Kohli masterclass sinks Pakistan

India

Tons from Mohammad Hafeez and Nazir Jamshed proved for naught as a superb hundred from Virat Kohli saw India claim a six-wicket win in game five of the Asia Cup.

Tons from Mohammad Hafeez and Nazir Jamshed proved for naught as a superb hundred from Virat Kohli saw India claim a six-wicket win in game five of the Asia Cup.

India needed a win to stay alive in the tournament and their batsmen ensured that they did just that with an imperious display of batting.

Pakistan had decided to field an extra bowler for the clash as they looked to apply the pressure with Wahab Riaz coming in ahead of wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed.

As fate would have it, the extra bowler proved nowhere near enough as the Indian batsmen were rarely troubled as they chased down Pakistan's very competitive total of 329 for six.

It was the opening pair of Hafeez and Jamshed that laid the foundation for the total, with the duo putting on a partnership of 224 for the first wicket.

The Indian bowlers appeared to have no answer for the swashbuckling duo as MS Dhoni was forced into introducing Sachin Tendulkar into the attack in the 24th over, having already called on the services of seven other bowlers.

Ashok Dinda had looked the man most likely to break the stand and he did just that when he had Jamshed caught at short third man.

Hafeez followed soon after and while the likes of Shahid Afridi failed to fire, the usually restrained Younis Khan produced a rollicking knock of 52 off 34 to propel Pakistan to a tough total.

It appeared to be Pakistan's day when Hafeez struck with the second ball of the Indian innings, trapping Gautam Gambhir lbw for a duck.

However, Misbah-ul-Haq's men were then subjected to a superb exhibition of batting as Sachin Tendulkar – playing with freedom that has been absent over the past year – and Kohli took a liking to both spin and pace.

Saeed Ajmal eventually got the better of Tendulkar (52) but Kohli was not so easily halted as he notched up his third ODI hundred in four games.

The number three was given good support by Rohit Sharma (68) as India steamrolled towards victory.

Both Sharma and Kohli (183 – a career best) fell in the final flings of the match but the hard work had already been done as India secured a six-wicket win.

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