Pallekele: The much-anticipated Asia Cup Group A opener between arch-rivals India and Pakistan faced interruptions due to rain, leaving the match hanging in the balance as both teams battled it out on a damp pitch.
India found themselves in a challenging position, standing at 51/3 in 11.2 overs, when the heavens opened up for the second time, causing the play to be halted. Captain Rohit Sharma, who opted to bat after winning the toss, was dismissed for just 11 runs after a brilliant delivery by Shaheen Afridi. Virat Kohli followed suit, playing onto the stumps off Afridi’s bowling, adding only 4 runs to the scoreboard.
Shreyas Iyer managed to contribute 14 runs before Haris Rauf sent him back to the pavilion, with India’s total at 48. The responsibility of resurrecting the innings rested on the shoulders of opener Shubman Gill (6) and Ishan Kishan (2), who were unbeaten at the crease when the rain forced the players off the field.
Earlier in the day, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma decided to bat first, putting faith in his team’s ability to post a competitive total. The Indian playing XI featured Jasprit Bumrah and Shreyas Iyer, with a focus on a well-rounded squad that included three all-rounders: Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, and Shardul Thakur.
Meanwhile, Pakistan stuck with the same XI that had dominated Nepal, winning by a staggering margin of 238 runs in their opening game. The clash between these two cricketing giants holds immense significance, as the top two teams from the group will progress to the Super Four stage of the tournament.
The teams for the match were as follows:
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf
India: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan (wk), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj