DUBAI: India crushed Pakistan by eight wickets in their high-profile Asia Cup Group A match at Dubai Stadium on Wednesday.
Pakistan were bowled out for a paltry 162 in 43.1 overs before India chased down the target in 29 overs for the loss of just two wickets.
Skipper Sharma scored 52 off 39 balls, Shikar Dhawan bagged 46 off 54 balls while Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik scored 31 runs respectively.
This is India’s biggest win (in terms of balls) over Pakistan.
Kedar Jadhav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar took three wickets apiece as Pakistan crumbled to 162 all out.
Pace bowler Kumar took 3 for 15 while off-spinner Jadhav finished with 3 for 23 as Pakistan, who won the toss and batted, collapsed from 85 for 2 to be bowled out in 43.1 overs.
Kumar ran through the top order by dismissing openers Imam-ul-Haq (two) and Fakhar Zaman (0) inside five overs before Babar Azam (47) and Shoaib Malik (43) rebuilt the innings during their 82-run stand for the third wicket.
But after Azam was dismissed in the 22nd over, bowled by left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav, Pakistan lost their last seven wickets for 77 runs.
Azam hit six boundaries in his 62-ball knock while Malik, dropped on 26 by MS Dhoni off Hardik Pandya, cracked one six and one four in a vigilant innings lasting 67 deliveries.
Bowling his fifth over, Pandya fell in his follow through and was stretchered off with a lower back injury, the extent of which was assessed by the India team´s medical staff.
Both teams have already qualified for the Super Four stage of the tournament from Group A while Bangladesh and Afghanistan will advance from Group B.
The top two teams from the Super Four round-robin will contest the final in Dubai on September 28.
The Indian bowling dominated the game from the start, courtesy the early departure of the Pakistani openers. Pakistan briefly tilted the game in its favour with an 82-run partnership between Shoaib Malik and Babar Azam.
Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, and Asif Ali failed to play much-needed strong innings as they were both dismissed cheaply on six and nine runs respectively.
A brilliant throw by Ambati Rayudu curtailed Malik’s resistance against the Indian side. The former skipper added 43 off 67 runs in the total tally.
Shadab Khan was stumped on eight runs off 19 balls.
Pakistan lost its openers early in the game as fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave a much-needed breakthrough to Rohit Sharma’s side.
Imam-ul-Haq was caught behind on two while Fakhar Zaman gave an easy catch to midwicket fielder after giving a top edge. Later in the game, Shoaib Malik and Babar Azam’s over 50 runs partnership stand provided a relief to the green shirts.
Former skipper MS Dhoni dropped Shoaib Malik on Hardik Pandya’s bowl when he was on 26.
India all-rounder Hardik Pandya stretchered off the ground after he faced an injury on the field.
The two teams were facing each other for the first time in the United Arab Emirates since 2006, the last of their regular matches which were also held in Sharjah between 1984-2000.