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Asia Cup 2022: India beats Pakistan by 5 wickets in 2nd match

India defeated Pakistan by five wickets in the second match of the 2022 Asia Cup in Dubai on Sunday, with Hardik Pandya's all-around performance playing a key role.

India captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and chose to bat first. Bhuvneshwar Kumar dismissed Pakistan skipper Babar Azam for ten runs, while hard-hitter Fakhar Zaman also scored ten runs.

Slow start

India got off to a slow start while chasing a 148-point target. Pandya's middle-overs wickets ensured that the Men in Green could not exploit the fact that there were only four fielders in the deep instead of the usual five.

"We only needed seven off the last over, but even if we needed 15, I'd have fancied myself. I know the bowler is under more pressure than me in the 20th over. I try to keep things simple," said Pandya, who was named the Player-of-the-Match.

Pandya bowled three overs for 25 runs and then batted unbeaten on 33 off 17 to lead India to victory. Kumar took four wickets for 26 runs as Pakistan were restricted to 147 in 19.5 overs.

“After 10 overs the match was tight,” said Kumar. “We wanted Hardik Pandya to score, and he did that. The match could have been close but Pandya and Jadeja both did the job pretty well. "

Pandya dominating

Mohammad Rizwan persevered before succumbing to Pandya for 43 off 42. Iftikhar Ahmed scored 28 points on 22 attempts for the Men in Green, while no other player appeared to be in contention.

"Since the time [Pandya] has made his comeback, he's been brilliant. When he was not part of the team, he figured what he needs to do to his body and his fitness regime, and now he is clocking 140+ easily,“ Sharma said.

Pakistan Bowler Shahnawaz Dahani hit 16 runs off six balls, including two sixes, to help his team reach 145. On the second delivery of the innings, Naseem Shah bowled KL Rahul for a golden duck.

Sharma, Kohli struggling

Sharma struggled to an 18-ball 12, while Virat Kohli amassed 35 off 34 balls. After losing one wicket, the veterans batted cautiously but continued to hit boundaries.

Rohit's innings ended after 12 runs when Mohammad Nawaz removed him. Nawaz struck again in the same over, ending Kohli's run of 35 runs in 34 deliveries and sending him back to the pavilion. India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja hit Nawaz for a six. After ten overs, India's score was 62/3.

Naseem Shah bowled Suryakumar Yadav out after he hit 18 runs off 18 balls, capping off a game-changing comeback. Pandya then arrived on the field to partner up with Jadeja. In the 18th over, the number of runs required to win was reduced to 32 in 18 balls. Jadeja hit a four and a six in the 18th over of the game.

In the end, Pandya finished with figures of 3/25 in 4 overs, limiting Pakistan to 147 in 19.5 overs. He also smashed 33 off 17 balls to help his team defeat Pakistan.

“[Pandya] did very well in bowling and in batting as he finished off the game was great. According to me, he is a very good all-rounder, " Azam said after the match.

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.