The India vs Pakistan Super 4 clash in the Asia Cup 2023, billed by the official broadcasters as the ‘Greatest Rivalry’, ended in Rohit Sharma and Co. favour on Monday. Originally a one-day game, rain forced the match to be completed on the reserve day. And, the India vs Pakistan clash ended in a record win for the ‘Men in Blue’. Fiery centuries from Virat Kohli and KL Rahul took India to 356/2. Then Kuldeep Yadav picked a five-wicket haul as Pakistan managed just 128. The 228-run win was India’s biggest in terms of runs against Pakistan.
Kuldeep bagged his second ODI five-for and was the star with the ball. With this mammoth victory, India clinched the top spot in of Asia Cup 2023 Super 4s table.
Former Indian cricket team star Gautam Gambhir praised Kuldeep Yadav after the game as he analysed the individual performances. “Can’t look beyond Kuldeep Yadav. Yes, Virat Kohli has got a 100, KL Rahul got a 100, Rohit Sharma got a 50, Shubman Gill got a 50. On a wicket like this where it was swinging, seaming, if someone can get five wicket in seven overs, it’s brilliant. More importantly, I was surprised that Pakistan batters, who traditionally play spin really well, could not pick Kuldeep from his hand.
“I can understand if it was Australia, South Africa or new Zealand. They don’t play wrist spin that well. It just show the quality of the bowler. He has beaten people in the air. And he has beaten people off the wicket as well. That is something good for Indian cricket.”
Talking about the match, India posted an imposing 356 for 2, as Kohli (122 not out off 94 balls) and Rahul (111 not out off 106 balls), which was his sixth ODI hundred, pummeled a hapless Pakistan, whose chase ended at 128 for 8 as Kuldeep Yadav (5/25) scythed through them.
On the century count in ODIs, Kohli now stands just two behind Sachin Tendulkar’s record 49.
Once India restarted the day from 147 for 2 in 24.1 overs, they needed Kohli and Rahul, the two overnight batters, to go big, and they did that in some style.
Along with Rahul, Kohli amassed 233 runs for the unbeaten third wicket stand – the highest ODI partnership for India against Pakistan.
En route to his 77th international century, Kohli also added some personal milestones to an already long list, becoming the fastest batsman to 13000 ODI runs and scoring his fourth ton in as many innings at the R Premadasa Stadium.
Kohli is only the second batter to achieve the feat of scoring four successive hundreds at a venue after South Africa’s Hashim Amla, who made this sequence at Centurion.
However, Rahul’s hundred was equally important from a team’s perspective.
With PTI inputs
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