Pakistan suffered a humiliating nine-wicket defeat at the hands of India in the Super Four clash of the Asia Cup 2018 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday (September 23).
Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss and opted to bat first. India bowlers displayed another disciplined performance and restricted Pakistan to 237/7. Spin twins Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal claimed two wickets each while pacer Jasprit Bumrah (2/29) bowled brilliantly in the death overs.
For Pakistan, veteran batsman Shoaib Malik played a well-composed knock of 78 runs. Malik along with skipper Sarfaraz (44) stitched a 107-run for the fourth wicket. Later, Asif Ali played a brilliant cameo of 30 runs to help Pakistan cross the 200-run mark.
In reply, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan put on a batting exhibition to chase down the target in 39.3 overs. While the stand-in Indian captain amassed his 19th ODI ton, Dhawan smashed his 15th ODI century. The duo were also involved in 210 runs opening wicket stand.
After Shikhar got run-out in the 34th over for 114, Rohit (111*) and Ambati Rayudu (12*) ensured India crossed the finishing line without any hiccup. Team India have now won both the Asia Cup clashes against Pakistan, with the first one coming in the group stage by eight wickets.
Seeing the magnitude of defeat, veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has said that Pakistan don't have it in them to compete with India.
"There's a big difference between these two teams. This Pakistani team doesn't have it in them to compete with the Indian team. They were only playing the game but not to win. India are the No.1 contender to win the Asia Cup. India remain the favourite,” Harbhajan told India Today.
"Rohit is a class apart. Shikhar is a very talented batsman. The kind of bowling attack we have it's tough to compete against us. India have the experience...MS Dhoni, Rohit, Dhawan, Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar and even Ambati Rayudu. In Pakistan, barring Shoaib Malik there's no other player who has this kind of exposure. That is the difference between the two teams," he added.
Harbhajan, who is covering the Asia Cup as a commentator, was in full of praise for Rohit's captaincy in the tournament.
"Rohit has been scoring runs and leading the team from the front. He is showing the way. He has done a great job. We can say apart from Virat Kohli, Rohit is also a top contender to lead the team," Harbhajan remarked.
By virtue of this thumping win, the Men in Blue also secured their place in the final of Asia Cup 2018. Rohit and company will now face Afghanistan in their next Super Four match at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday (September 25).