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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — India cruised to a record 228-run win over rival Pakistan on Monday and collected crucial points in the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup.
Having set a target of 357, India bowled out Pakistan for 128 runs, its third-lowest total against India. It was India's biggest margin of victory — by runs — over its neighbor.
After bad weather halted play on Sunday, when Pakistan won the toss, the game extended to the reserve day and threatened to end in no result after several more rain interruptions but India’s bowlers did well to bowl out the opposition in 32 overs. Two injured bowlers did not bat for Pakistan.
Kuldeep Yadav finished with a five-wicket haul as Pakistan struggled against the left-arm wrist spinner. As well as taking five wickets, his eight overs cost only 25 runs.
Earlier, Virat Kohli and K.L. Rahul posted unbeaten hundreds as India amassed 356-2.
Kohli and Rahul put on an unbroken 233 for the third wicket off 194 balls, India’s highest partnership for any wicket in the Asia Cup.
It is also the fourth highest total at the R. Premadasa Stadium, with no ODI team having successfully chased 357 at the venue, and India’s joint highest ODI total against Pakistan, equaling the 356 scored in Visakhapatnam in 2005.
“We wanted to walk out to the park and have some game time. Many of the guys didn’t have game time,” India captain Rohit Sharma said. “Virat and Rahul batted so well when we had to score big runs and then the bowlers were superb when it was our time to bowl. We have back-to-back games (playing Sri Lanka on Tuesday) and it’s tough on the players, but we are looking forward for the challenge.”
India resumed Monday on 147-2 and soon took complete control.
Rahul, back in the side after injury, scored a run-a-ball century. It was his sixth ODI hundred and the first since March 2021. He finished 111 not out off 106 balls with 12 fours and two sixes.
Only former captain Kohli could do better than that as he became the quickest batter to get to 13,000 ODI runs. The previous record holder, Sachin Tendulkar, needed 321 innings to reach the milestone but Kohli got there in 267.
Kohli’s 47th ODI hundred came off 84 balls — after reaching his fifty in 55 deliveries — and it was his fourth consecutive century at the ground. Only Hashim Amla of South Africa has scored four successive tons at the same venue, at Centurion.
Kohli finished unbeaten on 122 off 94 deliveries with nine fours and three sixes.
"India’s batters had a plan for our bowlers. And then Rahul and Kohli followed up and finished very well," Pakistan captain Babar Azam said. "It was disappointing as we were never in the hunt during the run chase."
Pakistan’s bowling looked strong when the teams met in a first-round game in Kandy but this time India went on the attack.
Pakistan’s bowling was weakened without Haris Rauf. The paceman sent down five overs on Sunday but wasn’t available to bowl on Monday as he felt "discomfort in his right flank,” the Pakistan Cricket Board said. Naseem Shah also walked off midway through his final over with a shoulder niggle. Both bowlers didn’t bat.
India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka all have one win apiece in the Super Four round. India is top on net run rate.
Bangladesh is the fourth team in the group and has lost two matches.
India made two changes for the match from the lineup that beat Nepal in its previous game. Rahul, who missed the group stage, returned in place of Shreyas Iyer and Jasprit Bumrah, who had flown back to India and missed the Nepal game due to personal reasons, replaced Mohammad Shami.
Pakistan opted to play an unchanged lineup, sticking to the same XI that had beaten Bangladesh in their first Super Four game in Lahore.
The first-round day-nighter between India and Pakistan was washed out after India was bowled out for 266 in the 49th over.
AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket