India vs Pakistan: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan crush arch-rivals in Asia Cup 2018

Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan scored brilliant centuries as India defeated Pakistan by nine wickets in the Asia Cup 2018 Super Four encounter in Dubai on Sunday. Dhawan (114) and Rohit (111) made short work of the 238-run target to help India almost book a spot in the tournament final. The win is India’s biggest against Pakistan in terms of wickets, improving on the eight-wicket win in Melbourne in 1985. Both the Indian openers have been in tremendous form in the tournament and it was no different on Sunday as they dominated the Pakistan bowlers. The partnership of 210 runs also broke the record for the highest opening stand for India against Pakistan in ODIs. Pakistan had a great chance to dismiss Rohit in the sixth over but Imam-ul-Haq dropped an easy catch off Shaheen Afridi to hand a lifeline to the Indian skipper. From that moment, there was no turning back as the right-hander dominated proceedings and during the course of his brilliant innings, he became the ninth Indian batsman to complete 7,000 one-day runs in his 187th match, when he reached 94. Dhawan’s 50 came off 56 balls with a pulled boundary while Rohit took 65 balls to reach the milestone. Rohit and Dhawan both kept attacking the bowlers and at one point, it became a sort of race between the batsmen to see who reaches their century first. Dhawan was the eventual winner as he reached his 15th hundred and celebrated it with a huge six and a boundary before getting run-out for 114. Rohit, however, was not affected by the fall of the wicket and he had no problems in completing his 19th century. The impressive innings comprised of seven fours and four sixes and thanks to his solid knock, India were able to cruise to a well-deserved victory with 10.3 overs remaining in the encounter. Earlier, Pakistan scored 237/7 in 50 overs thanks to a fifty from veteran Shoaib Malik and a late cameo from Asif Ali. Malik scored 78 off 90 balls and added 107 runs for the fourth wicket with skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (44 off 66 balls) while Asif Ali slammed one four and two sixes to score 30 off just 21 deliveries. Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav scalped three wickets each in the match to restrict Pakistan to a below-par total on a fairly good batting wicket. The spinners struck early in the match while Bumrah bothered the batsmen with his discipline in the death overs to return with figures of 2/29.

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