Throughout the history of world cricket, the India vs. Pakistan rivalry has been the pinnacle of cricketing antagonism. The intensity increases manifold whenever these two cricketing giants lock horns in the Asia Cup tournament. The 2010 Asia Cup group stage match in Dambulla created another chapter in the epic tale of the neighbors of the sub-continent.
India vs. Pakistan 2010 Asia Cup in Sri Lanka
The Asia Cup group stage between India & Pakistan took place in Dambulla on the 19th of June, 2010. It was the second match for both of the teams.
Playing XI of India vs. Pakistan Asia Cup 2010
Both sides fielded a strong eleven full of entertaining cricketers and match-winners.
Playing XI of India:
MS Dhoni (WK & C), Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra.
Playing XI of Pakistan:
Shahid Afridi (C), Imran Farhat, Salman Butt, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Umar Amin, Kamral Akmal (WK), Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Amir, Saeed Ajmal
Bright start for the Pakistanis
Pakistan’s skipper Shahid Afridi won the touch and elected to bat on a plain wicket. Pakistan had a solid start as opening batsman Salman Butt scored 74 off 85 balls. The left-landed batter created a strong base for his team after forming solid partnerships with Imran Farhat & Shoaib Malik.
Zaheer Khan Turns the Tide in India’s Favour
But It was Zahir Khan who rattled Malik’s stumps to earn India a much-needed breakthrough. Soon after, a bull’s eye throw from Jadeja gave Butt his marching orders. Pakistan was suddenly struggling at 146/3.
Late Akmal Show Sets a Challenging Target
The middle order failed to come up with substantial answers and the responsibility fell to the shoulders of Afridi 32 (25) & Akmal 51(41). Akmal’s quick-fire half-century consisted of two fours and three maximums which steered Pakistan to a respectable total of 267. Praveen Kumar was the pick of the bowlers after securing three scalps at the expense of 53 runs.
India’s early woes
India lost their flamboyant opener Virender Sehwag (10) early after getting caught behind Abdul Razzaq. Despite looking promising, Virat Kohli (18) also got himself out cheaply.
Gambhir and Dhoni with the repair act:
Gautam Gambhir and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni worked in tandem to steady the rocking boat. The pair added an invaluable 98 runs at a rate of over six runs per over. Gambhir played all around the park in his superb innings of 83.
Pakistan spinning trouble
The Indians were sailing plainly towards their target. But India suddenly found them at 219/6 as the Pakistani bowlers came back strongly. Shoaib Malik spun one and upended MS Dhoni’s wickets. Afridi deceived Rohit Sharma and trapped him in front of the stumps. Jadeja fell victim to the quick-thinking act of keeper Kamran Akmal.
Another Epic Finale in the Ind vs. Pak Rivalry
After all the ebb and flow, India needed 39 from the last five overs. Suresh Raina batted courageously to keep up with the ever-rising run rate. But he was run out with eight runs needed from the four balls. Harbhajan Singh batted calmly & with assistance from Praveen Kumar from the other end, steered the Indian ship with one ball to spare. It was so close but yet so far for the Pakistanis.
India vs. Pakistan Asia Cup 2010 Man of the Match
Gautam Gambhir was adjudicated the man of the match in this exhilarating encounter. The Delhi-born top-order batsman fired 83 off 92 balls. His display of powerful stroke play and intelligent strike rotation enabled India to go strongly through the middle overs after a shaky start.
The game was a testament to the skills, craft, and defiant mindsets of the players. At one point, it seemed the Pakistanis seemed to have sealed the game. But Indians’ batting strength was too much for them and Raina’s daredevil innings was the ultimate decider. The group stage game between India and Pakistan was another encounter that would be remembered through the eyes.