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4.6 overs (4 Runs) Four!
4.5 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Shubman Gill is on fire here. Shaheen Afridi bowls this full from around the wicket and on off. Shubman Gill drives it perfectly in the gap through cover with beautiful timing. The ball races away to deep cover fence for four more runs.
4.4 overs (0 Run) Full and on off. Shubman Gill drives it to the fielder at cover.
4.3 overs (0 Run) On the hard length and nipping in towards off. Shubman Gill leaves it alone for the keeper to collect.
4.2 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! What a shot! Shaheen Afridi bowls this full and on the off pole. Shubman Gill dances down the ground and lofts it over the infield down the ground. The ball races away to the long on fence for four more runs. Shubman Gill looks confident here.
4.1 overs (0 Run) Short again and on top of off. Shubman Gill has miscued it on the off side.
4.1 overs (1 Run) Short and wide outside leg. Shubman Gill leaves it alone and the umpire signals a wide.
3.6 overs (0 Run) A good way to end the over. Naseem Shah bowls this short and just outside off. Rohit Sharma is taken by surprise by the excess bounce and he leaves it alone.
3.5 overs (0 Run) Beaten! Naseem Shah bowls this short and swinging away from off. Rohit Sharma comes down the track and swings hard. He is beaten by the swing and the keeper collects the ball. There is an appeal but the umpire has turned it down. Babar Azam has taken the review and the UltraEdge shows that there was no spike. Pakistan lose a review.
3.5 overs (1 Run) Fuller and swinging away wide outside off. Rohit Sharma doesn’t reach it and the umpire signals a wide.
3.4 overs (0 Run) On the hard length and outside off. Rohit Sharma doesn’t offer a shot and lets it go to the keeper.
3.3 overs (0 Run) Shorter and on top of middle. Rohit Sharma has blocked it from the crease.
3.2 overs (0 Run) Beaten! This was an outswinger now pitched on length from Naseem Shah. Rohit Sharma is beaten by the swing. Some good bowling from Naseem Shah.
3.1 overs (0 Run) What a ball! Naseem Shah bowls this on length and swinging in on top of off. Rohit Sharma shoulder arms and the ball goes just over the stumps to the keeper. Brave leave, eh?
2.6 overs (0 Run) On length and outside off. Shubman Gill leaves it alone for the keeper to collect.
2.5 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Shubman Gill is batting brilliantly here. Shaheen Afridi with another full ball swinging in onto middle. Shubman Gill stands tall and drives it straight down the ground with perfect timing. The ball races away wide off the fielder to the fence for the third boundary of the over.
2.4 overs (0 Run) Yorker length and on middle. Shubman Gill plays it late but digs it out safely.
2.3 overs (0 Run) Full, this time on off. Shubman Gill drives it to mid off.
2.2 overs (4 Runs) FOUR AGAIN! Shaheen Afridi bowls a length ball on the leg stump. Shubman Gill comes forward and lofts it over mid-wicket. The ball races away to the boundary for consecutive boundaries. This one will surely give him some confidence.
2.1 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! What a way to start the over! Shaheen Afridi with another full ball and on the pads. Shubman Gill nudges it lightly very fine and wide of fine leg. The fielder fails to stop it and the ball runs away for a four.
1.6 overs (0 Run) Short and on top of off. Rohit Sharma stands tall and blocks it.
1.5 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Rohit Sharma is dealing in boundaries here. Naseem Shah bowls this fuller and outside the off pole. Rohit Sharma stands tall and drives it aerially over the fielder at cover. The ball races away to the fence for four runs. That is the second boundary for Rohit Sharma.
1.4 overs (0 Run) Fuller and another outswinger. He doesn’t play this one either and the keeper collects it.
1.3 overs (0 Run) On length and swinging away from off. Rohit Sharma doesn’t want to reach it as he lets it go to the keeper.
1.2 overs (0 Run) Short again and on top of off. Rohit Sharma blocks it safely.
1.1 overs (1 Run) In the air…safe. Naseem Shah bowls this one short and outside off. Shubman Gill miscues it aerially to the fielder at third man. The ball just lands short of Shaheen Afridi who puts in the dive and the batters cross for a single.
Naseem Shah to take the other new ball.
0.6 over (6 Runs) SIX! What a way to end the over! Rohit Sharma is off the mark and in style! Shaheen Afridi with another full length delivery on the pads with a hint of inswing. Rohit Sharma stands tall and flicks it with impeccable timing over deep square leg and beyond the fence for the first maximum of the match.
0.5 over (0 Run) Fullish and swinging into middle. Rohit Sharma drives it to the fielder at cover.
0.4 over (0 Run) Fuller again and on the pads. The ball goes to the keeper after deflecting from Rohit Sharma’s pads.
0.3 over (0 Run) On length and swinging away from off. Rohit Sharma lets it go to the keeper.
0.2 over (0 Run) Very full from Shaheen Afridi on the off pole. Rohit Sharma digs it out and back to the bowler safely.
0.1 over (0 Run) Right on the money! Shaheen Afridi bowls this full and swinging in onto the pads. Rohit Sharma flicks it to the fielder at square leg.
Done with the pre-game formalities and it is now time for the play to begin! The two umpires are out in the middle and so are the players of Pakistan, who can be seen in a huddle before taking their places on the field. Skipper Rohit Sharma will open the innings for India alongside Shubman Gill. Shaheen Afridi has the new ball in hand and is raring to go. Just the one slip in place and there’s a catching short mid-wicket as well. Let’s play…
We are just a few minutes away from the start of this highly-anticipated contest but first, the two sets of players will line up for their respective national anthems. It will be the national anthem of India first followed by the national anthem of Pakistan.
India’s skipper, Rohit Sharma says that they were looking to bat first as it looks like a good pitch and yes, there will be challenges but runs on the board can be crucial. Adds that every game from hereon is very important for them and they have an opportunity to come out and play well. Mentions that you can’t control the weather and they are well-rested for this clash. Informs that they a couple of changes with Shreyas Iyer out due to a back-spasm and Jasprit Bumrah also returns to the side.
Babar Azam, the skipper of Pakistan says that they will bowl first. He adds that he feels chasing will be easier and says that it is a high-intensity match. He feels happy with the form of his players. He ends by saying that his team has no changes.
India (Playing XI) – Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul (In for KL Rahul), Ishan Kishan (WK), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, and Jasprit Bumrah (In for Mohammad Shami).
Pakistan (Unchanged XI) – Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (C), Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf.
TOSS – Babar Azam flips the coin and Rohit Sharma calls ‘Heads’. It lands in favour of Pakistan and they will BOWL first.
PITCH REPORT – Sanjay Manjrekar is pitchside. He says that the pitch has been watered well and it seems sunny now. The pitch is even with a little grass. Waqar Younis joins him and says that the pacers will have an advantage and it is expected to turn as well. They reckon that chasing the target will be easier on this pitch.
India on the other hand have a hectic week coming up as they are yet to play a single game in the Super Four stage. They did get an easy win against Nepal in their previous game but given what happened in that rain-curtailed match last time around against Pakistan, they will surely look to start better against the new ball. Their bowlers haven’t been tested as of yet and will be raring to go. Will we see a full game take place? And if so, which of these two giants of the game will have the last say? We shall find out. Toss and team news in a bit.
Pakistan come into this upbeat with their victory against Bangladesh in the last match and a win here will all but seal the top spot for them in this stage. The pacers are in scintillating form and the top order also has batters in good touch. Their spin attack and the sixth bowling option will certainly be something they would be hoping to improve upon going into this mammoth clash.
Hello and a very warm welcome to one and all! It is now time for that epic clash once again as eternal rivals, Pakistan and India face off in a crucial match number 3 of the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup. A lot of talk about the rain and the inclement weather in Colombo but to everyone’s delight, it is nice and sunny at the moment, although there is a chance of rain later in the day, let’s hope for a complete game. We do have a reserve day tomorrow, in case it’s needed.
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