After rain played spoilsport at the R Premadasa on Sunday, India thrashed arch-rivals Pakistan on the reserve day, by a whopping margin of 228 runs, in the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup.
Virat Kohli notched up his 47th century in one-day internationals, amassing an unbeaten 122 runs from 94 balls. KL Rahul, who made a strong comeback to the team following an injury, also shined, as he smacked a century with an unbeaten 111 off 106 deliveries.
Facing a daunting target of 357 runs for victory, Pakistan’s batting lineup struggled to find their footing, eventually finishing at a modest 128 runs. Notably, Pakistan’s bowlers Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf were both sidelined due to injuries.
The turning point in the match came when India’s spinner Kuldeep Yadav spun a web, taking an impressive 5 wickets for just 25 runs. Prior to this, Jasprit Bumrah removed Imam-ul-Haq, and Hardik Pandya dismissed the dangerous Babar Azam.
The match had its share of interruptions due to rain, which pushed it to a reserve day. However, the runs continued to flow when the action resumed. Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill had set the tone earlier with half-centuries, and despite the rain delays, India managed to post a formidable total of 356-2 in their allotted 50 overs.
Kohli and Rahul’s unbeaten partnership of 233 runs for the third wicket was a standout feature of the match, establishing a new record for the highest partnership in the Asia Cup. Rahul, making a comeback after undergoing surgery for a quadriceps injury in May, displayed his prowess against spinners Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan. He even dispatched a massive six after reaching his half-century.
As the match progressed, India accelerated their scoring rate, reaching the 300-run mark in 45 overs. Rahul, who was included in the team due to Shreyas Iyer’s back injury, notched up his sixth century in style.
Virat Kohli achieved a significant personal milestone during the match, becoming the fifth batsman and the fastest to reach 13,000 runs in one-day internationals. His century was met with jubilation as he pumped his fists and received thunderous applause from the crowd at the R Premadasa Stadium. He concluded his innings with a flourish, striking two fours off Faheem Ashraf, including one from a free hit, and a massive six in the final over.
Following this impressive victory, India is set to take the field for the third straight day, as they will be up against Sri Lanka today.