Sri Lanka under fire after rain destroys India-Pakistan clash

Sri Lanka under fire after rain destroys India-Pakistan clash

By Easwaran Rutnam

Sri Lanka has come under fire after a much-anticipated India-Pakistan Asia Cup clash was washed out by rain in Kandy.

Even before the tournament kicked off there was a forecast of rain in Kandy and some experts proposed that the games be moved to Dambulla where the chances of rain were minimum.

However, the organisers stuck to Kandy and the end result saw the India-Pakistan clash being washed out.

Sri Lanka Tourism had also promoted hotels and homestays in Kandy ahead of the game as large crowds were expected.

Earlier, Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bat first, but India found the going tough in overcast conditions. They were also impacted by the start-stop nature of the contest, with rain interfering constantly.

Making things all the more tougher was Pakistan’s pace battery, which was at its regal best. Shaheen Shah Afridi struck in the fifth over when he got one to nip and crash into Rohit Sharma’s stumps.

In his very next over, he had India’s batting lynchpin, Virat Kohli, chopping onto his stumps.

India’s middle-order was rattled by Shaheen and Haris Rauf in tandem.  Naseem Shah who had bowled well all day, returned to turn up the heat in the death overs.

Shaheen finished with 4/35, Rauf took 3/58, while Naseem had 3/36.

This continues their splendid run in recent times, and augurs well for the Men in Green ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

The bright spot for India was the 138-run fifth-wicket stand between Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya. This was the highest fifth wicket partnership for India against Pakistan in ODIs.

Kishan, batting out of his preferred top-order spot, impressed in particular. He arrived in the 10th over, when his side was tottering after the loss of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer.

After getting his eye in, Kishan was soon among runs. He dispatched a short ball by Rauf for a six in the 12th over. Along with Pandya, Kishan milked the Pakistan spinners in the middle overs, as India slowly made their way back into the game.

Kishan eventually fell for 82, with nine fours and two sixes to his name. Hardik too played his role with a well-made 87, but fell to a slower one from Shaheen.

This result means that Pakistan have three points in Group A and have qualified for the Super Four stage of the tournament. India will now take on Nepal in the final Group A encounter of the Asia Cup. (Colombo Gazette)

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