In spite of the provision of a reserve day for the highly anticipated Pakistan vs. India match, it appears unlikely that the game will conclude today (Monday) due to the persistently unclear weather conditions in Colombo, with the forecast predicting heavy showers later in the day.
Since early morning, Colombo has experienced continuous drizzling, and ominous clouds have been looming over the city. The weather department has issued a warning regarding heavy rainfall expected after 4 pm.
Sunday saw rain disrupting the Asia Cup’s eagerly awaited Super Four clash between the arch-rivals, forcing the remainder of the match to be scheduled for today. India, batting first, had reached a score of 147-2 in 24.1 overs when heavy rain interrupted play. The match officials waited for nearly four hours before deciding to continue the match on the reserve day.
The group match on September 2 between these cricket heavyweights in Pallekele was also abandoned due to rain after the completion of the Indian innings.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam elected to field after winning the toss on Sunday at the R Premadasa Stadium. While Shaheen Afridi had previously posed challenges for India’s top order, Rohit Sharma and his team seemed to have figured out a way to counter the left-arm speedster.
Shubman Gill, in particular, defused Pakistan’s aggressive pace attack during a dynamic 122-run opening partnership with Rohit. Gill, scoring 58, impressively dispatched Afridi for three boundaries in an over on two occasions, ultimately forcing the bowler out of the attack after an unproductive and costly first spell.
Rohit, after surviving Naseem Shah’s aggressive opening spell, unleashed his batting prowess, smashing four sixes in his brisk 56-run innings as boundaries flowed freely from both ends. Spinner Shadab Khan ended the partnership by dismissing Rohit, who was caught in the deep, and Afridi returned to dismiss Gill, putting Pakistan back in contention.
KL Rahul, who was included in the lineup as a replacement for Shreyas Iyer due to back spasms, and Virat Kohli, batting at eight, were in the process of stabilizing India’s innings when the rain brought a halt to the game. Rahul, at a score of 17, appeared comfortable in his first match since recovering from a thigh injury in May.