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NO RESULT
3rd Match, Group A (D/N), Pallekele, September 02, 2023, Asia Cup
(48.5/50 ov) 266

No result

Live
Updated 02-Sep-2023 • Published 02-Sep-2023

Live Report: India vs Pakistan, Pallekele

By Deivarayan Muthu

Match abandoned

A game that began in red-hot fashion turns into something of a mush as rain has the final say. India and Pakistan gave us plenty of soul-stirring moments again. Shaheen Afridi doing those Shaheen Afridi things. Ishan Kishan staring a scoreline that said 66 for 4 and going meh, that's no reason not to nonchalantly flick Haris Rauf for a one-bounce four. Shaheen coming back with the old ball to bundle India out. Hardik Pandya proving why he will be big in the years to come. We might not have had a result in this game, but we were spoiled alright. Important point of order though, we believe Pakistan are through to the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup
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Bad news

Fidel Fernando reports from Pallekele that the rain has got a little heavier and that a restart looks increasingly unlikely.
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The drizzle is back

Argh! The drizzle has returned and the entire ground will be covered once again in a flash. It's been that kind of a day in Pallekele. India's bowlers, who were ready to warm up, now settle down at the dugout and wait for the weather to clear up. Fidel Fernando, who is in Pallekele, reports that more covers are being brought on now. The chase should restart by 10.27pm for a 20-over contest.
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Who is winning this?

Which team holds the edge in a shortened game?
17.9K votes
Pakistan
India
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Inspection at 9pm

It appears like the rain has stopped in Pallekele. The covers are being removed and there will be an inspection at 9pm local time. Stumps are being erected, which means we could have a resumption soon.
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Still raining in Pallekele

The chase should have started by now, but it's still raining in Pallekele. The entire ground is covered. Bumrah is having a chat with Prasidh on the sidelines. This is not official but according to our calculations, we should start losing overs after 8.21pm because we lost 53 minutes to the two rain breaks in the first innings, and the buffer is usually an hour.
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Do India have enough?

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Shaheen and Co limit India to 266

Shaheen, Rauf and Naseem share the spoils to dismiss India for 267 in 48.5 overs. Kishan and Hardik forged a 138-run partnership for the fifth wicket, but India slumped either side of that stand. Thakur was picked at No. 8 for batting depth but Naseem got rid of him for a duck and proceeded to wipe out the tail. Just as the players walk back for the innings break, the drizzle returns.
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Shaheen's double-strike with the old ball

Shaheen usually finds banana swing or seam with the new ball. He took down Rohit and Kohli in successive overs in the powerplay. Now, in the 44th over, he has tricked Hardik with a slower variation at 119kph. Hardik does not read the change-up and drives early, spooning a catch to Salman at extra-cover. No hundred for Hardik as well. He departs for 87 off 90 balls. Five balls later, Shaheen has Jadeja nicking off with an on-pace delivery to dent India in the end overs. India are 242 for 7, with Shaheen responsible for four of those wickets.
Make that 242 for 8. Naseem draws a leading edge from Thakur, with Shadab, who is arguably Pakistan's best fielder, taking a spectacular catch.
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No hundred for Kishan

Shaheen couldn’t strike quite with the old ball. The spinners gave up some easy runs. But Rauf returns and bounces Kishan out, having him holing out to mid-on, with a 143kph rocket. Kishan was struggling to run between the wickets, which perhaps promoted him to go for more big shots. He departs for 82 off 81 balls on a tricky pitch. Over to Hardik and Jadeja now.
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Fifty for Hardik

Hardik has brought up his own half-century off 62 balls. He has managed only three boundaries so far in comparison to Kishan’s ten – his measured approach a near-perfect foil for Kishan’s gung-ho one on a two-paced Pallekele pitch. Hardik, the accumulator, has done his job so far after the top-order slump. Will the big-hitting version of Hardik turn up in the end overs? India reach 200 in the 37th over.
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India's wicketkeeping options for World Cup

Who should be India's first-choice keeper at the World Cup?
2.2K votes
KL Rahul
Ishan Kishan
Sanju Samson
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Kishan, Hardik repair India's innings

Ishan Kishan has a double-century in ODI cricket, but given India’s batting wealth, he is only considered a back-up keeper-batter in the lead-up to the World Cup. Heck, Kishan might not have even played this Asia Cup game had KL Rahul been fit.
Kishan was originally listed to bat at No.3 today, but after Shaheen burst through Rohit’s gate, he was demoted to No.5. Despite Shaheen and Rauf scything through India’s top order, Kishan batted with attacking enterprise. He hit the first six of the innings when he leapt off his feet and scythed an upper cut over deep third off Rauf. Then when Rauf targetted his body, Kishan short-armed him over deep square leg for another boundary. Then when left-arm fingerspinner Nawaz and legspinner Shadab operated in tandem, Kishan picked them away easily. The stakes aren’t high in this game, but Kishan’s half-century will give India’s team management more selection headaches. Kishan has got to the landmark off 54 balls. Kohli is up on his feet in the dressing room to applaud Kishan's knock.
At the other end, Hardik is also keeping the scorecard ticking for India and is moving towards a fifty of his own. Babar has brought Shaheen back into the attack, but the old ball isn’t swinging or seaming for him. It isn’t reversing either. Pakistan soon turn to the part-time spin of Agha Salman.
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How good is Haris Rauf?

Here is Danyal Rasool: No Pakistan bowler has taken more wickets than Haris Rauf since he made his debut in 2020, and his first spell today perhaps illustrates why. Following Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah is rarely easy, especially after the spell they produced in the first seven overs. And when he went for 12 in his first easing the pressure on India somewhat, less confident personalities might have shrunk into themselves.
Not Rauf, though. At 5.77, he also has a much higher economy rate than either of his two fast bowling peers, because he keeps coming at the batters with pace, prioritising wicket-taking over stopping runs. The extra pace – too – has its benefits, as Iyer’s dismissal showcased. Most bowlers who push the ball there find it sits up to be hit. But it rushed onto the batter, and he couldn’t keep it down.
Gill's dismissal, meanwhile, is just high quality seam bowling at close to 150. He might be the third-best of Pakistan’s three pace bowlers, but that doesn’t stop him from being unplayable in his own right.
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Haris knocks Gill over, leaves India four down

Shaheen and Rauf have blown India's top four away. After dismissing Iyer with a short ball, Rauf goes full and threatens to angle it in but it seams away from Gill. It seams away at 147kph. Unplayable stuff. Gill can only drag it back onto his own stumps. India fall to 66 for 4 in the 15th over. Is there a way back for them against this relentless attack?
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Kishan, Gill work past early blows

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A resumption is imminent

Good news: The rain has stopped and the covers are being peeled off. The hessian rope is being run around the outfield to dry it. We should have play soon.
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Rain stops play once again

The drizzle has returned to give India's line-up a reprieve. Shaheen and Co have sliced through India's top order, leaving them three down inside the powerplay. Pakistan's quicks found both swing and seam movement under overcast conditions to dominate the early exchanges. Gill and India's No.5 Kishan will resume their side's rebuilding mission after the break.
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Haris strikes back to get Iyer

The speed gun clocks this at 147kph. But this seemed a whole lot quicker than that. Haris bangs it shorter and rushes Iyer into a hook. Iyer still middles it and hits it in the air but Fakhar takes an overhead catch at midwicket. Iyer started positively, but Haris cuts his innings short to 14 off 9. India slide further to 48 for 3 in the last over of the powerplay.
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Welcome back, Shreyas

Before Saturday, Shreyas Iyer’s last competitive game was in March earlier this year. He then underwent back surgery and was racing against time for India’s home ODI World Cup. He “never imagined” he would recover quickly to make it to the Asia Cup. He has now immediately found his groove with a brace of fours off Haris Rauf, one of the fastest bowlers in the world.
Haris runs in hard. Hits the deck even harder. He almost hits 150kph. Iyer stands tall, opens the face, and punches him away between point and cover. Haris goes fuller and shifts his line straighter, but Iyer whips him away through midwicket for four more. India’s No.4 is back in business.
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Shaheen goes bang bang

Shaheen has taken out Rohit and Kohli is successive overs.
The one to Rohit was fairly full and bending in. This one to Kohli is shorter and angling away outside off from left-arm over. Kohli aims third man, but the ball isn't coming onto the bat on this Pallekele pitch. He can only drag it back onto the leg stump via a thick inside edge. India are 27 for 2 in the seventh over. Shaheen and Pakistan are on top.
Here is our stats whiz Sampath: Shaheen Afridi is the first bower to dismiss both Rohit and Kohli 'bowled' in the same innings in international cricket.
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Death, taxes...Shaheen striking with new ball

Left-arm over the wicket. Nipping back in to storm through the defences of Rohit and hit the top of off stump. The bails go flying. The off stump gets knocked back. Shaheen does the starman pose, which started as a tribute to the other Afridi, but is now becoming his own. India lose their captain four balls after resumption for 11. Kohli in at No.3 and announces himself with a punchy cover-drive off Naseem. All action at Pallekele. Stay locked in.
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Rain has stopped

Okay, the rain has stopped for now in Pallekele and the covers are being removed. India's openers will be up against Pakistan's pace pack shortly. Rohit has put Shaheen away for two fours, but the left-arm quick has been on the money. Naseem has also tested Rohit and Gill at the other end with pace and seam movement. The conditions - both overhead and underfoot - could continue to challenge the batters.
All covers are off. Pakistan's players are already out to warm up. Rohit puts his helmet back on in the dugout and seems ready to resume. Gill then walks down from the dressing room and joins his captain in the dugout. Play is imminent in Pallekele.
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Rain returns to stop play

It's raining again in Pallekele. It's raining heavily as the ground staff rush in to cover the entire ground. The fastest ground staff in the world. India are 15 for 0 in 4.2 overs.
Fidel Fernando says the rain has eased out to a drizzle, and the ground staff have stopped bringing on more covers.
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Shaheen's opening over

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Shaheen Afridi’s first over is always an event, and this one is no different, though he has no wicket to show for. He lands the first ball so very full – almost on the blockhole – and finds his signature inswing against the angle from left-arm over. To his credit, Rohit was waiting for it and jammed it out. Shaheen then has Rohit weakly chipping a flick just wide of Fakhar Zaman at square leg for four. The left-arm quick also gleans inward movement off the surface and ends the over with another near yorker, which Gill keeps it out.
"A few more India flags than Pakistan ones in the crowd," says Fidel Fernando from Pallekele. "But that might be more because of proximity than anything (quite a lot of Indians seem to have traveled)"
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Uthappa, Urooj, Jaffer look ahead to India-Pakistan

You can also hop across to our sister site to watch the preview show in Hindi.
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Toss: India opt to bat, Iyer and Bumrah back

Rohit says he's happy with India's prep camp in Bengaluru in the lead-up to the Asia Cup. He adds that India aren't too fussed about the weather, but Sudarshanan, who is at the venue, reports that the drizzle has returned. Shreyas Iyer and Jasprit Bumrah are back in action in ODI cricket. Jadeja and Kuldeep are India's two spinners. No Shami or Prasidh Krishna. Thakur is India's third seamer and he provides batting depth at No.8.
India: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Ishan Kishan (wk), 4 Virat Kohli, 5 Shreyas Iyer, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Shardul Thakur 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Mohammed Siraj, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Pakistan are unchanged from the team that beat Nepal in the Asia Cup opener. It is the second time Pakistan have opted to name their line-up a day early, a practice that is set to continue throughout the tournament.
Pakistan: 1 Fakhar Zaman, 2 Imam-ul-Haq, 3 Babar Azam (capt), 4 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 5 Agha Salman, 6 Iftikhar Ahmed, 7 Shadab Khan, 8 Mohammad Nawaz, 9 Shaheen Shah Afridi, 10 Naseem Shah, 11 Haris Rauf
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Weather and pitch update

Hurray! The covers have all been peeled off in Pallekele. Mickey Arthur seemingly gees Pakistan's players up at a team huddle. India's players are out for their pre-match warm-ups. Sanjay Manjrekar reckons that the Pallekele pitch will offer some help for both spinners and seamers. Ravi Shastri says there could be some uneven bounce as the game wears on. Are you ready?
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It's all happening

In the USA, you can watch the India vs Pakistan Asia Cup match LIVE on ESPN+ in English and in Hindi.
The BBL and WBBL drafts will be held on Sunday evening (Australia time), and we will be running a LIVE BLOG for the developments there. You can check out Alex Malcolm's detailed BBL preview ahead of the event. Not to forget, it's the first time we will have a draft for the WBBL, so here's a bit more on that.
In the USA, you can watch the India vs Pakistan match LIVE on ESPN+. In English and in Hindi.
FYI - the commentary for this match is also available in Hindi and in Tamil.
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Rain can't dampen the spirits of fans

Pakistan and India share boundaries, culture, music, language and food, but they rarely face each other in international cricket. This is why there is always a serious edge to this contest.
The last time the two sides came up against each other in ODI cricket was during the 2019 World Cup in Manchester in 2019. But this game could well be a portent for things to follow. They could now face each other three times in two-and-a-half weeks, if both teams make it to the Asia Cup final. Then, of course, India will host Pakistan in Ahmedabad in the World Cup next month. History will be made over the next few weeks. This Asia Cup encounter could well be the first step towards that.
And it’s quite fitting that Kandy, the hill city, which is home to the palace of the last king of the island, is hosting the cricketing kings of Pakistan and India. But the bad news is that there’s a bit of weather around, as you would have read on these pages. It hasn't dampened the spirits of fans, though.
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A slight drizzle as covers come on

More updates, coz why not! Here's Fidel Fernando : From what I can tell, India and Pakistan will complete a match today, even if it is rain-reduced. It rarely rains all day in Pallekele at this time of year, but showers are frequent. However, Sri Lankan ground staff are almost indisputably the best in the world, and as such tend to ensure that short bursts of rain take minimal amounts of time out of the game. But, there is always a but, isn't it? Sudarshanan has just pinged to say that the covers are being rolled on to the pitch because of a very light drizzle.
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Blue skies in Pallekele (for now)

12.45pm Hello, everyone. We are in early. Well, it is India vs Pakistan after all. The weather in Pallekele is in question as well. So, we've saved you all the Google searches and here's a quick update. It is quite clear, with blue skies right now and no rain, for now. There were brief spells of drizzle in the morning - one of them forced the ground to be covered at around 10:35am. But from about 10:45am, covers have been off and it has been sunny. Grey clouds are approaching but not the rain-carrying ones.
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