India defeated Pakistan by five wickets in a gripping Asia Cup match on Sunday. After holding Pakistan to 147 in 19.5 overs with final stats of 3/25, Hardik Pandya hit 33 off 17 balls, including the decisive six in the finale over bowled by left-arm spinner Mohammed Nawaz.
Contributing with 35 off 29 balls was Ravindra Jadeja. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, a seasoned seamer for India, bowled well, recording 4 for 26. Former captain Virat Kohli scored 35 off 34 balls for India during the chase. With stats of 2/27, Naseem Shah was Pakistan’s best bowler.
Pakistan: 147 all out in 19.5 overs (Mohammed Rizwan 43, Hardik Pandya 3/25, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4/26).
India: 148 in 19.4 overs (Hardik Pandya 33 no off 17 balls, Ravindra Jadeja 35 off 29 balls).
In India’s opening match against Pakistan, Hardik Pandya had an outstanding return to the Asia Cup, taking three wickets in four overs. When the ball bounced, Pandya took advantage of it to take the wickets of Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, and Khushdil Shah, who were all vital players. Pandya’s delivery came just as India was about to enter the final few overs of the game. Moreover, he needed wickets to get rid of Mohammad Rizwan.
While Rizwan mistimed the ball to the third man, Pandya used his short ball to maximum advantage and surprised Ifthikar and Khushdil. Since his Indian Premier League 2022 injury return, the all-rounder has been in fantastic form. Hardik Pandya sustained his injury while competing for India against Pakistan in the 2018 Asia Cup.
The bowler had to wait a long time to regain his previous level of fitness, but once he did in April 2022, he was unbeatable. Pandya captained the Gujarat Titans, who won the IPL and was named man of the match in the tournament’s championship game.