India trounces Pakistan as Rohit Sharma and Dhawan hit centuries

By Kersi Meher-Homji

India’s openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan batted brilliantly enabling India to win by nine wickets with 10.3 overs remaining in the Asia Cup at Dubai on Sunday. It was India’s biggest victory by wickets against Pakistan.

The win is even more creditable as India won without their best batsman and experienced captain Virat Kohli.

But how many in Australia watched it on TV? None, as  Foxsport  has ignored the Asia Cup.

Pakistan won the toss and batted. Apart from Shoaib Malik who hit four fours and two sixes in his defiant 78, other batsmen folded up to India’s accurate bowlers Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. Skipper Rohit Sharma’s field placing was spot on.

Sharma (111 unbeaten runs with 7 fours and 4 sixes) and Shikhar Dhawan (114 run out, belting16 fours and two sixes) put on 210 scintillating runs, India’s highest partnership when chasing a run target.

As Shashank Kishore summed up in  ESPN cricinfo, “Pakistan dances to captain Rohit’s tunes.” He added, “With their wives sitting next to each other, Rohit and Dhawan went on to put together India’s biggest opening stand against Pakistan; their 13th hundred stand was now the second-most for India openers.”

Dhawan was voted Man of the Match. In this Asia Cup, he has scored most runs; 327 at 81.75. Rohit Sharma has the highest batting average of 134.50.

At the presentation Dhawan said, “I enjoyed my game. I’ve been in good touch and just wanted to make the most of it. It’s a good batting track and I enjoyed the way I was batting. It was sensible and aggressive and I enjoyed the balance. Pakistan have a good bowling attack. I knew that as openers we have to stay in. So once I got set, I just carried on and as I said, I was sensible and I didn’t want to throw away my wicket.

“Once you’re set, once you’ve played 20 overs, it gets easier. It’s the job for openers, play out the new ball, and that’s the opposition’s strength. We don’t get runs that easily in the first 15 overs but Rohit played an amazing knock again, he’s very good at converting to centuries. So it’s good that we both value our wickets. We know that we don’t get these conditions often and we wanted to take advantage of it.”

India meets Afghanistan tomorrow night. Whatever the result, India will play the Final at Dubai on Thursday.

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