COLOMBO – India produced a clinical performance to beat their arch-rivals Pakistan by a record 228 runs in their 2023 Asia Cup 50-Overs Cricket Tournament rain-hit Super Four match played at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Monday.
Pakistan were skittle out for just 128 runs in 32 overs on the reserve day of this match after India had amassed a massive 356 for two wickets after they were put into bat on Sunday.
Pakistan never looked like at last getting closer to their target as Kuldeep Yadav ran through the innings with a splendid five-wicket haul giving India their biggest win over Pakistan in terms of runs.
Earlier, two unbeaten centuries from Virat Kohli and Lokesh Rahul helped India pile up a massive 356 for two wickets from their allotted 50 overs.
India resumed their innings on the reserve day at 147 for two in 24.1 overs and they produced a magnificent batting display to smash 209 runs from the balance 25.5 overs with Kohli and Rahul leading the way.
Pakistan, of course, suffered a severe blow even before the commencement of the innings as their key bowler Haris Rauf was rested as a precautionary measure after he felt a discomfort in his right flank on Sunday.
With Pakistan short of a bowler, India exploited the situation to good advantage as they went on the rampage while collecting runs at a brisk rate.
Kohli also reached a significant milestone during his majestic innings as he completed 13,000 runs in One Day Internationals while playing in his 278th match for his country.
After a slow start to their innings, Kohli and Rahul accelerated the scoring rate and brought up their century partnership for the third wicket in 101 balls and posted the 200-run stand from just 179 deliveries.
In all, India hammered 37 boundaries and nine sixes as the Pakistan bowlers were taken to the cleaners with Shaheen Afridi, Faheem Ashraf and Shadab Khan all conceding more than 70 runs from their 10 overs.
Kohli completed his half century from 55 balls but thereafter, he moved into top gear and reached his hundred from just 84 balls inclusive of two sixes and six boundaries.
Rahul took 60 balls to reach his fifty, but he went on to complete a run-a-ball century studded with two sixes and 10 boundaries.
India: 356/2 in 50 overs (Rohit Sharma 56, Shubman Gill 58, Virat Kohli 122 n.o, Lokesh Rahul 111 n.o)
Pakistan: 128 in 32 overs (Fakhar Zaman 27, Agha Salman 23, Iftikhar Ahmed 23, Kuldeep Yadav 5/25).
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