Persistent rain pushes high-octane Pak-India clash into reserve day

COLOMBO - The eagerly-awaited show­down between Pakistan and India in the ongoing Asia Cup 2023 has been post­poned to the reserve day (Monday), due to persistent rain that led to a water­logged outfield. 

When the heavens opened up, India had charged to a score of 147/2 in 24.1 overs, with KL Rahul (17*) and Vi­rat Kohli (8*) securely sta­tioned at the crease. With no possibility of further action on Sunday, Rahul and Kohli will pick up where they left off during India’s first in­nings on the reserve day, which is today (Monday). 

In the earlier stages of the high-stakes Pakistan- India clash, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill provided India with a blazing start, amassing an impressive 121-run partnership. The duo dominated Pakistan’s bowling attack, including their formidable pace trio of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Ha­ris Rauf, and Naseem Shah. 

Both Gill and Sharma, who had faced difficulties against this trio in the pre­vious Pakistan-India en­counter on September 2, made a remarkable come­back. The pair frustrated the Pakistani bowlers be­fore Shadab Khan finally made a breakthrough in his third over, dismissing Shar­ma shortly after he notched up his half-century. 

Rohit Sharma delighted the spectators with six boundaries and four sixes en route to a brisk 49-ball 56. Meanwhile, Gill, follow­ing his captain’s lead, head­ed back to the pavilion in the following over after being outfoxed by Shaheen Shah Afridi’s slower delivery. Gill managed a 52-ball 58 runs, featuring an impressive tally of 10 boundaries. 

After losing two quick wick­ets, star batsmen Virat Kohli and the returning KL Rahul adopted a cautious approach, building an unbeaten 24- run partnership for the third wicket before the rain inter­rupted the highly anticipated clash. Once the dark clouds dispersed and the rain finally subsided, the umpires con­ducted several field inspec­tions. Ultimately, they decided against resuming play due to the persistently wet outfield. 

Sri Lankan groundsmen made valiant efforts to dry the saturated areas using sponges and fans. However, just when it seemed they had the situation under con­trol, the rain made a come­back, compelling the match to be rescheduled for the reserve day (Monday).

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