Pakistan restricts India to 245-8 in Asia Cup
MIRPUR, Bangladesh (AP) — Pakistan off-spinners Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez shared five wickets, restricting India to 245-8 in their Asia Cup game on Sunday.
Ajmal grabbed 3-40 and played an important part in restricting scoring toward the end while Hafeez took 2-38 earlier on to begin the regular flow of wickets.
Sent in to bat, India was also troubled by debutant pace bowler Mohammad Talha, who chipped in with 2-22 off seven overs but was not used in the end overs.
Ambati Rayudu (58), Rohit Sharma (56) and Ravindra Jadeja (52 not out) all scored half-centuries to lift India to a competitive total against a Pakistan side that is not adept chasing totals.
Sharma produced a neat 58-ball cameo, striking seven fours and one pulled six but tried another pull off Talha but was caught by Hafeez, who took a fine catch running back from mid-wicket.
Rahane also fell to Talha, who has played two tests for Pakistan and hurried the batsmen with his pace.
Rayudu batted himself in along with Ajinkya Rahane (23), hitting four fours and a six over mid-wicket to leg-spinner Shahid Afridi. He was one of Ajmal’s important victims as he perished trying to push the run rate and holed out to the deep.
Jadeja, who was dropped by Hafeez off his own bowling when on 12, provided a late boost smashing four fours and two sixes off 49 balls.
Earlier, Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq’s decision to open the bowling with spinner Hafeez paid off as opener Shikhar Dhawan was trapped lbw for 10 going on the back foot and playing across the line. In-form batsman Virat Kohli, leading the team in this tournament due to an injury to regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, went for 5 when he edged one behind the stumps trying to guide a delivery from Umar Gul down to third man.
The two teams last clashed in the Champions Trophy at Birmingham in England last June when eventual champion India prevailed over Pakistan by eight wickets in a rain-shortened match.