Mirpur: Virat Kohli (49) negotiated a threatening Mohammad Amir spell to power India to five-wicket victory at the Shere Bangla Stadium in Bangladesh on Saturday.
After Indian bowlers bundled out Pakistan for 83, the win seemed a mere formality. But Mohammad Amir’s breathtaking display with the ball derailed Indian hopes for a while before Kohli took charge of the proceedings.
The young Pakistani pacer, who recently made a comeback to the national team after serving ban, was at his peak as he scalped three wickets in his four over spell. However, that turned out to be too little too late as India eventually won the match with 27 balls to spare.
Earlier, Indian bowlers offered Pakistan no respite. While Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah kept Pakistan's run-rate in check with early strikes, Hardik Pandya scalped three wickets to help India bundle out Pakistan for a paltry total for 83.
Ravindra Jadeja, who dismissed two wickets, was a like a rabbit in the field as his rocket from the deep sent Shahid Afridi packing.
15.3 overs, India 84/5 (Kohli 49, Yuvraj 14*)
15th over, IND 80/5
Sami's double strike! Virat Kohli just could not control his smile after umpire wrongly adjudged him out. Sami struck for the second time in that over to dismiss Hardik Pandya.
14th over, IND 76/3
Kohli is class! Virat Kohli conducted a tutorial on how to bat against some unbelievable spell of bowling
13th over, IND 69/3
No hurry! India dealt in singles as they moved closer to victory.
12th over, IND 63/3
No trouble! India don't need to score quick and Yuvraj is making most of the chance to spend some time in the middle.
11th over, IND 58/3
Absolutely no drama! Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli negotiate another over from Wahab Riaz with no trouble.
10th over, IND 53/3
India in control! No free runs but India managed to keep troubles at bay.
9th over, IND 50/3
India break the shackles! Wahab Riaz conceded three boundaries to help India get out of the jail.
8th over, IND 35/3
Kohli fights on! Edge but no chance for a fielder in the slip cordon to catch that one.
7th over, IND 29/3
End of sensational spell! Mohammad Amir's breathtaking bowling spell came to an end. 4 overs, three wickets for 18.
6th over, IND 21/3
Yuvraj not getting anything! Mohammad Irfan would have scalped at least three wickets any other day on such balls. Not today though. Hard luck. Yuvraj Singh is having no clue what's happening in the middle.
5th over, IND 20/3
Amir, that’s the word! Mohammad Amir continued to bowl rippers. Fortunately for India, he did not get another wicket.
4th over, IND 13/3
No easy runs! Yuvraj hit a crisp four through the off-side. But Mohammad Irfan let Yuvraj know that he would have to bat well to survive this tremendous spell of bowling.
3rd over, IND 9/3
Amir is running riot! There’s no stopping Mohammad Amir. While Kohli survived a close LBW shout, Raina departed to join Rahane and Rohit in the dressing room.
2nd over, IND 6/2
No wicket! Mohammad Sami did not do any damage to Indian innings.
1st over, IND 2/2
Ducks for openers! Mohammad Amir trapped Rohit Sharma before the wickets and then sent Ajinkya Rahane packing. How Pakistan needed such a start!
17.3 overs - Pakistan all out for 83 (Hardik Pandya 3/8, Jadeja 2/11, Bumrah 1/8, Yuvraj 1/11, Nehra 1/20)
Pandya does it in style! Hardik Pandya wrapped up Pakistan's innings in the 18th over. First, Raina did a fine a job holding on to a skier to dismiss Sami and then Pandya disturbed the timber to remove Amir.
17th over, PAK 83/8
Sami strikes! Mohmmad Sami hit some crisp strokes but that's too little too late.
16th over, PAK 71/8
Down in the dumps! Pakistan, kindly show some fight. Jadeja disturbed the timber. Sarfraz joined 7 others in the dressing room.
15th over, PAK 70/7
Dance down the track! Sarfraz Ahmed made a move outside his crease and smashed Ashwin for four through the leg side.
14th over, PAK 63/7
Sarfraz shows some fight! Sarfraz Ahmed, displaying some grit, played a cute looking boundary, Pakistan need those in tons.
13th over, PAK 58/7
Ashwin finally gets to bowl! India's best bowler R Ashwin came in to bowl in the 13th over of the match and with Pakistan 7 wicket down.
12th over, PAK 56/7
Jadeja joins the party! Wahab Riaz trapped before the wickets. Pakistan down in the dumps.
11th over, PAK 51/6
Pandya keeps at it! India continued to choke Pakistan for runs.
10th over, PAK 47/6
Yuvraj bowls a tight one! Pakistan’s first aim should be to bat out 20 overs. But will they be able to do it?
9th over, PAK 43/6
No wicket! Pakistan did not lose a wicket. Enough said.
8th over, PAK 42/6
Yuvi, you beauty, Jadeja you ripper! Call him pie0chucker or whatever you want but he gives you result. He dismissed Umar Akmal on the first ball of his first over. Then Jadeja folded Afridi's innings with a brilliance in the field. Threw a rocket from the deep and Boom Boom was caught napping.
7th over, PAK 35/4
Pandya jumps in ecstasy! Shoaib Malik joined Khurram Manzoor and co in the dressing room. Hardik Pandya struck in his first over. Pakistan in a deep hole.
6th over, PAK 32/3
Khurram’s luck runs out! India made sure Khurram does not stay in the middle for too long. The Pakistani batsman tried to steal a single, lost his bat and Kohli was like a hare to run in, pick up the ball and hit one onto the stumps.
5th over, PAK 28/2
Umpire misses out! Nehra made a solid comeback conceding just two runs in that over. But he was deprived of a wicket when umpire Sis Siakat failed to hear an edge. Khurram Manzoor was lucky to survive.
4th over, PAK 26/2
Bumrah strikes! Sharjeel’s stay in the middle was cut short from Bumrah. Rahane, who was manning the slip region, made no mistake holding onto that catch.
3rd over, PAK 18/1
Manzoor makes a move! Khurram Manzoor broke the shackles as he tonked one for four. There could have been two more boundaries in that over but Bumrah and Jadeja made some superb saves. Nehra conceded 13 runs in that over.
2nd over, PAK 5/1
Top stuff, Bumrah! Jasprit Bumrah left Khurram Manzoor absolutely clueless. He made him play away from the body, tested him with inswingers. No damage done though. Maiden over.
1st over, PAK 5/1
Nehra strikes! The veteran pacer started the proceedings with a bang as he sent Mohammad Hafeez packing. The Pakistan opener could not handle the extra bounce and edged one to Dhoni.
Mirpur: Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and India elected to bowl against arch-rivals Pakistan in one of the most high voltage games in Asia Cup in Mirpur on Saturday.
Shikhar Dhawan, who had a niggle, made a way for Ajinkya Rahane in the playing XI.
Here are the playing XIs.
IND XI: RG Sharma, A Rahane, V Kohli, S Raina, Y Singh, MS Dhoni, H Pandya, R Jadeja, R Ashwin, A Nehra, J Bumrah— BCCI (@BCCI) February 27, 2016
PAK XI: K Manzoor, S Khan, M Hafeez, S Malik, S Ahmed, U Akmal, S Afridi, Wahab Riaz, M Sami, M Amir, M Irfan— ICC Live Scores (@ICCLive) February 27, 2016
Check out how the pitch shapes up for the match.
Team India gets into the huddle ahead of a big battle.
Bangladesh turn Blue and Green as India and Pakistan resume their rivalry at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Saturday.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Indian side is coming into this game on the back of some dominating Twenty20 performances in recent times.
They thrashed Australia 3-0 Down Under and then went on to beat Sri Lanka 2-1 at home. India’s Asia Cup campaign started on a brighter note after they defeated hosts Bangladesh by 45 runs.
Pakistan will be playing their first game in Asia Cup Twenty20.
While Pakistan Super League was welcomed with open arms by fans in Pakistan and players, Shahid Afridi-led unit comes in this tournament on the back of a series loss against New Zealand.
Today’s encounter will be eleventh time when the arch-rivals will be facing each other in Asia Cup with both the sides having won 5 games each.
India hold a little advantage over Pakistan as they had won the last T20 game which was played in Bangladesh during ICC World Twenty20 2014.
While India are firm favourites to win what could be a nailbiting encounter, Pakistan would be hoping to spring a surprise.