The highly anticipated Super 4 clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan in the 2023 Asia Cup had to be abandoned due to persistent rain. Umpires made the decision to postpone the match to the following day (Monday) as a reserve day had been designated for this high-voltage encounter in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Pakistan won the toss and opted to bowl first against India. When rain interrupted play, India had reached 147/2 in 24.1 overs. Initially, there was hope for a 34-over match, but the rain returned, disappointing cricket enthusiasts.
According to the tournament rules, the game will resume from the same point on the following day, with no overs lost.
Pakistan maintained their starting lineup for this crucial encounter, while India had to make two changes. Shreyas Iyer suffered a back spasm just before the toss and was replaced by KL Rahul, and Jasprit Bumrah replaced Mohammad Shami in India’s lineup.
After a convincing seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh in their first Super Four match, Pakistan aimed to continue their impressive form in the Asia Cup.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam, speaking at the toss, stated, “We will bowl first. I think there is a bit of moisture, we need to use that. Always, India-Pakistan is high intensity, but we will take it match to match. As a team, we are playing well, we are focused on this one.”
Meanwhile, India was playing their first match in the Super 4 stage. Indian skipper Rohit Sharma said, “Looking to bat first. There will be a challenge upfront, but the way we guys batted last time around gives us confidence. Every game is important for us, but one thing at a time to focus on.”
Both teams were eager to secure a win, especially after their previous game in Pallekele was washed out due to rain. In that match, India was dismissed for 266 in 48.5 overs, and Pakistan, leading the points table, couldn’t begin their chase due to the weather.
With a high chance of precipitation, spectators and fans were concerned about another disrupted game. However, according to ESPNcricinfo, Sunday morning in Colombo was bright and sunny.
In case rain interrupts the match later in the day, it would be rescheduled to Monday, the designated reserve day for the clash.
This match carried significant importance as a single loss in the Super 4s could put a team on the brink of “must-win territory.” With in-form Sri Lanka scheduled to face both these sides next week, the two points at stake in this match were in high demand.
There was also a slim possibility that this fixture might be the last India vs. Pakistan encounter in the 2023 Asia Cup, as Sri Lanka was a strong contender to reach the finals. History suggested that India and Pakistan had never met in an Asia Cup final.
Playing XIs: Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan, Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.