DHAKA: Pakistan defeated India by one wicket in a thrilling one-day international in Dhaka on Sunday to virtually knock the reigning World Cup champions out of contention in the Asia Cup. Star all-rounder Shahid Afridi made the nation “Boom Boom.”
Pakistan, who restricted India to 245-8, survived anxious moments before Shahid Afridi smashed two consecutive sixes to help his team win with two balls to spare at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.
India, who have lost two of their three matches, are unlikely to make the March 8 final even if they beat Afghanistan in their last match.
Saeed Ajmal claimed 3-40, while debutant fast bowler Mohammad Talha and Mohammad Hafeez grabbed two wickets each after Pakistan won the toss and elected to field at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.
Each team has won and lost a game in the five-nation tournament, and the loser will almost certainly be out of contention for a place in the final on March 8.
Opener Rohit Sharma (56) and Ambati Rayudu (58) were the main contributors for India at the top of the order, before Ravindra Jadeja hit an unbeaten 52 off 49 balls towards the end.
Kohli, captaining India in the absence of the injured Mahendra Singh Dhoni, was caught behind by Umar Akmal off seamer Umar Gul for five.
Sharma, who fell cheaply for 21 and 13 in the previous two matches, struck timely form with seven boundaries and two sixes in his 22nd one-day half-century. But just when he seemed set for a big score, Sharma top-edged a catch to give Talha his first wicket and make India 92-3 in the 20th over.
Rayudu put on 52 for the fifth wicket with Dinesh Karthik and 59 for the sixth with Jadeja before he holed out in the deep in the 47th over.
Pakistan, who have five points from their first two matches, are perched at the second spot courtesy their bonus-point win over Afghanistan, while India have four points through their win against hosts Bangladesh.
A defeat for either team would all but end their hopes of playing the final, with only a miraculous jailbreak and setback for Sri Lanka against lowly Afghanistan and Bangladesh a possible bailout.