Pakistan’s pace trio of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Naseem Shah bagged all 10 Indian wickets in the Asia Cup encounter at Sri Lanka’s Pallekele on Saturday, scripting a new record in the tournament before rain played spoilsport to what promised to be an enthralling second innings. The traditional rivals split points as the match was called off after heavy showers washed out play in the second innings.
However, before the heavens opened up to bring an early close to the keenly followed encounter, the first half saw some brilliant individual performances from both sides.
Riding on a sensational combined bowling effort by the pace trio, Pakistan restricted India to 266. It was the first time in the history of the Asia Cup that all 10 wickets in an innings fell to pacers.
Bringing on his characteristic swagger and skill-sets, left-arm paceman Shaheen Afridi rocked India early, sending back skipper Rohit Sharma and talisman Virat Kohli for 11 and 4 respectively.
Brought back later in the Indian innings, Shaheen scalped two more wickets — Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja — to finish with a four-for. He also conceded just 35 runs in his full quota of 10 overs.
Operating on a tight line and length, and getting the ball to nip away or tail back in sharply on a responsive surface, the left-arm paceman left the Indian batsmen searching for answers.
Haris Rauf, who initially struggled to find the right line and length, hit his straps as the match wore on and finished with 3 wickets at the expense of 58 runs off 9 overs.
Hard to get away in the initial overs, Naseem Shah, too, bagged three wickets in the back-end of the Indian innings. His effort saw him continue his streak of picking up wickets in every ODI he has featured in for Pakistan since making his debut in August 2022.
Despite the two teams sharing points after the match was called off, Pakistan qualified for the Super 4s, securing three points from two matches. They had logged full points after the facile win over Nepal in the tournament opener.
India, which has just one point now, must beat Nepal in their next match on September 4 to secure passage to the Super Four stage.
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