India 266 (Pandya 87, Ishan 82, Afridi 4-35, Naseem 3-36, Rauf 3-58) vs Pakistan.
Pallekele: Ishan Kishan's unbridled 82 and Hardik Pandya's blinding batting display at Pallekele helped India post 266 after Pakistan's pacer attack dismantled Men in Blue's top order in their Asia Cup 2023 campaign opener here at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
Kishan and Pandya's stand of 138 off 140 balls laid the foundation for India's total of 266.
Pakistan's pacer attack was too good for the Indian batter as they bundled out Men in Blue for 266 in 48.5 overs.
For Pakistan, Shaheen Shah Afridi was the wrecker-in-chief as he dismantled India's top order and took the wickets of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja. Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah bagged three-wicket hauls each.
Put to ball first, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam gave the new ball to Shaheen Shah Afridi and the pacer almost pulled what could have been the big breakthrough for them, however, India captain Rohit Sharma was lucky as the square leg fielder dropped the catch. The ball ran away for a four on the second delivery of the game.
Play was interrupted due to rain with India 15-0 after 4.2 overs. Rohit was decisive in his approach and made the Pakistan bowlers toil hard making merry of the excellent batting conditions on offer. On the other end, Shubman Gill took his time to settle on the pitch.
After halfway of the match, Pandya and Kishan steadied the sinking Indian ship and rotated the strike brilliantly, not allowing the Pakistan bowlers to settle down while whacking the loose balls on offer.
Kishan was rewarded for his fearless approach as the batter brought up his half-century in 54 runs in the pressure game. Pandya joined the party with a fine half-century in 62 balls.
The duo of Pandya-Kishan crossed the 100-run partnership stand. The duo kept the scoreboard ticking for Men in Blue against the strong Pakistan pace attack.
In the 38th over of the game, Rauf broke the massive 138-run partnership as he removed well-set batter Kishan. The India batter departed after a solid knock of 82 off 81 deliveries. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja then came out to bat.
Pandya in the 40th over, smoked Rauf for three boundaries with a deft touch, gathering 12 runs.
Afridi was brought back in the attack and the pacer bagged the important wicket of dangerous Pandya, who was near his century.
Pandya went back to the pavilion after playing a stunning knock of 87 off 90 deliveries. In the same over Afridi bagged the wicket of Ravindra Jadeja for 14.