intervals which is crucial to stop runs in this format … We have to be switched on in the field, that is one department where you can guarantee performance, one run out can take the game away from the opposition.”

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi:

“We have played so much cricket, we should have read the pitch, we did not play according to the pitch, if we lose 4-5 batsmen in the first six overs we can’t score 140 … We had to read the situation, Kohli was an example, and Yuvi …. if we had survived the fast bowlers there wasn’t much turn on the pitch for their spinners ..”

Yuvraj Singh:

“It was tough, the Pakistan bowlers bowled quick, not easy to bat, Virat batted outstandingly and we bowled really well. It was a situation where you had to fight it out and I was happy to spend some time out there. Hopefully next game I will hit the ball better. I stuck out there and did not give my wicket away.”

Playing Eleven(XI) team:

India: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, M.S. Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Ajay Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah

Pakistan: Khurram Manzoor, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Irfan

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