India leave Pakistan battered and bruised

It was a memorable win for Team India. Photo: AFP/Farooq Naeem

India thrashed Pakistan by 228 runs in their opening Super Four match of the Asia Cup in Colombo on Monday. The Indians, who resumed on 147/2 in 24.1 overs after rain stopped play on Sunday, amassed 356/2 in their 50 overs on the reserve day with Virat Kohli and comeback man K L Rahul smashing hundreds. Pakistan in reply could manage only 128/8 in 32 overs as Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf, who suffered injuries while fielding, did not bat. Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav was the wrecker-in-chief with figures of 5/25.

The margin of victory - 228 - was the biggest by runs in an India-Pakistan ODI, bettering Pakistan's 180-run triumph in the 2017 Champions Trophy final.

The defeat also affected Pakistan's Net Run Rate (NRR) badly. Pakistan are in third spot behind India and hosts Sri Lanka with two points from as many matches. Pakistan's NRR slipped to -1.892. India are sitting pretty with a NRR of +4.56 followed by the Lankans (+0.42).

Pakistan need to win their final Super Four match against Lanka on Thursday to have any chance of progressing to Sunday's title clash.

Almost everything went wrong for Pakistan after captain Babar Azam won the toss and put India in to bat. Indian captain Rohit Sharma and his opening partner Shubman Gill tore into the Pakistan pace attack.

Afridi hurt himself while attempting a catch on the third-man boundary off Shah's bowling when Gill was on zero. The leff-arm pacer hurt his bowling hand in the process and had to leave the field for a short break after bowling three overs.

Rauf too was hit on the hand while attempting to stop a straight drive. Later, the pacer did not take the field on the reserve day as he had a slight discomfort on his right flank.

To make matters worse for Pakistan, Shah was hit on the hand during the final overs of the Indian innings.

Pakistan are set to draft in back-ups for Rauf and Shah with the duo looking doubtful for the remainder of the Asia Cup. Shahnawaz Dahani and Zaman Khan will come into the squad but no decision had been made yet regarding Rauf and Naseem, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement.

"This is only a precautionary measure keeping in mind the fitness and wellbeing of the players ahead of the ICC World Cup next month and the two will continue to remain under the observation of the team's medical panel," the PCB said.

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