DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Batting great Virat Kohli had a nervy 100th T20 international as teammate Hardik Pandya led India to a five-wicket victory over archrivals Pakistan in the Asia Cup on Sunday.
Pandya claimed 3-25 with his fiery short-pitched deliveries and helped India to limit Pakistan to 147 before smashing an unbeaten 33 off 17 balls which carried India to 148-5 with just two balls to spare.
India’s ploy to challenge the Pakistan top order with short balls after winning the toss worked perfectly as Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4-26) got the key wickets of Babar Azam (10) and Fakhar Zaman (10) inside the batting powerplay.
Pandya then sliced through the middle order and also had top-scorer Mohammad Rizwan (43) dismissed with another sharp bouncer before No. 11 Shahnawaz Dahani smashed two late sixes to give Pakistan a glimmer of hope. Shahnawaz was the last man out with a ball remaining in the innings.
In the absence of injured Shaheen Shah Afridi, Pakistan’s second-string fast bowlers still dominated India’s strong top order.
Naseem Shah had KL Rahul bowled for a golden duck before Kohli was dropped on zero by Zaman at second slip off the second ball he faced from the 19-year-old pacer’s superb first over.
Rohit Sharma scored 12 off 18 balls before the Indian skipper and Kohli, who made 35 off 34 balls, both holed out at long off in successive deliveries from left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz (3-33).
Shah, who struggled with cramps in his return spell, had Suryakumar Yadav (18) clean bowled in his return spell to finish with 2-27 but Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja (35) didn’t let the game slip away with their 52-run stand for the fifth wicket.
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