India beat Pakistan by five wickets in the Asia Cup final on Sunday. Hardik Pandya’s unbeaten 33 off 17 balls sent India beyond the 148-run total with two balls to spare. Virat Kohli scored 35 runs off 34 balls, including his 100th Twenty20 international.
How India won the Match
After a tense 100th Twenty20 International for Virat Kohli, India cruised to a five-wicket win against Pakistan in the Asia Cup final on Sunday thanks to Hardik Pandya’s stellar performance with the bat and the ball. Pandya’s short-pitched bowling took 3-25 before his unbeaten 33 off 17 balls sent India beyond the 148-run total with two balls to spare. The flashy all-rounder for Baroda smashed three fours in the last over against Haris Rauf and then won the game with a six over wide mid-on off the left-arm spin of Mohammad Nawaz.
After having the second ball he faced dropped for a duck by Fakhar Zaman at second slip, Kohli proceeded to score 35 runs off 34 balls. Rohit Sharma lost his wicket while looking uneasy at the other end, hitting 12 runs off 18 balls. India’s score dropped to 53 for three as Nawaz got two veteran hitters to hit straight out to long off.
Sunil Gavaskar Commentary
Sunil Gavaskar, a legend in his own right, has questioned the pair’s shot selection, claiming that huge strokes weren’t necessary at that point in the game. You can’t base any conclusions on Rahul’s single game. When Rohit and Kohli took their turns at bat, they scored runs. When people have asked me about Kohli’s performance in the past, I’ve always said that he’s been unlucky
“Today, he had the luck of the draw, with drop catches and inside edges that went so near to the stumps. However, he made the most of the opportunity and produced some amazing strokes.”
However, given his beginning, he should have scored somewhere between 60 and 70. Soon after Rohit left, he also left. Poor opportunities were missed by both of them. The asking rate wasn’t 19 or 20 for them to try sixes at that time, so they didn’t need to take those shots.
They needed to start moving, get 70 or 80, and only then try for the huge shots. The batting legend continued, “That’s the lesson we should take away from this game.”
With a 52-run partnership for the fifth wicket, Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja (who also scored 35) kept their team in the game. Nawaz bowled Jadeja with the first of the last six balls, when seven needed to be scored. Pandya, though, kept his cool and hit the winning six.
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