It’s a wrap
After what looked like a delicately poised encounter at the interval, the match is ultimately called off on account of rain.
India’s top order had no answers for Pakistan’s blistering pace bowling triumvirate.
A gritty 138-run stand between Kishan and Pandya resurrected their innings and even threatened to push the men in blue to a sizeable total.
However, the return of the fast bowlers ultimately led to a capitulation as India lost their final six wickets for just 62 runs.
We hope you thoroughly enjoyed the live blog despite the indifferent weather on offer.
We look forward to you joining us again as we continue our coverage of the 2023 Asia Cup.
Match abandoned due to rain
The latest weather reports indicate that the rain will not stop past the cut-off time, so with that the match ends in a no result with each team garnering a point.
With Pakistan beating Nepal before, they now sit on three points and have secured progression into the Super Four stage.
As for India, given that this was their tournament debut, they will need to win their next encounter against Nepal to ensure their place in the next round.
As things stand, if the match resumes in the next little while, we could be looking at 20-25 overs.
The cut-off time for a 20-over match is 10:27pm local time, which is in about 45 minutes.
The drizzle has intensified again, so the likelihood of this occurring is not looking too good at the moment.
Walk down memory lane
India-Pakistan have provided some special moments over the years.
Who can forget this classic during the 1996 Cricket World Cup, when India’s Venkatesh Prasad uprooted Pakistan’s Sohail Anwars stumps after being clattered for a boundary.
Covers back on
The rain continues to tease as the tarps are back on.
The Indian players were out to warm up, but it looks like we are still waiting to see how much time we lose before determining the exact reduction in overs, which is looking a very likely prospect.
The officials are out as the covers have been removed.
The heavy roller is tending to the pitch, so things are looking positive.
Most likely there could be a reduction in overs, with the target being somewhere in the 25-30 over range, which of course hinges on the weather.
Pitch inspection in 10 minutes
With the rain subsiding somewhat, the officials will conduct a pitch inspection in about 10 minutes to see if play can continue and if overs need to be reduced.
Second innings delayed due to rain
It is rather gloomy in Pallekele as the ground staff has been diligent in covering the entire ground with tarp to try to stave off a wet outfield.
It is still coming down at the moment, so let’s hope conditions improve soon before overs have to be reduced.
‘Indian hostility’ looms over Asia Cup’s stripped-back hosts Pakistan
When Pakistan last hosted the Asia Cup in 2008, Imran Khan was a political novice, Narendra Modi was still banned from travelling to the United States, India’s cricket team was making its third visit to the country in five years and the entire tournament was played on Pakistani soil.
It was also the last time an Indian cricket team set foot in Pakistan.
Fast forward 15 years as Pakistan faced off against minnows Nepal on Wednesday at the Multan Cricket Stadium to open the 16th edition of the regional cricket tournament. It was the first of just four of the 13 Asia Cup matches that will be played in “host” nation Pakistan.
‘I tried to give [the] breakthrough’
Afridi, who was the standout bowler for Pakistan with figures of 4-35, shared his thoughts: “With the new ball I tried to give [the] breakthrough for the team.”
“Both were crucial wickets [Rohit and Kohli]. Bowling with the new ball was helpful. With the partnership [Kishan-Pandya], we needed a breakthrough, so our fast bowlers came back [to bowl],” he said.
India 266 all out
With that wicket, India fail to bat out their allotment of overs.
Pakistan will feel mighty pleased with how they performed in the back-end of the innings.
After reducing India to 66-4, they looked well in control.
But with Kishan and Pandya at the crease, India regrouped and then threatened to reach the 290-300 mark.
But as the old adage goes, wickets win matches, and Pakistan picked up the final six wickets with just 62 runs added to the scoreboard.
The covers are back on, and there is slight precipitation, so hopefully we can resume again shortly for Pakistan’s innings.
India 266 all out. Bumrah out!
After clattering a boundary over long off, Bumrah decides to target the deep midwicket boundary but ends up holing out to the fielder.
India 261-9. Yadav out!
Naseem picks up his second with a back of a length ball slanting across the left-hander.
The ball just catches the edge to find an eager Rizwan behind.
Siraj walks out to face the music as India have 10 deliveries to survive.
48 overs. India 261-8
Afridi ends his spell with a tidy over, finishing with figures of 4-35.
India have 12 balls left now to try to rack up a challenging target.
47 overs. India 257-8
Rauf replaces Naseem and keeps the speed gun busy with velocities in the 140-145 km/h territory.
The pacer overpitches his fourth delivery, which Bumrah takes full advantage of as he finds the gap at extra cover.
46 overs. India 252-8
Bumrah, recognising the urgency of the situation, lofts Afridi high over mid on for a one-bounce boundary, much to the merriment of his colleagues on the balcony.
India pick up just two more from the over thereafter.
There is a third umpire review for a runout opportunity off the final ball, but Yadav made his ground.
45 overs. India 246-8
Naseem allows just four off the over as the Indian batsmen look to survive these final five overs.
India 242-8. Thakur out!
Naseem picks up his first scalp as Thakur mistimes a leg-side clip with the chance ballooning up to the backward point fielder, who does well to hold onto the ball despite running backwards.
With that dismissal, Bumrah makes his way to the middle, and Pakistan have a real chance of bowling out India.
India 242-7. Jadeja out!
Afridi switches back to over the wicket and picks up his fourth as Jadeja trudges back to the pavilion.
He persists with the channel outside off stump and is rewarded as the left-hander feathers an edge to the keeper.
Pakistan have come back strongly in the last few overs to keep India under check.
The new batsman will be Yadav.
India 239-6. Pandya out!
Afridi is brought on to see out his overs and strikes straightaway as Pandya holes out to cover!
The left-armer opts to go around the wicket and surprises the batsman with a slower ball.
It brings to an end a fine innings from Pandya, as he walks back to the dugout with 87 to his name.
The new batsman will be Thakur.
43 overs. India 239-5
Naseem is operating in the 140-145 km/h range as he keeps the batsmen to just two of the over.
Pakistan are doing well so far to keep India under wraps.
42 overs. India 237-5
Shadab interestingly is back on and is creamed for two boundaries by the batsmen as they add a useful 11 runs to the total.
41 overs. India 226-5
Naseem comes on to bowl his allotment of overs.
40 overs. India 221-5
Pandya greets Rauf’s first ball with a fierce cut through the gully region to find the rope.
Rauf manages to catch the edge off the next ball, but Pandya, alert to the fact there is no slip in place, steers it wisely through the vacant region for another four.
The fourth ball is pulled away in front of square to make it three boundaries in the over.
39 overs. India 209-5
Shadab replaces Nawaz at the other end.
He restricts the batsmen to just five from the over as it looks like it will be an all-pace attack to see out this innings.
38 overs. India 204-5
Big over for Pakistan as the danger man goes, and they restrict India to just the one run.
India 204-5. Kishan out!
Rauf breaks the partnership as Kishan mistimes a shot to Babar at midwicket.
It ends a fine innings from the wicketkeeper, who finishes with a well played 82 to help rescue his side from a dire situation.
With that, Jadeja makes his way to the middle to keep the left-right combination going.
37 overs. India 202-4
Kishan picks up the length early as he pulls the first ball savagely through cow corner to beat out the boundary rider.
Hardik follows up by slamming a six over midwicket to relay India’s intention of how they will be tackling these final overs.
The 200 is brought up as India pick up a very useful 15 runs off the over.
36 overs. India 187-4
There is a tactical shift from Babar as Rauf is brought on for Shadab.
He bowls in the 140-145 km/h range as India are held to just four off the over.
Meanwhile, Kishan looks to be dealing with some hamstring cramps as he is tended to by the medical staff.
35 overs. India 183-4
The left-right combination continues to work to a treat as India collect five runs from the over.
34 overs. India 178-4
Kishan looks to be ratcheting through the gears now as he sweeps the first ball down the leg side for four.
The batsmen continue to rotate the strike with Pandya bringing up his 50 with a single off the final ball.
33 overs. India 168-4
Nawaz replaces Shadab at the other end.
After a few innocuous deliveries, Kishan decides to launch a fuller one down the ground for six.
With that stroke, the 100-run partnership is brought up.
32 overs. India 160-4
Salman has been miserly in his spell so far, giving up just four from the over.
With Babar looking to retain 13 overs for his pacers to see out their overs allotment, he will be hopeful his spinners can manage their load.
31 overs. India 156-4
The batsmen manoeuvre the strike comfortably as India pick up seven from the over.
India will be content with five to six runs an over at this stage as they set up a platform for an assault in the final 10.
30 overs. India 149-4
Salman bowls a tidy over as India have rebounded quite well on the back of this partnership.
Another wicket, though, will make things interesting as the match is teetering on a knife’s edge.
The last time these two tangled
It has been four years since these old adversaries have faced off in the 50-overs format.
But, who can ever forget the last time these two played one another during the 2022 T20 World Cup Down Under, which Kohli famously won at the 100,000 seat Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Source : Al Jazeera