Match summary - Hardik Pandya fashions India's win
Hardik Pandya returned to the venue of his heartbreak and turned it into a stage for celebration. The Indian allrounder left the field on a stretcher in 2018, unable to complete his over after a back injury flared up. That was in the last Asia Cup at the Dubai International Stadium. But today (August 28), he produced an all-round display — an unbeaten 33 and 3/25 — to steer India to a five-wicket win over Pakistan in a Group A match in the DP World Asia Cup 2022.
Chasing Pakistan’s total of 147, trouble struck India with the second ball as vice-captain KL Rahul was bowled by Naseem Shah. But India recovered through Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli (35 off 34 balls) as they notched 49 runs for the second wicket. Once they departed in quick succession, both holing out to Iftikar Ahmed at long-off against left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz, India wobbled.
But fears of a slide were put to rest as Ravindra Jadeja (35 off 29) added 36 runs for the fourth wicket with Suryakumar Yadav (18), later forged a 52-run fifth-wicket stand with Pandya. The nerves were soothed in the 19th over with Pandya crashing three fours, and India were home.
Earlier, put to bat, Mohammed Rizwan (43 off 42) and Iftikar Ahmed (28 off 22) strung together a third-wicket partnership of 45 to lift Pakistan out of early trouble, but the rest failed to fire as they finished at 147. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4/26) was the pick of the Indian bowlers.
India win by five wickets
Hardik Panday lifts Mohammad Nawaz for a six over long-on, and the game is over. India win by five wickets.
Over 19, Rauf Haris bowls and Hardik Pandya reels off three boundaries and India are on the brink of victory. The flags are out, roars go around the stadium and the crowd are on their feet. Last over, 7 required. But Jadeja is bowled by left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz. More flutter.
Pakistan have missed Shaheen Afridi in the slog overs as the pacers seem to have given the match away in the last two overs. India need just 7 runs from the last over with leg spinner Mohammed Nawaz bowling the last over.
A four, a scare and a six
Pakistan pacer Naseem Shah has been a terror for Indian batsmen. Having grabbed two wickets, he came for the final over. Jadeja slapped him for four to extra cover, survived an LBW with the help of DRS, and celebrated the reprieve with a six over long on. That should calm India’s nerves. But the game is far from over.
Braveheart Naseem Shah finishes his superb bowling spell defending Pakistan's meagre total. Two more overs to go and India needs 20 in 11 balls.
It’s too close to call
32 needed off 18 balls. It’s still anybody’s game, although India have their noses in front. But that will count for nothing if they lose a wicket here. The stadium is quiet with anticipation. No cheering. No flag-waving. The tension is palpable. India are 116/4 in 17 overs.
This match is going to the wire. We are in the last three slog overs with India still needing 33 off 18 balls. Left arm spinner Nawaz has one over to bowl while Naseem Shah and Harif Rauf also have one each. Nawaz can be the easy target for India to get closer to the total. The game is wide open.
A tight finish on the cards
Naseem Shah returned to give Pakistan a chance to take charge of the game with the wicket of Suryakumar Yadav (18). India need 51 off 30 balls. Hardik Pandya joins Jadeja, and a nervy finish awaits.
Naseem Shah does it again! On the second ball of his second spell he gets world number 2 T20 batsman Suryakumar Yadav out. Clean bowled. Game on!
Crucial overs for both Pakistan and India. Pacer Naseem Shah is back into the attack. The game is wide open. India are 89-3 in 14 overs.
Runs still trickling in, but still below the run-rate. Jadeja and Suryakumar, the second best player in Twenty20 rankings, are playing with a sense of assuredness, a firm plan to go about their chase.
Game on a knife edge
It's still anybody's game. 11 overs gone, India are 69/3. They need 79 from 54 balls. Pakistan need a wicket to turn up the heat, and India will want some boundaries to ease the pressure.
Pakistan are back in the game
Virat Kohli essayed an identical shot against Nawaz and was caught by Iftikar at long-off. Third wicket down for India and two new batsmen at the crease. Pakistan will fancy their chances now. 53/3 in 9.1 over.
Big wicket. Left arm spin wizard Nawaz strikes again and this time sends Kohli back to the pavilion. It was a replay of the last dismissal as Iftikhar caught him at long off. India are 53-3 in 10th over.
Rohit Sharma loses his head and wicket
Indian captain Rohit Sharma was rather quiet while Virat Kohli kept scoring. Finally Sharma cast away the shackles against Mohammed Nawaz with a six over midwicket. And attempt to repeat it in the same over, landed in the hands of Iftikar Ahmed at long-off. Pakistan gets an opening. Ravindra Jadeja joins Kohli India 54/2 in 9 overs
Pakistan's left arm spinner Nawaz strikes to claim the big wicket of Rohit Sharma. Sharma, who was caught at long-off by Iftikhar.
The spinners are in as Shadab Khan comes in to bowl. The pacers gave Pakistan a good start and did not allow the Indian top notch batters to swing their arms freely. But Pakistan need wickets here.
Kohli soothes Indian nerves in powerplay
Virat Kohli has taken up the task of keeping the scoreboard moving, and that has helped calm the Indian nerves following the second ball dismissal of KL Rahul by Naseem Shah. Scoring has been sedate except for a top-edge six from Kohli, who also struck an inside out boundary to point. Earlier, he had essayed an authoritative pull, and repeated it against Haris Rauf as well. A leg glance to the fence took India to 38/1 at the end of six overs.
Now the nerves seemed to have settled with the two veteran Indian batters. Rohit and Kohli are ensuring that they don't lose any more wickets and Kohli is slowly getting at ease after an early scare.
Pakistan pacers so far are in control of the game and have not allowed the Indian batters to hit freely. Naseem Shah, Dahani and Rauf are keeping a tight line and length. That is what is required for Pakistan.
Shah the star
Refreshing memories, pacer Naseem Abbas Shah, 19, was called up to the Pakistan team for their Test series against Australia when he was only 16. He made his international debut in November 2019 against Australia, becoming the ninth-youngest player to make their debut in Test cricket. He plays for Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League, and can bowl at around 150km/h. He can swing the new ball and can be a threat to Indian top-order batters.
Early shock for India
Vice-captain KL Rahul played a Naseem delivery onto the stumps, and India's chase is off to a nightmare start. This is the start Pakistan needed, with only 147 on the board. Former India captain Virat Kohli's in for his 100 T20 International and is dropped in the slips. Wicketkeeper Rizwan is in some pain after collecting a legside delivery. Sensational over from Naseem.
Pakistan have started with a big wicket. Young pacer Naseem Shah clean bowls KL Rahul with the second delivery of the first over. A great start for Pakistan. India are 1-1.
Midway summary - Bowlers give India the advantage
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar (4/26) and Hardik Pandya (3/25) shared seven wickets to give India the upper hand in their opener against Pakistan in a Group A game at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday (August 28). Mohammed Rizwan (43 off 42 balls) and Iftikar Ahmed (28 off 22) strung together a third-wicket partnership of 45, but the rest of the Pakistani batsmen failed to fire as they finished at 147.
Opting to bowl first, India gained an early breakthrough from Kumar, who dismissed Pakistan captain Babar Azam. The early departure of Fakhar Zaman slowed Pakistan in the powerplay. Although they recovered through Rizwan and Ahmed, Pandya’s double-wicket burst in the 15th over sliced open the game. Kumar returned to grab three more wickets, snuffing out hopes of a late Pakistan flourish.
It’s a sub-par total, so Pakistan will need to take early wickets to put India under pressure. So the onus is on Pakistan bowlers.
Pakistan all out for 147 in 19.5 overs
Last over slogging by Dahani got Pakistan to a decent total - though not huge. Pakistan bowlers will now have to bowl mindfully to contain the Indian batting led by Virat Kohli.
Bhuvi gets groovy
Bhuvneshwar Kumar again proved that with skill and smart thinking one could be successful. The pacer, who reinvented himself with swing and teasing line, varying his pace and length, lived up to expectations, dazzling on the big stage with a four-wicket haul that also included the dangerous Babar Azam. Bhuvi finished with figures of 4-26 in his four-over spell.
It is Bhuvaneshwar Kumar's day. Two wickets in two consecutive deliveries. Pacer Naseem out of for a golden duck. Pakistan are 128-9 in 18th over. Kumar is on a hat trick.
Pacer B Kumar strikes again. Shadab Khan out LBW and goes back to the pavilion after hitting a four.
Pakistan's batting woes
They have only hit 12 fours in 18 overs. Pakistan are 120-7. Pacer Rauf is digging deep for the team to get a respectable total.
Seventh wicket down. Nawaz caught behind off Arshdeep. Again a short ball victim. Pakistan are 114-7.
Heading to the slog overs
17 overs up. At 114/6, the remaining three overs could offer the best clues to the winners of the match. Here’s the stats on Pakistan’s scoring.
Powerplay (1-6 overs): 43/2 (7.2 rpo, 6x4, 1x6)
Middle Overs (7-15 Overs) : 60/3 (6.7 rpo, 4x4, 1x6)
Another big wicket. Big hitter Asif Ali caught at the boundary while trying to hit six to pacer B. Kumar. Pakistan 113 for six in 17th over. Trouble brewing in. Pakistan have lost their last four wickets for just 24 runs.
Shadab Khan and Asif Ali are finding it hard to hit the ball over the boundary. Asif has the capacity to steer Pakistan out of trouble but we still have to see whether he will be able to play short balls - the curse for Pakistani batters today. Pakistan 110-5 in 16 overs.
Double strike from Hardik Pandya
What a comeback for Hardik Pandya! This was the same venue he had broken down. And he’s back and taking wickets. His rehabilitation is complete. Two wickets in an over: one of the dangerous Mohammad Rizwan, followed by Khushdil Shah. Add Iftikar Ahmed to it, and Pandya has a three-wicket haul. Pakistan are 103/5 in 15 overs.
Pandya claims the wicket of Khushdil for 2 runs. India's pacers are ripping through the Pakistan batting line up. Trouble is breewing for Pakistan after losing two wickets in one over. Khushdil played a cut straight into the hands of Ravindra Jadeja at deep point, becoming the fifth batter to be dismissed for the short ball.
Hard hitter Asif Ali is the last hope now.
Big wicket, Rizwan is out. Hardik Pandya pounds it on a hard length. All rounder Shadab Khan comes in to bat. He survives a run out. Relief for Pakistan. Strange decision by Pakistan captain because Khan was brought up in the order
Pakistan are on 96 for 4.
Iftikhar's wicket came at a crucial time when he was just opening up and taking his chances. Now the Green shirts have to increase their run rate and score at least 10 runs an over to post a challenging total. Rizwan can score big for Pakistan if he bats until end. He should stay at the wicket though there is plenty of batting to come in six remaining overs. Pakistan are 96-3 in 14 overs.
Iftikhar and Rizwan have consolidated the innings with Pakistan on 87-3 in 12 overs. Iftikhar was looking good when Pandya surprised him with a short delivery and got his wicket as he was caught behind while trying to slog for a six in the 13th over of the innings. All three Pakistani batters got out to short deliveries.
New batsman Khushdil walks in. The left-hander has the capability to hit big shots. It's time to accelerate the story as Pakistan need to score at least 180 runs to give Indian batters a challenging total.
Full house at the Dubai stadium
The Dubai International Stadium is packed to the rafters. Every seat seems to have been taken. And it has been an absorbing game so far. Two Pakistan wickets down, but Indian bowlers haven’t been allowed to be assertive enough. It’s past the 10-over mark, and Pakistan will look to turn up the heat. 68/2 in overs
Spin time for India
Leggie Yuzvendra Chahal brings spin attack for India, but Iftikar Ahmed laces a shot past a diving cover-point for a delectable boundary. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja comes on from the other end and turns one past the defensive blade of Rizwan. 63/2 in 9 overs
50 for Pakistan
Pakistan's 50 runs came in seven overs with the run rate below expectation. The batters could not benefit from the powerplay. But the big hitter Rizwan is still out there and he needs to bat through the innings to get a challenging total on the scoreboard for the solid Indian batting to chase.
Despite losing wickets, Pakistan have managed so far to keep a healthy run rate of 7.
Did Fakhar Zaman take the wrong decision to declare himself out as not even the wicketkeeper appealed? The plan for Pakistan should be to let Rizwan play till the end and try and increase the tempo from the other end. Rizwan is the key for Pakistan and the rest need to bat around him. Rizwan always has shown a killer instinct in T20 cricket.
Powerplay works for India
Two wickets in the powerplay, India will take that. Fakhar Zaman’s wicket came against the run of play. Just when Rizwan took charge with a six and four against Avesh Khan, Zaman nudged one to wicketkeeper Karthik. Iftikhar Ahmed is the next batter. Pakistan are 43/2 in 6 overs.
Good effort by the Indian bowlers
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been the pick of the Indian bowlers, troubling the Pakistan openers. Mohammad Rizwan had an LBW decision reversed against him, but skipper Babar Rizwan’s mistimed pull landed in Arshdeep Singh’s hands. Arshdeep too bowled well, except for an exquisite straight drive by Azam and a boundary to third-man by Rizwan. Two more overs left in the powerplay.
The loss of skipper Babar Azam has not deterred Mohammad Rizwan and in the company of Fakhar Zaman, maintaining a healthy run rate. Now is the time to consolidate.
Fakhar Zaman brings back memories of the knock he played in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, where his century won the match for Pakistan. He is required to play a similar role today.
Big blow for Pakistan. Babar is out. Both these Pakistani opener batters scored 150 plus run in the last T20 World Cup but this time it is a different game. Babar scored only 10 runs in nine balls. Bhuvneshwar Kumar surprised Pakistan skipper with a short ball and the pull ended in the safe hands of Arshdeep at short fine leg.
Cautious start by Pakistani batters Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. Just 14 runs in two overs. Skipper Babar hit a classic straight drive. Pakistan needs to score fast to give India a big target.
Exciting start to the big match. Mohammad Rizwan survived a second ball LBW appeal. Third umpire's decision is not out.
This is Virat Kohli's 100th T20 International, the first Indian to reach the landmark. Only New Zealand's Ross Taylor has played more T20 games.
The average first innings score at the Dubai Cricket Stadium is 144 runs.
Out of 61 games held here, 34 have been won by the team batting first.
26 have been won by the team batting second.
What the captains said after the toss
Rohit Sharma, India captain: "We are bowling first. I don't think the toss is that important, we are just here to play good cricket. It was a tough call we had to take between playing Dinesh and Rishabh, Rishabh sadly misses out. And Avesh makes it as the third seamer. This is an important game for us, but as cricketers, we don't want to think about the side we are playing against, we just want to keep improving as a unit."
Babar Azam, Pakistan captain: "We would have also bowled first, but this is not in our hands. We will look to put up a big score. Three fast bowlers, two spinners and a debut for Naseem Shah. We are trying to give it our best."
Pakistan opts for Shahnawaz Dahani's pace
Dahani joins Nassem Shah and Haris Rauf in the Pakistan pace attack. Spin will be led by vice-captain Shadab Khan, who will partner slow left-armer Mohammad Nawaz
Pakistan: Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan (wk) Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, and Shahnawaz Dahani
Dinesh Karthik replaces Rishabh Pant
Interestingly, India has opted wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik ahead of Rishabh Pant. Tough call indeed, as both deserve a place in the team. Ravichandran Ashwin misses out as India go with Ravichandra Jadeja and Yuzvendra Chahal as the spinner. Avesh Khan is the third seamer in support of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh. Of course, there's Hardik Pandya too.
India: Rohit Sharma(capt), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Arshdeep Singh
Welcome to Match 2 of the DP World Asia Cup at the Dubai International Stadium.
India won the toss and have opted to bowl against Pakistan.
India-Pakistan game will be a nervy contest
Shyam A. Krishna, Senior Associate Editor
Eleven months after Pakistan’s first major win against India in an ICC tournament, the subcontinent rivals meet again at the same venue. The DP World Asia Cup clash at the Dubai International Stadium today (August 28) is undoubtedly the high point of the tournament, one that will raise the decibel levels in the packed venue.
Captains Rohit Sharma of India and Babar Azam of Pakistan insist that the previous result will have no bearing on the match, as it’s a new game. A fresh start, it may be, but the teams have more or less the same players. But two stalwarts are missing: Shaheeh Shah Afridi, one of the architects of Pakistan’s previous win, and Indian spearhead Jasprit Bumrah are sitting out through injuries.
Pakistan, who lost pacer Mohammad Wasim to injury a couple of days back, are buoyed by the arrival of his replacement, Hasan Ali. There’s good news for India too, as coach Rahul Dravid has recovered from COVID-19 and joined the team.
T20 games are notoriously difficult to predict, and it’s more difficult when two evenly matched sides like India and Pakistan meet. But the past record shows that the games between archrivals tend to be nervy one-sided affairs. This too is unlikely to be different. Cooler heads will win the battle of nerves and the game.