India 164 for two (Rohit 52, Dhawan 46) beat Pakistan 162 (Azam 47, Bhuvneshwar Three-15, Jadhav Three-23) by eight wickets
Sanjay Manjrekar says the blame for Pakistan’s defeat to India lies solely with their poor batting efficiency
Having survived a banana peel against Hong Kong, India got here again with a near-perfect bowling efficiency to register their most snug chase in opposition to arch-rivals Pakistan: with 126 balls remaining. Going by a patch of uninspiring performances, the bowlers returned with an intensive present, exposing Pakistan’s hardly-used center order, which confirmed its lack of expertise of batting by 50-over innings by going for giant pictures each time they had been tied down.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar returned to type after 35.2 wicketless overs in ODIs, and Kedar Jadhav’s return to the facet – that cushion of the sixth bowler – confirmed simply what India missed in England. Between them, they took six wickets; Jadhav’s Three for 23 had been his greatest figures in ODI cricket.
Each the slots – opening bowler and the strain on Hardik Pandya in absence of a sixth bowler – had been issues of concern coming into this match. Bhuvneshwar got here into the match with a median of 48.50 and a strike charge of 61 within the Powerplay overs for the reason that begin of 2017, third-worst numbers amongst those that have bowled 500 Powerplay balls or extra in that interval. Right here, reunited with Jasprit Bumrah who missed the England ODIs with a damaged thumb and was rested within the Asia Cup opener, Bhuvneshwar confirmed the value of his expertise.
Within the first 5 overs, there was not a single free ball bowled. The left-hand openers had been cramped for room, and understanding there was no motion available, the bowlers did not bowl a single drive-able ball. Imam-ul-Haq tried to interrupt the shackles by giving Bhuvneshwar the cost, who shortened the size accordingly to attract an edge. Fakhar Zaman, who scored a sensational hundred in his final match in opposition to India, the Champions Trophy ultimate, wasn’t even given a ball he may decide a single off. Annoyed, he lastly tried to drag however Bhuvneshwar managed to cramp him up, and compelled the highest edge to make it Three for two.
In two swift blows, Bhuvneshwar had taken out two huge threats. One of many remaining batsmen, Shoaib Malik, had scored extra runs and hit extra boundaries than the remainder of the XI put collectively. Captain Sarfraz Ahmed had been known as upon to bat solely ten instances of their final 20 ODIs. Arguably their greatest all-round batsman, Babar Azam accomplished the middle-order core that was now left to bat a majority of the innings earlier than the big-hitting allrounders may take over.
Azam and Malik started promisingly sufficient, including 82 for the third wicket, however even on this partnership dangers needed to be taken. India did not enable them straightforward rotation of the strike. When finally Kuldeep Yadav went previous Azam’s outdoors edge with a beautiful incorrect’un, the sport was opened up as soon as once more. It did not matter that Malik was reprieved twice – as soon as by MS Dhoni after which by Bhuvneshwar within the deep. It did not matter that Hardik Pandya harm himself so badly whereas bowling that he needed to be stretchered off the field. Pakistan’s center order simply crumbled below the strain, with the subsequent 4 wickets falling for simply 25 runs.
Pandya’s substitute, Jadhav, managed to frustrate the batsmen along with his shrewd adjustments of tempo and trajectory earlier than Sarfraz tried to hit him for a six huge of long-on. This time, Pandya’s substitute within the area kicked into motion. Manish Pandey, no stranger to powerful boundary catches, hared throughout to his proper, took the catch, realised he was going to battle to remain within the area of the play, lobbed the ball again in, stepped out and got here again to take it, all of the whereas making it look fairly straightforward.
Malik made the subsequent dismissal look straightforward. Asif Ali, the brand new batsman, refused to acknowledge Malik’s name when the ball had gone to quick third man, however Malik took an age to show, and an extended, round route again, presumably to attempt to deny the fielder a transparent sight of the stumps. In the long run, the circuitous route and the shortage of a dive or perhaps a correct stretch resulted in his wicket.
Then, Jadhav first and the quicks later ran riot to not even let Pakistan bat their allotment of 50 overs. As soon as the goal was that low – 163 – it was clear India weren’t going to wish their allotment themselves. Not with Shikhar Dhawan carrying on from the hundred in opposition to Hong Kong and Rohit Sharma timing every little thing sweetly. Rohit appeared in absolute peach type, hitting three sixes throughout his 52 in an 86-run opening stand. The one disappointment for Rohit would be the return of his legspin troubles from the IPL: he fell to the primary ball from Shadab Khan, a incorrect’un.
Now was not the time for India to fret about these issues. They’d come out unhurt from a potential slippery begin to their Asia Cup marketing campaign, profitable two ODIs in two nights and heading to the Tremendous 4 stage because the leaders of their group. Not that the place modified something for those who certified: all groups play one another within the subsequent stage and carry no bonus factors from the primary spherical.