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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Asia Cup Cricket: India Pulverize Pakistan, Enter Final of Unimoni Asia Cup!

India enter Unimoni Asia Cup Final to be played on 28th September, 2018 beating Pakistan by 9 wickets, their second win against the arch-rivals in the tournament. Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma hit a scintillating partnership of 210 runs and Pakistan had to engineer a run-out to separate them. In the process Shikhar hit his second century of the tournament with other consistent good knocks. Consecutive explosive knocks by captain Rohit Sharma is wonderful as compared to his earlier habit of following a terrific knock in one innings by a failure in the next. His century too was brilliant and worthy of a captain making the win a mere formality. 

Never saw such an extremely one-sided India-Pakistan encounter and such severe Indian mauling against Pakistan. Their first encounter was also one-sided, but that was largely due to an absolute Pakistan batting collapse. In this match Pakistan started shakily or rather over-cautiously, but finally put up a total which could be called competitive (237/7 in 50 overs) in a high-pressure match between the arch-rivals. Pakistan tactics were surprising--electing to bat first despite the previous match, total lack of aggression in batting, dropped catches and sting-less bowling. As a total contrast the Indian reply was electric and incredible. The Scorecard:

This doesn't mean that India start experimenting again against a formidable Afghanistan on 25th September, 2018 in Dubai International Cricket stadium. Let an unchanged team go on winning.  

India look to be the team worthy of winning the Cup at the moment. Of course, if Pakistan too makes it to the Final then it will be a brand new encounter with any kind of result possible. On the other hand Bangladesh and Afghanistan are also immensely capable of entering the Final. 

By the way what will India do with the heap of the overs spared so far ?? 

(PS: Afghanistan was again unlucky to lose narrowly to Bangladesh by 3 runs in a thriller in Abu Dhabi last night. With Afghanistan thus knocked out of the tournament the Pakistan-Bangladesh last Super Four match on 26th September, 2018 will be a virtual semi-final.) 
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