The highly awaited match between India vs Pakistan took place on Saturday at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy. The two Asian rivals’ most recent one-day match took place at the 2019 ODI World Cup, where India easily thrashed their neighbours by 89 runs.
However, the Babar Azam-led Pakistani team, which is now ranked as the top international team, looked powerful. Additionally, Pakistan easily trounced Nepal by 238 runs in the opening game of the 2023 Asia Cup because to centuries from captain Babar Azam and opener Iftikhar Ahmed as well as an outstanding bowling performance by all-rounder Shadab Khan.
India scored 266 runs before the skies began to darken, losing all their wickets in 48.5 overs. After India found themselves suffering at 66 for 4 in 14.1 overs, Kishan (82 runs off 81 balls) and Pandya (87 runs off 90 balls) engineered a spectacular 138-run stand for the fifth wicket, defying the odds.
Match As It Went:
Before the game’s rainy finale, both sides put up some excellent displays. The excellent partnership between Kishan and Pandya was encouraging for India, especially after Pakistan’s pacers, Haris Rauf and Afridi, who together early dismissed Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, destabilised India’s top order.
The aggressive batsmen Pandya and Kishan had to adjust to the difficult Pallekele conditions, which included sporadic drizzle and a potent bowling assault. Against Afridi (4 for 35), Naseem Shah, and Rauf (3 for 58), they showed outstanding patience and accuracy in shot selection.
Although there weren’t many chances to score from outside the boundary, Pandya and Kishan still managed to score runs by hitting singles, scoring 50 runs together in just 52 balls. A second ODI century for Kishan was easily possible, but his attempt to pull Rauf ended up in Babar’s hands inside the circle.
Following Kishan’s departure, Pandya regained control of the Indian innings by hitting spinner Nawaz over mid-wicket for a huge six. However, Pandya was about to score his first ODI century until Afridi came back to dismiss him. The left-arm bowler misled Pandya with a slower delivery, and Pandya provided Salman at extra cover with an easy catch.
After Pandya was dismissed, Jasprit Bumrah made some significant contributions that helped India surpass the 250-run threshold. Unfortunately, the match couldn’t continue since steady rain started up again right after India’s innings was through.