Tue, Sep 25, 2018 - Page 16 News List

India thrash archrivals Pakistan by nine wickets

AP, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

Openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan on Sunday hit centuries as India thrashed archrivals Pakistan by nine wickets in the Asia Cup.

India scored 238-1 in 39.3 overs in reply to Pakistan’s 237-7.

It was India’s largest one-day victory margin in terms of wickets against Pakistan, surpassing their previous best of eight wickets.

“We asked something like this from the boys and they delivered,” Sharma said. “Our bowlers have just been outstanding ... The most important thing here is to bat as long as possible because it can become difficult for the new batsman coming in. We did exactly that.”

Batting first after winning the toss at the Dubai International Stadium, Pakistan’s total rarely looked like posing a challenge for India.

Sharma was 111 not out off 119 balls at the end, while Dhawan scored 114 in 100 before he was run out.

Dhawan made his second century of the tournament and the 15th of his one-day international career, while his captain Sharma scored his 19th ton.

Pakistan were guilty of dropping Sharma twice — once on 14 with the India total on 29 and then when he was on 81 — and he took full advantage of the reprieves.

His innings included seven fours and four sixes.

In contrast, Dhawan played a chanceless knock and smashed 16 fours and two sixes.

The 32-year-old was finally dismissed when he was run out after an opening stand of 210.

India are now almost assured a place in Friday’s final.

They take on Afghanistan today, while Pakistan would have to beat Bangladesh in Abu Dhabi tomorrow to advance.

“We had our chances, but we did not hold on to the catches,” Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said. “These boys can catch 150 balls during nets, but it could be a case of lacking confidence on the field.”

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