During the Asia Cup 2022, India and Pakistan squared off against one another for the second time, this time in the Super 4s stage held in Dubai on September 4. When these two teams competed against one another in the group round a week ago, India emerged victorious.
After winning the toss, Babar Azam decided to bowl first. Both sides were forced to make several adjustments, and Pakistan was forced to replace the injured Shahnawaz Dahani with Mohammad Hasnain. Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, and Avesh Khan weren’t selected for India’s team and they were replaced by Hardik Pandya, Deepak Hooda, and Ravi Bishnoi. India’s squad also includes Ravi Bishnoi.
During the powerplay, the openers for India, Rohit Sharma, and KL Rahul attacked the Pakistani bowlers. They scored 54 runs together in 5.1 overs before Rohit Sharma was dismissed by Haris Rauf. Sharma scored 28 runs in 16 balls with three fours and two sixes. KL Rahul kept going and smashed 28 runs off of 20 balls, including two sixes and one four.
The momentum then shifted away from India, even though Virat Kohli kept India’s innings together by hitting 60 runs in 44 balls with four fours and one six before being run out in the last over of the game. Suryakumar Yadav made 13, Rishabh Pant made 14, and Hardik Pandya went for a duck. Deepak Hooda scored 16 runs in a cameo appearance. India reached 181 for 7 after 20 overs, thanks in large part to Ravi Bishnoi, who struck two fours off the last two balls.
Spinners Shadab Khan (2/31) and Mohammad Nawaz (1/25) were the key to Pakistan’s success in the middle overs, as they prevented runs from being scored. Hasnain, Rauf, and Naseem each took one wicket during the match.
Mohammad Rizwan continued his dominance at the batting position for Pakistan by scoring his third consecutive fifty runs in the Asia Cup. He reached 71 with 51 balls, hitting six fours and two sixes on the way to his score. The best supporting knock came from Mohammad Nawaz, who hammered 42 runs in 20 balls, which was his best Twenty20 International score to date. Babar Azam contributed 14 runs.
Despite losing key wickets, Khushdil Shah and Asif Ali seemed to be able to lead Pakistan to victory until Bhuvneshwar Kumar let up 19 runs in the 19th over, even though Pakistan needed 26 runs in the final 12 balls of the game.
The contest was decided on the last ball, with five wickets in hand, after a back-and-forth battle that went down to the wire. This result put an end to India’s unbroken record in the Asia Cup event; the Indian team had gone undefeated in both the 2016 and 2018 iterations of the competition, except for one draw.
What did Rohit Sharma say?
In the post-match press conference, Rohit Sharma said: “It’s a high-pressure game we know that. You’ve got to be at it every time. A game like that can take a lot. We were calm even when there was a partnership between Rizwan and Nawaz. But that partnership obviously went a little long and they batted brilliantly. Games like this can bring the best out of them if they deliver. These are the games that can make them.
They’ve done it in the past. There’s a class in the other team as well. And we’re not surprised with that. We understand the pitch gets slightly better in the second innings. It’s good learning for us. I thought it was a good score. Any pitch, any conditions when you get 180 it’s a good score. We got to learn a lot today – what sort of mindset we need to have when defending a score like that.
Like I said you’ve got to give credit to Pakistan. They’ve played better than us. The form is brilliant (talking about Kohli). Needed someone to bat long when the others were getting out. He batted with that tempo as well. Virat getting that score was crucial from the team’s point of view. Wickets of Hardik and Rishabh were not needed at that time. But we want to play with an open mindset. While taking that approach you’ll not always have success.”