Rohit Sharma, the Indian captain, won the toss and opted to bat first, despite overcast conditions. The Pakistan pace attack got to work immediately; Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah kept the Indian opening pair on their toes, despite a couple of boundaries being leaked. However, with only 4 four overs bowled, rain forced a break, breaking the momentum Rohit Sharma and Shubhman Gill were eying.
Post the rain-break, Shaheen came to his lethal best and got the prized wickets of the Indian captain and then, Virat Kohli in two successive overs. Aided by his fiery pace, and the momentum set by Shaheen and Naseem, Haris Rauf too found success early into his spell by getting Shreyas Iyer and Shubhman out. India found themselves at 66-4, with Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya on the crease. and the need forA rebuilding was required.
A partnership of 138 runs between Ishan and Hardik allowed the stability India was desperate for. Ishan’s 82 and Hardik’s 87 allowed India back in the game, aided by Pakistan’s spin attack, which failed to threaten this the comfortable partnership cultivated in the middle overs. The breakthrough eventually came at the hands of Haris after Pakistan turned back to its pace options. Haris got Ishan out; the partnership effectively brokenWith Haris’ dismissal of Ishan, Pakistan found themselves back in the commanding position.
The Pakistani pace attack rattled the Indian batting line-up thoroughly, with all ten wickets falling to the pacers for the first time in the history of Asia Cup (ODI). By the end of the innings, Shaheen had 4four, while Naseem and Haris had 3 three each, with India bowled out for 266.
Although the game ended in no result, the points shared between India and Pakistan means the latter have effectively qualified for the Super 4 stage. India will need to win against Nepal to qualify.
The fourth game of Asia Cup 2023 will be played between Afghanistan and Bangladesh on 3 September 2023 at the Gaddafi Stadium with the first ball to be bowled at 2:30 pm (PST).
Scores in brief:
India: 266-10 in 48.5 (Hardik Pandya 87, Ishan Kishan 82; Shaheen Shah Afridi 4-35, Naseem Shah 3-36, Haris Rauf 3-58).