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Colombo, Sep 12: In a cricketing spectacle that will remain in the memories forever, India defeated Pakistan by 228 runs in a one-sided Super-Four encounter at the magnificent R Premadasa Stadium during the Asia Cup. Virat Kohli, K.L. Rahul, and Kuldeep Yadav emerged as the architects of India’s spectacular victory, making the match a historic milestone in the cricket rivalry between these two countries.
Resuming on the reserve day after persistent rain, India batted steadily to post a mammoth score of 356/2, their highest-ever score against Pakistan in the One Day International (ODI) format. K.L. Rahul made his comeback to international cricket by displaying impeccable timing and technique and scoring a brilliant innings of 111 not out off 106 balls. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli combined his characteristic clever running between the wickets with brilliant strokeplay to register his fourth ODI century at the venue, remaining unbeaten on 122 off just 94 balls.
In contrast, Pakistan’s target was never successful, with only three of their batsmen managing to cross the 20-run mark. India’s fast bowlers, led by Jasprit Bumrah, were impeccable in their line and length, providing a masterclass in seam and swing bowling. The turning point came when Kuldeep Yadav took the ball in his hands and swung it both ways to baffle the Pakistani batsmen and eventually claim an extraordinary 5/25 – his second five-wicket haul in ODIs. Pakistan was restricted to just 128 runs, giving India an emphatic win by a huge margin of 228 runs.
Jasprit Bumrah, who is returning to ODIs from July 2022, displayed remarkable skill by using movement under the stadium lights to trouble left-handed Pakistani batsmen Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman. Pakistan captain Babar Azam took 11 balls to open his account, but his innings was reduced to 10 runs as Hardik Pandya bowled a ball that clipped the stumps.
Rain interrupted the proceedings for a while, but upon resumption, Shardul Thakur quickly dismissed Mohammad Rizwan, bowling the ball backward to an alert KL Rahul. Fakhar Zaman’s attempt to slog-sweep Kuldeep Yadav resulted in a messy demise. Despite a valiant effort from Agha Salman, he was out LBW attempting to sweep Kuldeep, who also dismissed Shadab Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed. With Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah unable to bat due to injuries, Kuldeep sealed the match by dismissing Faheem Ashraf with a deceptive googly.
In short, India’s emphatic win over Pakistan was a display of batting brilliance, clinical bowling, and exceptional fielding. Virat Kohli, K.L. Rahul, and Kuldeep Yadav emerged as the heroes of the day, leaving an indelible mark in the history of cricket rivalries. This comprehensive victory confirmed India’s superiority and dominance in this thrilling contest. On the final scoreboard, India posted a strong score of 356/2 in 50 overs, outclassing Pakistan, who could only score 128 runs in 32 overs.