ISLAMABAD: Rain paused play between India and Pakistan at Colombo on Sunday, threatening to play spoilsport in another clash between the traditional rivals for the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup tournament.
India made an explosive start to the innings, with skipper Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill putting up a century-stand for the opening partnership before vice-captain Shadab Khan struck, dismissing Sharma for 56 from 49 balls. His innings included four sixes and six fours.
Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi, who was battered by the Indian openers during his first three overs, returned to the attack shortly and struck gold, dismissing Gill for 58 from 52 balls. Gill was deceived by a slow Afridi delivery that ended up straight into the hands of Agha Salman.
Former Indian skipper Virat Kohli (8 runs from 16 balls) and KL Rahul (17 runs from 28 balls) remained not out at the crease when rain paused play. India were 147/2 from 24.1 overs.
Afridi took 1/37 from 5 overs at an economy rate of 7.4 while Khan notched 1/45 from 6.1 overs at an economy rate of 7.29. Right-arm fast bowler Naseem Shah troubled the Indian batters early on with his express pace and swing, with figures of 0/23 from 5 overs at an economy rate of 4.6.
The group match between Pakistan and India on Sept. 2 was abandoned by rain, which has played havoc with the 50-over tournament that is a precursor to the upcoming ODI World Cup in India.
Pakistan won their opening match of the Super Four stage and a second win will further enhance their chances of reaching the final on September 17.
“We are not frustrated about the weather because it is not in our control,” Pakistan skipper Babar Azam was quoted as saying by the Pakistan Cricket Board. “The forecast said it will rain all 4 days, but the way sun is shining now suggests otherwise. We are trying to utilize all the days we get.”
As rain in the Sri Lankan capital is expected to play spoilsport again, a reserve day has been kept aside for the India-Pakistan match.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan, Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj