A fantastic victory for India, but also credit to Pakistan for passing the time. They didn't defend a great score, but Naseem Shah set the tone with a wicket in the first over. Virat Kohli was then eliminated for a duck in the same over. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli then got India's innings back on track with a 49-run partnership before they both fell in quick succession. Pakistan bowled well, but Jadeja and Pandya kept the pace. At 21, it took two overs for India to score 14 runs in the penultimate over to almost seal the deal. While Jadeja failed in the final, Pandya ensured there were no surprises with a knockout round as India won by 5 wickets.
Earlier, sensational spells from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya helped India beat Pakistan for 147. Bhuvneshwar set the tone early on by knocking out Babar Azam early before a barrage of short balls from Hardik Pandya saw Pakistan lose three wickets for 10 runs in the middle. Pakistan moved from 87-2 to 114-7 before a handy 19-run partnership between Shahnawaz Dahani and Haris Rauf helped Pakistan reach 147, still well below par. This was after India captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and decided to bat first on a course that should help the seamers. India had surprisingly eliminated Rishabh Pant from the team and entered with Dinesh Karthik. Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan will join Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the attack on the pace as Pakistan try to play the first overs.
Hardik Pandya opened the game for India with the ball and racquet to lead them to a thrilling two-ball win over Pakistan. Bowling with pace and fury, Pandya used the short ball perfectly on a pitch with a leap stiff to return numbers of 4-0-25-3 and limit Pakistan to 147. On a sticky pitch, India never really broke away from Pakistan until Pandya A hit three limits in the 19th . Even in the 20th, Mohammad Nawaz got the required six from three, but Pandya sealed it with a flat six over long to find himself with 33 from 17.
Hardik Pandya put in a peculiar all-around performance as India kept their composure to secure a thrilling five-wicket victory against rivals Pakistan in the Asian Cup opener on Sunday. Hardik (3/25 in 4 overs) showed great value under extreme pressure as his well-aimed short balls helped India defeat Pakistan for 147.
Pakistan, without key point guard Shaheen Shah Afridi, debuted fast bowler Naseem Shah and favored Shahnawaz Dahani over fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain in the starting XI.
Great respect to these two teams for giving us such a fun T20 match in grueling conditions that caused overloads and slow cramps all around. Pakistan resisted until the end, but Hardik Pandya was too much for them.
Congratulations to India team for doing a great job!