Rizwan plays Pakistan against India in an Asian Cup thriller

DUBAI: Mohammad Rizwan hit an offensive 71 as Pakistan beat India in a five-wicket Super Four thriller at the Asian Cup on Sunday (September 4).

Pakistan chased 182 for victory and reached their goal with one ball to go in Dubai thanks to a crucial 73-run stand between Rizwan and Mohammad Nawaz (42).

Rizwan was out in the 17th after his second half century in a row, but Khushdil Shah’s unbeaten 14 and Asif Ali’s 16 from eight ensured Pakistan got over the line against Arshdeep Singh.

After Arshdeep dropped an easy catch on short third man, Asif hit a six and two fours before falling with two balls remaining and Iftikhar Ahmed had to tee off the remaining two runs.

Previously, Virat Kohlis 60 had led India to 181-7 after being used first to bat.

Pakistan started their chase cautiously, losing skipper Babar Azam for 14 while leg spinner Ravi Bishnoi lured the batsman into a chip right in the middle of the wicket.

The in-form Rizwan, who hit 43 and 78 in the previous two games, hit back with three boundary off-pace bowlers Hardik Pandya and a six in the next over.

He put down 41 runs with Fakhar Zaman playing a raspy 13 shot before being brought down by Yuzvendra Chahal’s leg twist.

Pakistan promoted left-hander Nawaz, primarily a spinner, up the batting order to improve the score and he delivered, promptly hitting a four and a six.

Rizwan, who injured himself holding the wicket after landing awkwardly on his right leg but was able to continue, anchored the innings and reached fifty in 37 balls.

Nawaz smashed five fours and two sixes in his 20-ball blitz and stood solidly with Rizwan before breaking out against Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Pandya removed Rizwan as India felt a turnaround, but left-handers Khushdil and Asif continued the comeback as Pakistan avenged their group stage loss to India.

Star batsman Kohli, who hit 60 balls from 44 before going out in the final, helped India weather a mid-order stutter to set a competitive total.

He reached his 32nd half-century in 36 balls with a six-off-pace bowler, Mohammad Hasnain, amid chants of “Kohli, Kohli” in a crowded stadium.

Leg spinner Shadab Khan stood out with numbers 2-31 from his four overs.