DUBAI: Hardik Pandya hit an unbeaten 33 as India beat Pakistan by five wickets in a hard-fought Asia Cup Twenty20 international on Sunday.
Chasing 148 for victory, Ravindra Jadeja, who hit 35, and Pandya put on a key fifth-wicket stand of 52 as India reached their target with two balls to spare in Dubai.
Pace bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Pandya shared seven wickets to set up victory for India in their opening match of the six-nation tournament after they bowled out Pakistan for 147.
Earlier, Pacer Naseem Shah gave Pakistan another breakthrough in the 15th over and claimed the wicket of Suryakumar Yadav as he started to look dangerous with Ravindra Jadeja in the Asia Cup 2022 match against Pakistan on Sunday.
The Blue Shirts have lost 4 wickets in 15 overs so far chasing a target of 148.
Earlier, pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya shared seven wickets between them as India bowled out Pakistan for 147 in the crunch match today.
Mohammad Rizwan attempted to set the pace for Pakistan with his 43 after early wickets, but the Indian bowlers kept coming back at a packed Dubai International Stadium.
Kumar set the tone for India’s dominance as he dismissed skipper Babar Azam for 10 in the second over and returned figures of 4-26.
Pandya rattled Pakistan’s middle-order with his three wickets.
India elected to field first and Kumar nearly trapped Rizwan lbw with the second ball, but the wicketkeeper-batsman successfully reviewed the decision.
The in-form Azam began with a boundary in the first over but his stay was short-lived as Kumar had him caught at short fine-leg off a short ball.
Rizwan attempted to rebuild the innings with the left-handed Fakhar Zaman as the two struck a few boundaries between them.
Pace bowler Avesh Khan responded after getting hit for a six and four by Rizwan, inducing a faint edge behind from Fakhar (10) to bring alive the Indian crowd.
Indian fielders did not appeal and only celebrated after Fakhar walked off much to the surprise of his partner.
Rizwan then got going with Iftikhar Ahmed in a 45-run stand that was broken by Pandya with a bouncer that saw Iftikhar caught behind for 28.
Pandya struck again to deny Rizwan his fifty and soon got another to further restrict Pakistan.
Kumar took two wickets in two balls in the penultimate over but was denied a hat-trick by number 11 Shahnawaz Dahani.
Dahani smashed two sixes in his six-ball 16 before being bowled by left-arm medium-pace bowler Arshdeep Singh, who took two wickets.
India, who lost their previous match to Pakistan by 10 wickets in last year’s T20 World Cup, need 148 to win in what is Virat Kohli’s 100th T20 international.
Earlier, India won the toss against Pakistan and chose to bowl first in the second match of the Asia Cup 2022 on Sunday.
The much-anticipated game between arch-rivals Pakistan and India in the T20 Asia Cup 2022 is taking place at the Dubai Cricket Stadium in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The match began at 7pm (PST), with the teams all set to face each other in the mega cricketing event.
Pakistan has batting powerhouses like captain Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Khushdil Shah, Asif Ali and Hyder Ali, while Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz will also showcase their bowling skills and their batting as well.
Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, and Shahnawaz Dahani have joined the playing eleven as fast bowlers.
The Indian side features big names like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul aided by talented pacers and spinners.
Two main bowlers of the two sides — Shaheen Shah Afridi and Jasprit Bumrah — are not available for this match and are being missed by cricket fans.
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