IND vs PAK: Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan’s Partnership Helps India Post 266 Against Pakistan

India have managed to post 270/8 after winning the toss and electing to bat first in their Asia Cup 2023 opener at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Saturday (September 2). In an innings which saw a couple of rain-interruptions, India lost early wickets and also saw a late collapse but a 138-run fifth wicket partnership between Hardik Pandya (87) and Ishan Kishan (82) helped India post 266. However, the team couldn’t bat out their 50 overs as they were bowled out in 48.5 overs.

It was the famed Pakistani pace trio putting on a show in Kandy as they shared all the 10 Pakistani wickets to fall. The leader of the pace attack was Shaheen Afridi who picked up the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in successive overs to jolt India early on and later returned with the old ball to remove Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja in the same over.

Perhaps just one phase of the game was dominated entirely by India which was when Kishan counterattacking approach meant Babar Azam turned to spin against whom the Indian batters looked comfortable. India did not lose any wicket to the spinners and scored runs with ease. However, they couldn’t quite capitalise on the recovery as at one stage where they looked set to go past 300, they eventually couldn’t even manage 270.

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Haris Rauf was a bit expensive but ended up with figures of 3/58 in his 9 overs, getting rid of a dangerous looking Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill before breaking the century stand between Kishan and Pandya. Naseem Shah, meanwhile, also chipped in with 3 wickets for 36 runs in a brilliant show of speed and accuracy.

In the end, it was really the cameo from Jasprit Bumrah worth 16 runs that proved more than useful for India to add some runs to their total. Bumrah will have a major role to play as India look to defend the total in Pallekele and get their Asia Cup campaign off to a winning start.

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