COLOMBO - Virat Kohli and KL Rahul’s unbeaten centuries, followed by Kuldeep Yadav’s five-fer led India to a huge 228-run victory over Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2023 Super 4s clash on Monday.
Pakistan had a mountain to climb to book their spot in the final of the Asia Cup 2023 as they were set to chase a mammoth 357 against India. The hosts after getting off to a dismal start, lost wickets at an alarming rate before being bundled out for a paltry 128 in 32 overs and thus India launched their Super 4s campaign with a resounding victory.
Out-of-form opener Fakhar Zaman remained the top-scorer for Pakistan amid their dismal batting show with a scratchy 27 off 50 balls. After Fakhar, Salman Ali Agha and Iftikhar Ahmed could score 23 each, followed by their skipper Babar Azam (10). Besides them, none of their batters could make it to the double figures and Pakistan, consequently, could raise 128-8.
Since, their pacers Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah were not fit to bat, Pakistan were deemed bowled out for a skimpy total. Kuldeep Yadav led the bowling attack for India with a five-wicket haul, which came at the cost of just 25 runs. Hardik Pandya, Shardul Thakur and returning Jasprit Bumrah got one scalp each.
Earlier, Virat Kohli scored a brilliant 122 off 94 balls, laced with nine boundaries and three sixes. He scored his 47th ODI century, second most ODI centuries and completed his 13000 ODI runs, becoming only the fifth player to do so. Meanwhile, KL Rahul made his return to competitive cricket in style after getting injured during the IPL in April-May. He scored 111 runs off 106 balls with the help of 12 boundaries and two sixes. Notably, Pakistan entered the ground without their injured ace fast bowler Haris Rauf and was forced to bowl Iftikhar Ahmed, who gave away 52 runs in 5.2 overs. Shaheen Afridi picked one wicket conceding 79 runs while Shadab Khan picked 1-71.