Dubai: Hardik Pandya's all-rounder performance under pressure conditions helped India beat arch-rivals Pakistan by five wickets in their first match of the Asia Cup on Sunday. Hardik proved his worth in the first bowling, taking three wickets for 25 runs in four overs, on the basis of which India reduced Pakistan to 147 runs in 19.5 overs. Chasing the target, Hardik scored an unbeaten 33 off 17 balls and shared a 52-run partnership with Ravindra Jadeja (35 off 29 balls) to help India win.
Hardik got the victory by hitting a six in the last over
In the 19th over bowled by Haris Rauf, Pandya's three fours turned the match around. India needed six runs in the last three balls and Hardik hit left-arm spinner, Mohammad Nawaz, for a six with two balls to spare to give India victory. Earlier, India's top-order batsmen disappointed. KL Rahul could not even open the account while captain Rohit Sharma was dismissed after scoring 12 runs in 18 balls.
Virat Kohli scored 35 runs
Virat Kohli scored 35 runs in 34 balls but while moving towards the big innings, he was dismissed after playing an irresponsible shot. Naseem Shah, making his debut for Pakistan, troubled the Indian batsmen a lot. At one point India's score was reduced to 89 for four, after which Jadeja and Pandya took charge. Earlier, on the basis of the brilliant bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Pandya, India dismissed Pakistan for 147 runs.
Rohit Sharma won the toss
Indian captain Rohit won the toss and elected to bowl, which was proved right by the bowlers led by Bhuvneshwar and Hardik. Bhuvneshwar took four wickets for 26 runs in four overs, which included the prized wicket of Pakistani captain Babar Azam (10). At the same time, Hardik took three wickets for 25 runs in four overs and broke the back of the Pakistani middle order. Young fast bowler Arshdeep Singh took two wickets for 33 runs.
PM Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi congratulate the team
Congratulating Team India on the victory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the team displayed tremendous skill and patience. Modi said in a tweet minutes after the victory, 'Team India performed brilliantly in the match of Asia Cup 2022 today. The team displayed tremendous skill and patience. Congratulations to him on the win. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted, 'What an exciting match. Indian team performed brilliantly. The beauty of sports is how they inspire and unite the nation. Feeling of tremendous joy and pride. Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted, 'Great start to the Indian team in the Asia Cup. Very exciting match. Congratulations to the team on this wonderful win.