Colombo: Fantastic unbeaten centuries by Virat Kohli and K.L. Rahul, followed by a terrific five-wicket haul from Kuldeep Yadav helped India thrash archrivals Pakistan by 228 runs in a totally one-sided Super-Four match in in the Asia Cup 2023 at the R. Premadasa Stadium here on Monday.
Resuming their assault on Pakistan on the reserve day starting at 4:40 pm after a rain delay, India reached a mammoth 356/2, their highest score against Pakistan in ODIs.
It was down to Rahul making a stunning comeback to international cricket with a classy 111 not out off 106 balls while Kohli combined astute running between the wickets with dazzling strokeplay to hit his fourth ODI century in as many innings at the venue through an unbeaten 122 off just 94 balls.
If Sunday saw Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma pulverize the Pakistan bowling by hitting quick fifties in a 121-run opening stand, then Monday belonged to Rahul and Kohli sharing a huge 233-run stand for the third wicket, also the highest partnership by any Indian pair in its participation history in the Asia Cup.
In reply, Pakistan were nowhere in the chase as only three of their batters managed to go past 20. India’s fast bowlers were impeccable in their line and length while putting out a surreal exhibition of seam and swing bowling.
Kuldeep then came to bamboozle the batters and pick 5/25, his second fifer in ODIs, as Pakistan were restricted to just 128, with 228 runs being the highest margin of win for India against Pakistan in terms of runs.
India 356/2 in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 122 not out, K.L Rahul 111 not out, Rohit Sharma 56, Shubman Gill 58; Shadab Khan 1-71, Shaheen Shah Afridi 1-79) beat Pakistan 128 all out in 32 overs (Fakhar Zaman 27; Kuldeep Yadav 5-25, Shardul Thakur 1-16) by 228 runs