Hardik, Kishan break Dravid, Kaif's 18-year-old record with incredible rescue act against Pakistan in Asia Cup
Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya held fort and added 138 runs for the fifth wicket, after India were reduced to 66/4 in 16.1 overs.
Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya stitched a perfect rescue act as India were rocked early by Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2023 encounter in Pallekele, Sri Lanka on Saturday. Ishan, who generally opens the innings, was asked to shoulder the middle-order responsibility and the southpaw did a fantastic job. (Follow: India vs Pakistan, Asia Cup 2023 live score updates)
Walking out to bat at number five after India were reduced to 48/3 inside the opening 10 overs, Ishan showed good temperament and scored 82 off 81 balls before getting out to Haris Rauf, while trying to pull a short delivery by the pacer.
During his stay in the middle, Ishan added 18 runs for the fifth wicket with opener Shubman Gill, who was cleaned up for 10(32) by Rauf. However, what followed next was probably the best thing India could have hoped for at least in those circumstances.
Ishan and Hardik held fort and added 138 runs for the fifth wicket, which is also the highest fifth wicket partnership against Pakistan in the 50-over format.
Current India head coach Rahul Dravid and his ex-teammate Mohammad Kaif held the previous record, which stood at 135. The pair had accumulated the run back in 2005, when bilateral series between India and Pakistan were not a rare occurrence.
In fact the 138-run stand is also the highest by an Indian pair for the fifth wicket in the Asia Cup. The previous highest fifth wicket stand in Asia Cup ODIs for India was 133 between Dravid and Yuvraj Singh in Dambulla, 2004.
While Ishan was the first man to depart, Hardik kept entertaining the fans before getting out to Shaheen Afridi for 87(90).
Both Ishan and Hardik combined to hit 16 fours and three maximums.
Riding on their effort and late cameo by Jasprit Bumrah, who added 14-ball 16, helped India post a respectable 266/10 (48.5 overs) on the board after they won the toss and opted to bat.
Meanwhile, Shaheen and Rauf gave Pakistan a perfect start with the former even becoming the first bowler to clean up Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the same innings. Rohit was dismissed for 11(22), while Kohli could only manage 4(7).
Shreyas Iyer, who is making a comeback after a long injury layoff, showed promising signs as hit Rauf for two stylish fours. However, the batter was dismissed for 14(9) as he flicked a good length ball on the pads by Rauf straight to Fakhar Zaman stationed at short mid-wicket, couple of meters inside the 30-yard-circle.
Among the Pakistan bowlers, Shaheen returned with four scalps, while Rauf and Naseem Shah claimed three wickets each.