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Asia Cup 2023: Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Kuldeep Yadav Star as India Crush Pakistan by 228 Runs

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India thoroughly dominated Pakistan, across departments, for an impressive win in their Super Four clash of the ongoing Asia Cup 2023 in Colombo on Monday. During a contest that was played across two days thanks to rain interruption, India were a cut above their neighbours.

India recorded a massive 228-run win after setting Pakistan 357 to win the Super Four clash played at the R Premadasa Stadium. Virat Kohli and KL Rahul scored scintillating centuries while Kuldeep Yadav (5/25) starred with a five-wicket haul.

Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah both didn’t come out to bat due to fitness concerns and Pakistan’s innings came to an end on 128/8 in 32 overs.

The win is India’s biggest ever in terms of run-margin over Pakistan, comfortably eclipsing their previous margin of 140 runs set in Mirpur in 2008.

India batters set up a formidable total after being put in to bat first with rain threat looming large before the pacers took the stage to wipe off their top-order that included dismissing captain Babar Azam on 10, the world’s top-ranked ODI batter.

Once the pacers caused the early damage, a red-hot Kuldeep piled on the pressure with some superb spin bowling that capped off India’s domination.

Billed as clash of the tournament, India and Pakistan had earlier crossed swords in a group match which unfortunately didn’t produce a result due to rain.

Fears of rain again spoiling the marquee clash between the two rivals forced the organisers to add a reserve day, a move that proved prophetic as India’s innings was halted after 24.1 overs on Sunday by a heavy downpour.

The contest didn’t resume which meant reserve day came into play.

However, rain continued on Monday and further delayed the resumption by 100 minutes.

Once the contest did start, it was a one-way traffic with India batters Kohli and Rahul hitting scintillating centuries.

Rahul recorded his 6th ODI century while for Kohli it was 47th of his career.

The pair stitched an unbeaten partnership of 233 runs for the third wicket which is the highest for India against Pakistan in ODI history.

It was a forgettable day for the much vaunted Pakistan pace battery that struggled to get going. Pakistan though were handed a blow with pacer Rauf not taking the field as a precautionary measure after complaining of discomfort in his right flank.

They were a bowler short and had to rely on part-timer Ifikhar Ahmed who leaked 52 runs in 5.4 overs. Shaheen Afridi’s left-arm pace lacked the venom it’s known for as he conceded 79 runs in 10 overs for a solitary wicket.

Naseem Shah was the latest fitness setback after he pulled midway out of his over as he left the field holding his hand.

Kohli remained unbeaten on 122 off 94 (nine fours, three sixes) while Rahul scored 111 not out off 106 (12 fours, two sixes).

Pakistan’s chase never got going with Jasprit Bumrah leaving them struggling with pace and swing as he got rid of Imam-ul-Haq on 9 with a peach.

However, the body blow came from Hardik Pandya as his inswinger left Babar Azam stunned to have him bowled on 10.

After the pacers created the early damage, it was the turn of Kuldeep to dazzle and in the space of eight overs, he completed a five-wicket haul to quicken Pakistan’s collapse.

With the win, India have jumped to the top spot in the Super Four points table. However, they will be back on the field in a few hours’ time to take on Sri Lanka in their second game of the stage.

source by : news18

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