DHAKA: India won their match against Pakistan on Sunday as in-form star batsman Virat Kohli single handedly spearheaded his team’s mammoth 329 run chase in the Asia Cup match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka.
Team India finished the match at 330 for the loss of four wickets, with captain MS Dhoni scoring the winning run with a boundary. Losing to Bangladesh in their previous match, today’s match was crucial for India as they played to keep their hopes alive for a place in the final.
Leading from the front, Kohli scored 183 runs (148 balls) with Rohit Sharma providing a pivotal role, scoring 68 (83 balls). Losing Gautam Gambhir’s wicket early on, Sachin Tendulkar scored a half century before Saeed Ajmal took his wicket.
Pakistani bowlers, including Saeed Ajmal, who is touted as the world’s best spinner, were not able to contain Kohli’s onslaught. Ajmal managed to take only one wicket in the match.
The pick of the bowlers for Pakistan was Umar Gul, taking two wickets for 65 runs.
Earlier in the first innings, Nasir Jamshed and Mohammad Hafeez cracked solid centuries to help Pakistan score 329-6.
Left-handed Jamshed smashed a 104-ball 112 for his maiden one-day century and Hafeez a 113-ball 105 for his fourth hundred to boost their team’s hopes of posting a third successive win.
The pair put their team on course for a big total with a 224-run stand, Pakistan’s best for the opening wicket against India in one-day internationals.
The day-night match is the first between the two teams since the high-profile World Cup semi-final at Mohali last March, which India won on their way to clinch the showpiece title.
Jamshed and Hafeez dominated the Indian attack, playing attractive shots during their 35.5-over stand to help their team maintain an impressive run-rate from the beginning.
Pakistan scored 73 in the last 10 overs, with Younis Khan hitting a 34-ball 52 with the help of six fours before falling to a superb one-handed catch by Suresh Raina in the covers off paceman Praveen Kumar.
Shahid Afridi (nine) completed 7,000 one-day runs before being caught by Virat Kohli off Irfan Pathan.
Hafeez was the first to complete his century, pushing Kumar to mid-off for a single. He struck one six and nine fours before being trapped leg-before by seamer Ashok Dinda.
Jamshed reached the century in Kumar’s next over with a single and then hit the bowler for a six. He also cracked 10 fours.
India, who failed to defend 289 in their last match against Bangladesh on Friday, again put in a below-par performance as none of their bowlers could keep pressure on the Pakistani openers.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni used eight bowlers, including part-time spinner Sachin Tendulkar who bowled just 10 deliveries before he was injured attempting to hold a return catch off Jamshed when the batsman was on 69.
Pakistan broke its record of highest opening partnership against India after making 175 runs at 29 overs. The previous record of highest opening partnership was made by Amir Sohail and Saeed Anwar with 144 runs in 1996.
Pakistan have posted two victories in the tournament, while India and Bangladesh have one win after two matches. Sri Lanka have lost both of their games.
Pakistan: Misbahul-Haq (capt), Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Younis Khan, Umar Akmal, Hammad Azam, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Aizaz Cheema, Wahab Riaz.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Ashok Dinda.
Umpires: Steve Davis (AUS) and Ian Gould (ENG)
TV umpire: Sharfuddoula Shahid (BAN)
Match referee: David Boon (AUS)