India handed a 267-run target before being bowled out by Pakistan on Saturday, as the bowlers bring the national side back in the most awaited Asia Cup 2023 clash being played in Kandy.
Earlier, Pakistan regained momentum as the pacers gave three consecutive blows to the arch-rivals.
After Pakistani pacers dismissed four key batters early on Saturday, the Indian middle-order fought back and managed to score above 130 by the 27th over.
However, the Pakistan pacers struck again and gave three consecutive blows to the Men in Green. The lethal bowling spell brought the team back into the game at a crucial point.
Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf each picked three wickets, while the last two dismissals Shardul Thakur and Kuldeep Yadav came from Naseem Shah.
Earlier, much to the disappointment of cricket fans everywhere, a rain spell played spoilsport twice during the India-Pakistan match.
The star seamers of Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf, ripped through the Indian top-order after Rohit Sharma decided to bat first. However, Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya keep the scorecard ticking for their side.
The high-octane match promises to be a thrilling battle between the Pakistani pacers and Indian batters.
However, the fears that rain may disrupt the game materialised as the match was halted first in the fourth over, with India already having made 15 runs.
The match was interrupted, once again, when India were 51-3 during the 11th over.
Read more: ICC Test rankings: Babar Azam, Travis Head close in on top spot
However, the game was resumed soon after.
It must be noted that Pakistan began their Asia Cup 2023 campaign on a high note with a massive 238-run win over Nepal on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, this is India’s first match in the tournament.
Earlier, India won the toss and opted to bat first, and Indian captain Rohit Sharma said: “There is a bit of weather around but we cannot think about it too much.”
“Embrace the challenge, embrace the situation. We had a six-day camp in Bangalore where we worked on our skills,” Sharma said.
“The Asia Cup is a quality tournament with quality teams. At the end of the day, we need to think about what we can do here.
“Since the last ODI series we played in the West Indies, we have got a few additions: Shreyas and Bumrah are back. Shardul is there. Hardik, of course. And Shardul is there. And two spinners in Kuldeep and Jadeja.”
Babar, on the other hand, said: “To be honest, we also wanted to bat first.”
“We have played a lot of cricket here in the last one and a half month, so we know the conditions.”
India have the upper hand against Pakistan with seven wins in 13 Asia Cup (ODI) matches. Meanwhile, Pakistan have won five with one match ending in no result.
Pakistan have also lost four of the last five matches against India in the Asia Cup, with their last win coming in Mirpur in 2014.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain) Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf.
India: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan (wk), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah.