IND vs PAK: Pakistan pacer Shaheen Afridi was in tremendous form during the blockbuster Asia Cup 2023 match between India and Pakistan on Saturday (September 2). The left-arm pacer bagged four big wickets for Pakistan as he dismissed both senior Indian batters Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli before returning for yet another fiery spell and dismissing Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya. After the match, Shaheen was asked to pick his favourite wicket and although he asserted that wickets of both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were crucial, he ended up choosing Rohit’s wicket as his favorite wicket in the match.
“That was our plan with the new ball. I think both (Virat and Rohit) were crucial wickets, every batter is the same for me. But I think I liked Rohit’s wicket better. The plans by our fast bowlers worked. Naseem is bowling at 150 kph, really happy with that, he’s really fast. The new ball might swing and seam, but nothing much after that. It will be easier to score runs once the ball gets old (in the run chase),” Shaheen Shah Afridi said during a post-innings presentation.
Coming to Ind vs Pak Asia Cup 2023 match, after Pakistan’s pace attack dismantled team India’s top order, Ishan Kishan’s hard-fought 82 and Hardik Pandya’s blinding batting display helped the Men in Blue post a respectable 266 at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
The solid century partnership (138 off 140 balls) between Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya laid the foundation for India’s 266-run total after they opted to bat first. Shaheen Shah Afridi-led pace attack turned out to be too good for India as Pakistan restricted Rohit Sharma & Co. for 266 in 48.5 overs.
‘Wrecker-in-chief’ Shaheen Shah Afridi was the pick of Pakistani bowlers as he rattled India’s top order by dismissing Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, and Ravindra Jadeja. Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah bagged three-wicket hauls each. The match eventually had to be called off due to rain, without a ball being bowled in the second innings.