Pallekele (Sri Lanka), Sep 2 (IANS) The India-Pakistan Group A match in the Asia Cup at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium has been called off due to persistent rain on Saturday. Both India and Pakistan will take one point each from the washed-out fixture.
As a result, Pakistan have qualified for the Super Four stage of the competition, making the India-Nepal match at the same venue on Monday a must-win for Rohit Sharma & Co to enter the next phase of the competition.
According to weather.com, there was an 84 percent chance of thunderstorms and an 80 percent chance of rain during the match on Saturday. Though rain came before the start of the game, it cleared up in time for the toss, before causing interruptions twice in India’s innings.
But once India’s innings was over at 266 in 48.5 overs, the rain came back, this time with greater force, forcing the ground to be fully covered. With an inspection at 9 pm local time and a cut-off time at 10:27 pm, the inevitable happened when handshakes happened all around, implying that the match was called off as rain had the final say.
In the match, Hardik Pandya made 87 off 90 balls while Ishan Kishan slammed 82 off 81 deliveries as the duo helped India overcome a top-order collapse and make 266 in 48.5 overs.
Under challenging conditions, India were reduced to 66/4, before Kishan and Pandya stepped up in a pressure situation to stitch an important 138-run partnership.
While Kishan mixed sensibility with aggression, Pandya was calmness personified and upped the ante after the wicketkeeper-batter fell. For Pakistan, pacers Shaheen Shah Afridi (4-35), Naseem Shah (3-36) and Haris Rauf (3-58) were among the wicket-takers.
Pakistan’s spinners and fielders weren’t up to the mark in an action-packed India innings. Just when it felt the game would drift away, the pacers triggered another collapse as India went from 239-5 to 266 all out, before rain arrived to play spoilsport.
India 266 all out in 48.5 overs (Hardik Pandya 87, Ishan Kishan 82; Shaheen Shah Afridi 4-35, Naseem Shah 3-36) against Pakistan