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India Inflict 5-wicket Win on Pakistan in Asia Cup Thanks to Spellbinding Bowling

India Inflict 5-wicket Win on Pakistan in Asia Cup Thanks to Spellbinding Bowling

February 29
10:06 2016

indpakNew Delhi, Monday, February 29 – Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka was full of cricket fans to witness a match considered the biggest contest of the Asia Cup 2016 a couple of days ago. The high-octane game was played between India vs. Pakistan.

It was certain that both the teams will leave no stone unturned to acquire better position than each other and to pocket a victory that not only makes them rank up in points’ table but also increase their supremacy. The great show on the field was to start and audience geared up to support their favorite teams by jumping in joy on each breakthrough.

Nothing could ever be perfect for any Indian fan other than to celebrate when the Men in Blue enjoy a thumping win on arch-rival Pakistan. And it was another joyful day for Indians when India inflicted 5-wicket win on their biggest competitor Pakistan on Saturday, February 27. The start was good for India in view of the fact that skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to field first, keeping in mind condition on the pitch and potential of bowling lineup. The team knew that anything more than 150 runs may probably be sufficient to put stress on India as pressure is always up when they have to fight with bat and ball against Pakistan.

The pressure in a match between two teams was at peak and it never goes away at any stage. India Playing XI had Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Ashish Nehra, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya. Pakistan picked best combinations among Mohammad Sami, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Khalid Latif, Sarfraz Ahmed, Khurram Manzoor, Wahab Riaz, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Amir, Umar Akmal, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Nawaz, Sharjeel Khan, Imad Wasim and Iftikhar Ahmed. It was not that pitch at Dakha was not good for batting. Pakistan certainly had big batting lineup but they fumbled.

Mohammad Hafeez (4 runs of 4 balls, 4 x 1) and Sharjeel Khan (7 runs off 5 balls, 4 x 1) came to open Pak’s innings. Nehra enabled India to heave a sigh of relief very early, making experienced Hafeez to leave for the dressing room in the fourth delivery of first over. Bumrah surprised Khan with an amazing delivery. Khurram Manzoor was run out by Kohli post contributing 10 runs in 18 balls that included a four as well. The confusion to run or not helped India get another wicket in a short span of time. Shoaib Malik was caught behind by Dhoni in Pandya’s over at 4 runs that was thanks to a boundary. Umar Akmal’s lbw by Yuvraj at a score of 3 was a true shocker for Pakistan, who felt the heat as five wickets fell for 35.

Sarfraz Ahmed certainly lent a hand to his team to gain foothold to a certain extent with a knock of 25 runs that comprised three boundaries. But he did not get a chance to create a partnership as Shahid Afridi, who houses potential to change the game on his own was run out when Jadeja was quick in collecting the ball and throwing it towards Dhoni, who never makes mistake in hitting the stumps as quickly as possible. Afridi scored 2 runs. India did not strive for wickets at any point and that helped entire team have a grip in the game.

The new batsman on the crease was Wahab Riaz who was given legs before wicket in Jadeja’s over. Off 12 balls, just  4  runs were pocketed by him. Ahmed also fell short to all-rounder Jadeja. Mohammad Sami threw his catch to Raina when Pandya was brought on bowling attack. 8 runs were contributed by him.  Mohammad Amir’s wicket at a single made Pandya do some more celebration. Mohammad Irfan was not out at a zero. Target appeared smaller for the reason that just 83 runs were put on the scoreboard by Pakistan among which 15 runs were extra. The entire team was all out in 17.3 overs.

Required run rate was low but hardly anyone knew that opening duo Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma will get lbw by Amir for a duck. Suresh Raina’s dismissal at 1 run by Amir compelled India have a taste of their own medicine. However, run machine Virat Kohli was not under pressure. He, in fact, lifted it. With Yuvraj, who was not out at 14 runs, he took India close to victory. The young man Kohli was lbw by Sami, falling just 1 run short to pocket a fifty. Hardik Pandya’s wicket for a naught gave Pakistan some relief, which did not last for long as Dhoni played a knock of 7 runs off 3 balls, inclusive of a boundary. India chased the target in 15.3 overs. 14 extras were bowled by India.

Kohli played a king size innings as far as changing conditions of the pitch was concerned. He certainly made players to learn a lot from him when top-order fumbled, turning things absolutely difficult for entire squad. Expectations have soared from India as the contest progresses ahead. Not to forget that India are good in chase and this is the why the possibility of electing to bowl post winning the toss is higher from Dhoni. Without a doubt, India are considered a unit with deep batting lineup but closing the eyes to the fact that they fumble on important occasions is also not possible. There remains 50-50 per cent chance for India and other teams to log triumph. Small target is surely not enough to save the match in limited over game as players aren’t hesitant while hitting big shots.

India cricketers have got to believe in their capabilities. The magic of spin and fast bowling could help India win the cup and come back home with heads held high. Whatever happens in the competition further, it is well known truth that outcome will be remembered for generations to come. India and Sri Lanka will play next game on March 1. Sri Lanka are anticipated to give their best after being defeated by Bangladesh on Sunday with a margin of 23 runs which is huge as far as experience of both teams is taken into consideration.

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