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Asia Cup 2018: 5 Reasons Why Pakistan Lost To India
- Updated: September 24, 2018
India continued their fine form in the 2018 Asia Cup as they humbled Pakistan by nine wickets in their second Super Four clash at the Dubai international stadium in Dubai. With this win, India qualify for the final of the tournament while Pakistan will have to beat Bangladesh in their last Super Four game to reach the summit clash.
Indian bowlers led by Jasprit Bumrah restricted Pakistan for just 237/7 in their 50 overs after it looked like they will end up scoring in excess of 260. In reply, Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan (114) and Rohit Sharma (111*) sent the Pakistan bowlers on a leather hunt and won the match for India with nine wickets in hand 63 balls to spare.
Let us take a look at the reasons why India beat Pakistan in the Super Four encounter.
Pakistan openers' poor form continues
After choosing to bat first, the Pakistan openers started off slowly and failed to give their team a flying start yet again in the tournament. Coming into the Asia Cup 2018, a lot was expected from the in-form Pakistan openers as they stole the show against Zimbabwe.
But, in the ongoing tournament, they failed to show up as Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq put on just 24 runs for the opening wicket against India before the latter was trapped in front of the stump by Yuzvendra Chahal for 10. Fakhar, on the other hand, crawled his way to a scratchy 31 before Kuldeep trapped him.
Skipper Sarfaraz would have expected a lot from his openers but the duo failed to repay the faith the team management had on them.
Indian spinners' domination
After a dull game against Bangladesh in which they went wicketless, India's wrist spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav were back among the wickets against Pakistan.
Chahal drew the first blood for India as he dismissed Imam-ul-Haq for 10 before Kuldeep joined the part as he sent the other opener Fakhar for 31. Kuldeep returned for his second spell and had Pakistan skipper for 44 and broke the 107-run stand between Malik and Sarfaraz. When Asif Ali was taking on the Indian pacers, Chahal returned for his final spell and castled him for 30.
They finished with figures of 19-0-87-4 while the finger spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Kedar Jadhav remained wicketless.
Jasprit Bumrah's spell
While the Indian spinners took care of the proceedings in the middle overs, pacer Jasprit Bumrah kept the pressure on the Pakistan batsmen at the start of the innings and the death.
Bumrah kept things tight with the new ball and in the death, he showed why he is the best death bowler at the moment as he kept bowling yorkers at will and dismissed a well-set Shoaib Malik for 78 and castled Shadab Khan for 10.
He ended with figures of 10-1-29-2 and helped India restrict Pakistan for just 237.
Indian openers on fire
Yet another match, yet another fantastic batting performance from the Indian openers. After restricting Pakistan for just 237/7, 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 followed up their 45, 86 and 61 runs stand for the opening wicket in the last three matches with a 210-run partnership.
Dhawan took on the bowlers right from the word go while Rohit took some time before taking on the bowlers. Dhawan reached his 15th ODI century off 95 balls and was run out for 114 off just 100 balls while Rohit notched up his 19th ODI century off just 106 balls and remained unbeaten on 111.
Pakistan's sloppy fielding
Pakistan bowlers toiled hard to get the first wicket as the Indian openers kept piling on the runs. They could have easily tasted some success early in the innings had their fielders offered them some support in the field. First, Mohammad Amir almost had Rohit Sharma in the first over but the ball just fell short of Shadab Khan at backward point.
Next, it was Imam-ul-Haq, who denied Shaheen Afridi a wicket. Shaheen deceived Rohit with a slower delivery and the batsman checked his shot. The ball lobbed off Rohit's bat and went straight to Imam at short covers. A fielder cannot ask for an easier catch but the Pakistan opener panicked a bit and dropped it. Rohit was let off when he was on 14.
Rohit was lucky as he survived another chance, this time, it was Fakhar Zaman spilled a straightforward chance off the Indian skipper's bat when he was batting on 81.
Had Imam caught it early in the innings, things could have been different for Pakistan but Rohit went on to score 111* and helped India win the game.