For all Indian cricket lovers, the result of Sunday’s Asia Cup match between India and Pakistan would have given them immense happiness. Reeling from the loss against Pakistan at last year’s T20 World Cup, India pulled one back and won the match by five wickets to get their Asia Cup 2022 campaign to a perfect start. In a tense match that went down to the wire, India prevailed over Pakistan chasing down 148 in the final over, with Hardik Pandya hitting the winning runs and emerging as the hero.
India fans across the country celebrated the win as videos of people dancing, screaming and bursting crackers emerged from various parts of the nation. However, a video that has surfaced on social media suggests that India’s win over Pakistan has transcended borders as an Afghanistan fan was seen celebrating the victory with equal pomp and joy. In fact, the fan’s adrenaline rush was such that he even kissed Pandya over the television screen, the video of which has since gone viral.
Hardik, who came in to bat at the fall of Suryakumar Yadav’s wicket, with India still needing 59 runs to win off 34 balls bided his time initially before switching gears when it mattered. With India needing 21 off 12 balls, Hardik hit Haris Rauf for three fours in the over to bring the equation down to 7 off the last over. After a wicket, single and a dot ball, Hardik pulled left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz over the long-on boundary to give India the win.
In bowling, it’s important to assess the situations and use your weapons. For me, bowling short and the hard lengths have been my strengths. It’s about using them well and asking the right questions to make the batters commit a mistake. In a chase like this, you always plan over-by-over. I always knew that there is one young bowler and also one left-arm spinner. We only needed 7 off the last over but even if we needed 15, I’d have fancied myself. I know the bowler is under more pressure than me in the 20th over. I try to keep things simple.
Afghanistan, who began their Asia Cup campaign with a dominating nine-wicket win over Sri Lanka will be in action later tonight against Bangladesh. A win tonight will see them progress to the Super 4s. India, on the other hand, will next face Hong Kong tomorrow, and like Afghanistan will also progress to the next round, where they are likely to face Pakistan again provided they can get past Hong Kong as well.
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