Last Updated: September 02, 2023, 22:14 IST
It had the makings of a thriller thanks in part to rain but the weather gods had the final say as the Asia Cup 2023 clash between India and Pakistan ended on a disappointing note on Saturday. India were bowled out for 266 before rain returned and kept Pakistan waiting to kickstart their chase which, as it turned out was, not meant to be.
A light drizzle had started during the innings break and it delayed the start of the chase. At 9 PM IST, an inspection was held and soon the covers were taken off with India players warming up.
Asia Cup 2023 Full Schedule | Asia Cup 2023 Complete Results | Asia Cup 2023 Full Coverage
Within the space of a few minutes, the covers were put back on and the players returned to the comforts of their respective dressing room. The waiting game continued for some more time but with each passing minute, the hopes of even a curtailed chase began dissipating which eventually turned out to be the case when the two set of players began shaking hands signalling the contest has been called off.
India and Pakistan received a point each thanks to rain interruption.
With that, Pakistan have advanced to the next round – the Super Fours – of the Asia Cup 2023 having taken their points tally to three. The last-year’s runners-up had started their campaign with thumping win as they crushed tournament debutant Nepal by a massive 238 runs in the first game earlier this week.
With forecast of rain during the contest, India opted to bat first after winning the toss at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Sri Lanka.
India started well before a brief rain delay saw them suffer a top-order collapse with Shaheen Afridi getting rid of Rohit Sharma (11) and Virat Kohli (4) in quick intervals.
And then Haris Rauf ended Shubman Gill’s scratchy innings by having him bowled on 10 off 32.
Shreyas Iyer, playing in his first competitive match since March this year, made a positive start to this innings with a couple of boundaries but then succumbed to a short ball finding the fielder at short midwicket while attempting a pull off the bowling of Rauf.
With India struggling at 66/4, Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya got together and stitched a century stand for the fifth wicket to get them out of trouble.
Ishan was quite positive throughout his innings, not shying away from playing his shots and eventually managed 82 before becoming Rauf’s third victim.
That stand between Ishan and Pandya was worth 138 runs and lifted them to 204/4 in 37 overs from the depths of 66/4 in 14.1 overs.
Pandya then followed him back to the dressing room by holing out on 87 off 90 with India suffering another collapse, losing their final five wickets for just 27 runs to be bowled out in 48.5 overs.
Afridi finished with 4/35 while Naseem Shah and Rauf took three wickets each.
India will next face Nepal in their final group match on Monday.