India once again defeated its arch-rival Pakistan by nine wickets in a Super Fours clash of the 2018 Asia Cup, last evening. This was India’s second win of the tournament against their arch-rivals and ensured they remain the only unbeaten side in the six-nation cup. The victory was achieved on the back of splendid hundreds from Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan.
Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and elected to field. His 44, along with Shoaib Malik’s 78, took Pakistan to 237/7 in 50 overs. In reply, India scored 238/1 in 39.3 overs thanks to Dhawan’s 100-ball 114 and Rohit’s unbeaten 119-ball 111. Rohit Sharma (114) and Shikhar Dhawan (111) scored brilliant centuries and made short work of the 238-run target to help India almost book a spot in the tournament final.
The win is India’s biggest against Pakistan in terms of wickets, improving on the eight-wicket win in Melbourne in 1985. Both the Indian openers have been in tremendous form in the tournament and it was no different on Sunday as they dominated the Pakistan bowlers. The partnership of 210 runs also broke the record for the highest opening stand for India against Pakistan in ODIs. Pakistan had a great chance to dismiss Rohit in the sixth over but Imam-ul-Haq dropped an easy catch off Shaheen Afridi to hand a lifeline to the Indian skipper.
From that moment, there was no turning back as the right-hander dominated proceedings and during the course of his brilliant innings, he became the ninth Indian batsman to complete 7,000 one-day runs in his 187th match, when he reached 94.
Dhawan’s 50 came off 56 balls with a pulled boundary while Rohit took 65 balls to reach the milestone. Rohit and Dhawan both kept attacking the bowlers and at one point, it became a sort of race between the batsmen to see who reaches their century first. Dhawan was the eventual winner as he reached his 15th hundred and celebrated it with a huge six and a boundary before getting run-out for 114.
Rohit, however, was not affected by the fall of the wicket and he had no problems in completing his 19th century. The impressive innings comprised of seven fours and four sixes and thanks to his solid knock, India were able to cruise to a well-deserved victory with 10.3 overs remaining in the encounter.
Earlier, Pakistan scored 237/7 in 50 overs thanks to a fifty from veteran Shoaib Malik and a late cameo from Asif Ali. Malik scored 78 off 90 balls and added 107 runs for the fourth wicket with skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (44 off 66 balls) while Asif Ali slammed one four and two sixes to score 30 off just 21 deliveries.