Pakistan make Super Four as India clash abandoned


Pakistan made it into the Super Four of the Asia Cup after rain forced a no result in their blockbuster clash with India after just one innings of play on Saturday.

Pakistan bowled out India for 266 in 48.5 overs with pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi returning figures of 4-35, but no further play was possible due to persistent rain in Pallekele.

Babar Azam’s Pakistan became the first team this edition to confirm the Super Four stage of the tournament as they won their opening match of the 50-over tournament, a key event in the build-up to the World Cup in India later this year.

The points on Saturday were shared.

Rain stopped for a short time and groundstaff took off the covers as umpires discussed a reduced target for Pakistan but another spell of showers brought the curtain down on the match.

India next play Asia Cup debutants Nepal in the final Group A fixture on Tuesday at the same venue.

India elected to bat in their opening match of the tournament but slipped to 66-4 after a devastating opening spell by left-arm quick Shaheen.

Ishan Kishan (82) and Hardik Pandya (87) hit back in a stand of 138 to hand their team a fighting total but rain had the final say after interrupting play for the third time.

Shaheen rattled the opposition top order, taking the key wickets of skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli — both the batsmen bowled.

Shaheen got able support from fellow quicks Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah, both of whom picked up three wickets each.

The left-handed Kishan counter-attacked with boundaries to take the fight back to the opposition bowlers with Pandya.

Shaheen was given a two-over burst to break the stand but the batsmen stood firm and Kishan reached his fifty to loud cheers from the crowd and frustration from Pakistan, whose on-ground fielding remained sloppy.

Earlier Rohit swung Shaheen for a couple of fours, but the pace spearhead had his revenge on the first ball following a 33-minute stoppage to bowl the Indian captain for 11.

He then silenced the largely Indian crowd with the wicket of Kohli (4), who inside-edged an incoming delivery onto his stumps.

Rauf bowled the returning Shreyas Iyer as India slipped to 48-3 and soon lost opener Shubman Gill for 10 after a second rain interval.

He also finally sent Kishan back with the batsman caught out after his 81-ball knock, including nine fours and two sixes.

Pandya kept up the charge and hit Rauf for three boundaries in an over, but fell to Shaheen.

Number 10 Jasprit Bumrah made 16 before falling to Naseem as the Indian innings ended in 48.5 overs.

Ground staff covered the field as players left for the innings break after the return of the rain which had the final say.


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