Thanks to another clinical performance, India remain unbeaten in the Asia Cup 2018 after a second victory over Pakistan in Dubai on Sunday night. Chasing 238 to win, thanks to two subline hundreds by Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, India reached the target with more 10.3 overs and nine wickets to spare. In fact, the entire Pakistan bowling attack failed to take a single wicket as the breakthrough they got came in the form of a run-out.
Earlier, winning the toss and batting first Pakistan lost early wickets and tottering at 58 for 3 in the 16th over. But skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, who promoted himself at No. 4 along with old fox Shoaib Malik steadied the ship with a 107-run fourth wicket stand. However, once they got Pakistan going, once again lost the plot and finished with at least 20-30 runs short of what they had initially aimed for.
Indian death bowling was exceptional, especially Bumrah who gave away just 29 runs in his 10 overs and took two wickets as well. Along with him, the wrist-spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep took two wickets each.
However, during the break, it seemed Pakistan had something to bowl at. But Indian opening pair of Dhawan and Rohit just made the mockery of the total. Pakistan had their chance initially when Rohit miscued a drive straight to Imam Ul Haq at the cover region. But he failed to grab that easy opportunity. The batsman was just 14 at that stage. From there he went on to score his 22nd ODI hundred and remained unbeaten in the end. Dhawan, meanwhile, scored his 15th ODI ton.
The pair shared a record 210-run opening partnership and did not allow Pakistan any sniff of a comeback in the match. Dhawan was the only wicket to fall for India that too because of a run-out. This shows the dominance of the pair during the run-chase.
With this victory, India have already booked their spot in the final as in the other game on Sunday Bangladesh beat Afghanistan in a nail-biting finish. India’s final ‘Super four’ match will be against Afghanistan on 25 September in Dubai. This will be Afghanistan’s first appearance at the Dubai International Stadium since their full member status in world cricket. Whereas Pakistan will take on Bangladesh in Abu Dhabi in a must-win game for both on 26 September.