India rode on brilliant centuries from stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan to register a comfortable nine-wicket win over Pakistan in their second Super Four tie of the ongoing Asia Cup on Sunday. Also Read - Virat Kohli Doing Fantastic Job as Captain: VVS Laxman Feels There's no Need to Replace India Skipper With Rohit Sharma
Chasing a target of 238, Rohit (111 no off 119 balls) and Dhawan (114 off 100 balls) flayed the Pakistan attack adding 210 runs for the opening stand to seal their second lopsided victory in the tournament in only 39.3 overs. The victory also made sure India secured a spot in the finals. It was Rohit’s third successive fifty 50 plus score in the tournament with the sequence being 52, 83 no and 111 no. Dhawan’s is even more impressive with 127, 46, 40 and 114. Also Read - Shikhar Dhawan Birthday: Virender Sehwag Wishes India Opener in Unique Style Ahead of 2nd T20I vs Australia
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One of the most fearsome opening pairs in ODI format, Rohit-Dhawan combination were helped by some ordinary bowling from Pakistan with equally sloppy fielding compounding their woes. Their understanding in 22 yards is exemplary and as Dhawan teed off with a flurry of boundaries, Rohit was ready to hold one end up.
“With Shikhar, I don’t need to talk much. It’s important to let him be himself. We have batted enough to know each other to start off like that and we clearly know our roles. We always knew that the new batsman will find it difficult to keep going straightaway and Shikhar and I knew it,” said Rohit in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Earlier, Pakistan produced an improved batting performance, led by India’s nemesis Shoaib Malik, scoring 237 for 7 in 50 overs. Veteran Malik scored 78 off 90 balls and added an invaluable 107 runs for the fourth wicket with skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (44 off 66 balls) to enable Pakistan post a fighting total.
The Pakistan innings could be segregated into three distinct parts. A slow start where India made inroads followed by solid middle-overs batting before failing to utilise the launch pad fully with Jasprit Bumrah (2/29 in 10 overs) being brilliant at the death.
The Indian skipper credited the bowlers for their exemplary performance and said, “The entire bowling unit stuck to their task and hats off to them. Repeated performances are challenging in these conditions and once again I don’t want to take any credit from the bowlers.”
The Men in Blue will now take on Afghanistan in their final Super Four game on Tuesday before the finals to be played on September 28.
(With PTI inputs)