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Asia Cup 2018: 4 reasons why India beat Pakistan
- Updated: September 19, 2018
India beat arch-rivals Pakistan comfortably by eight wickets in their second Group A clash at the Dubai international stadium in Dubai. With this win, India topped Group A and qualified to the Super Four stage along with Pakistan.
Coming into this game, both the teams had already booked their place in the Super Four and India, after registering the win, will get a lot of confidence going into the second round. After choosing to bat first, Pakistan were off to a bad start as they lost openers early. The middle-order tried to pull things back before a batting collapse ensured that they were dismissed for just 162 on a wicket that was good for batting.
Chasing a modest total of 163, the Indian batsmen made a small work of Pakistan bowling and eased their way to an eight-wicket win.
Let us take a look at five reasons why India beat Pakistan
#4 Bhuvneshwar Kumar's early burst
Bhuvneshwar was completely off-colour against Hong Kong as he looked far from his best in his return to international cricket after missing the action for almost two months. But, Bhuvneshwar showed what he is capable of against Pakistan as he set the tone for India's victory.
He started the game on a great note as he had in-form opener Imam-ul-Haq caught behind for 2 before he came back and dismissed Fakhar Zaman, the man who won the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy for Pakistan, for a nine-ball duck. He was fantastic with the ball as he kept things really tight and was complemented well by Jasprit Bumrah.
He returned to send back Hasan Ali for just 1 towards the end of Pakistan innings and finished with figures of 3/15 in seven overs.
#3 Kedar Jadhav, the surprise package
Shoaib Malik and Babar Azam were playing Hardik Pandya with ease and that's when the all-rounder was carried off the field in a stretcher after suffering a back injury. His absence led Rohit Sharma to move to Kedar Jadhav for the completion of Hardik's quota and the off-spinner grabbed this chance with both his hands and almost finished his quota of 10 overs.
First, he had Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed caught by Manish Pandey at long-on for 6 before having Asif Ali caught behind by MS Dhoni for 9. He added one more to his kitty as he had Shadab Khan stumped for 8 and finished with figures of 3/23 from his nine overs. The Pakistan batsmen were complacent against Kedar and didn't have any clue against his deliveries as he has various release points for different deliveries.
#2 Pakistan batsmen throwing away their wickets
Yes, it was a fantastic bowling effort from the Indian bowlers but at the same time, the Pakistan batsmen should blame themselves for throwing their wickets away. After being reduced to 3/2, Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik pulled things back with an 82-run partnership.
After Babar was castled by Kuldeep, wickets fell like nine pins and Pakistan were bundled out for just 162. Sarfaraz Ahmed went for an expensive shot at a time when he should have given some support to Malik, who himself was run out in a casual manner after failing to drag his bat into the crease.
Asif Ali and Shadab were playing carelessly as they gave away their wicket to Kedar. With nothing on the wicket for the bowlers, the Pakistan batsmen just gifted away their wickets and helped India restrict them for a below-par total.
#1 Indian openers on fire
After restricting Pakistan, the pressure was always on the Indian openers to get their team off to a good start as a couple of early wickets will make things difficult for their fragile middle order.
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan showed why are the best opening combination right now as they put on an 86-run stand for the opening wicket. Rohit, who is often troubled by the left-arm seamers, played sensibly as he saw off Mohammad Amir and Usman Khan at the start before he sent them on a leather hunt later in their first spell.
Dhawan, on the other hand, started off slowly and played the second fiddle to Rohit, who was castled by Shadab Khan for a sublime 52 off 36 balls. He was severe against all the fast bowlers as he hit six boundaries and three huge sixes in his knock.
Dhawan, on the other hand, started off slowly before getting into his groove. While he was looking good for yet another fifty, he smashed the ball straight into Babar Azam's hands and was dismissed for 46.