About the Match
Arch rivals, India and Pakistan will face off on Sunday, Mar 2nd in the Asia Cup tournament at Dhaka; both sides have won a match each in the series but lost against Sri Lanka in their respective encounters. While Pakistan is the reigning champion here, India has won the title 5 times including their win in the 2010 series; the two teams had met last year during the ICC Champions trophy, wherein India had defeated Pakistan in the group stage and while Pakistan had failed to make it to the knock-out stage, India went on to win the title in the end. The upcoming contest will be tough challenge and both sides will try to dominate the other right from the start and it will be a great cricketing treat for the fans from both sides of the border.
When it was time to face their demons, the Indian brigade fell short in its efforts and lost the crucial match against Sri Lanka by 2 wickets; while Dhawan’s 94 runs was impressive in the first innings, his dropped catch in the final over of the 2nd innings might have just cost them the match though the blame needs to be shared collectively by the batsmen, who could only muster 264 runs. Kohli was once again leading from the front as he scored 48 runs and added 97 runs to the board along with Dhawan to build the innings; but after their dismissal, the middle and lower order collapsed without a fight. Jadeja’s spin magic worked here as claimed 3 wickets giving away just 30 runs whereas Shami’s superb form continued as he too claimed 3 wickets. Ashwin had provided the breakthrough by dismissing the openers but the problem during death overs continued and India saw the match slipping from its hands. There were a lot of expectations from Rayadu, Karthik and Binny with the bat but they failed to rise up to the challenge; the youngsters need to pull up their socks and come up with better and confident performances here.
Umar Akmal was the hero of the day in the match against Afghanistan as he posted a brilliant 102 runs off 89 deliveries to set up a 72-run victory for his team; this came after the top order had crumbled at one point leading to a scare of a humiliating loss but Akmal put up a brave front and remained unbeaten to take the total to 248 runs. Earlier Ahmed Shehzad had reached his half-century and Sharjeel had got to a good start but they couldn’t build a strong foundation. The bowling however made up for the failure in batting as Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal took 2 wickets each and Hafeez’s 3-29 made it impossible for Afghanistan to recover from the collapse. The team has better bowling options than India and they will definitely try to use it to great advantage here; if the batsmen can hold their nerves together and get to a competitive total, they will surely better their chances for a win.
The temperature soars up whenever India and Pakistan clash; while Pakistan has a stronger bowling unit than its counterparts, Indian batsmen will be inspired to attack the opposition with greater force. Though the match may go down to the wire, India looks well placed to win the match and give the defending champions a lot to think about.
India, 1.72 @ Bet365