June 16, 2024

India pulled off a perfectly complete performance against the top-ranked ODI team Pakistan to record a whopping 228-run victory

India vs Pakistan Asia Cup 2023: IND Beat PAK by 228 Runs to Register Highest Ever Win by Margin

India pulled off a perfectly complete performance against the top-ranked ODI team to record a whopping 228-run victory in the rain-hit fixture on Sunday and Monday in Colombo. KL Rahul and Virat Kohli slammed centuries after which the pacers made life hell for the top-order and Kuldeep Yadav wrapped up the win with a five-wicket haul. This is India’s biggest ODI victory over Pakistan in terms of runs.

The two-day affair was taken a few notches higher on the second, when Rahul and Kohli got hundreds and stitched together the highest ODI partnership for India against Pakistan – worth 233 runs – to pile on the misery on an opposition that had to work with a bowler short. Haris Rauf was off bowling duty as a precautionary measure after scans revealed an inflammation in his oblique muscle.

Babar Azam had to turn to Iftikhar Ahmed’s part-time spin to cover for the five overs that Rauf couldn’t bowl and the Indian duo duly capitalised on it. None of the Pakistan bowlers came close to making a breakthrough, and regressed further as the innings went on as both Rahul and Kohli began to score more freely. The pair hit 92 off the last eight overs to propel India to a humongous 356/2 in 50 overs.

Right after the batters were done flaunting their skills and abilities, India’s quicks took centrestage. Both Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj made the Pakistan openers hop and jump at the crease as they got the ball to nip both ways. Pakistan captain Babar Azam – and the No.1 ODI batter in the world currently – was made to look inferior to those standards by Bumrah as he kept chasing at balls that swung away and beat the outside edge repeatedly.

Imam-Ul-Haq fell in the fifth over, playing for the inward angle from Bumrah bowling round the stumps but was squared up and nicked the ball that straightened instead. Fakhar Zaman faced similar woes, against Mohammed Siraj, who switched seamlessly between balls that were angled across the left-hander and those that went straight from the middle-stump line. Such was India’s accuracy with the ball that it took until 8.2 overs in the chase for Babar to get off the mark. Zaman, like his captain, was also struggling to put bat to ball, and runs on the scoreboard.

Babar found his way past two fiery five-over spells from Bumrah and Siraj, only to be completely flummoxed by a sharp nipbacker from Hardik Pandya in the 11th over. Pandya presented a wobbly seam and got the ball to dart in sharply, cut Babar in half and hit the stumps. By the end of that over, showers forced teams off the field and kept them for a little over an hour. However, play resumed without any loss of overs and India continued from where they left off. Shardul Thakur replicated Hardik Pandya’s first-over success by squaring up Mohammad Rizwan, who nicked the ball to KL Rahul, who took over keeping duties from Ishan Kishan early in the chase. Hardik and Thakur probed further, making life uncomfortable for Zaman and new batter Agha Salman before Kuldeep Yadav dismantled Pakistan’s chase for good.

In just his second over, Kuldeep had his first wicket when Zaman let the pressure of the ticking asking rate get to him and went for a wild swing which he missed and got bowled. Pakistan added just 51 runs after that dismissal as Kuldeep ran riot. Agha Salman, who was looking to be proactive against the spinner with the use of the sweep shot perished with it as he was trapped leg before. Salman took a review back with him. Shadab Khan was next, lured into a big shot with a tossed up delivery, but could only hit it as far as Shardul Thakur at long-on.

Kuldeep’s fourth was a bit of a gift as Iftikhar Ahmed hit a long-hop straight back to the bowler, before Faheem Ashraf was cleaned up off a wrong ‘un. The game ended with 128 for 8 in 32 overs as Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah had suffered injuries during India’s innings and did not come out to bat.

Brief Scores: India 356/2 in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 122, KL Rahul 111, Shubman Gill 58, Rohit Sharma 56; Shaheen Afridi 1-79, Shadab Khan 1-71) beat Pakistan 128 in 32 overs (Fakhar Zaman 27; Kuldeep Yadav 5-25) by 228 runs.CB



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