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Right then, the target for Pakistan is 357 runs courtesy of some amazing batting by the Indians. A very eventful first inning as many milestones were achieved. Will Babar Azam and company chase down the massive target or will India triumph? We will find out soon. Do join us in a short while for the chase.
Shubman Gill is down for a quick chat. He says that it was a special knock from KL Rahul as he came back from injury and Virat Kohli too played a brilliant inning. Adds that the ball was doing a bit early on when he was batting but the intent was to put the bad balls away and pile on the pressure. On Shaheen Afridi, he says that he was looking to bowl on the wickets and hence he wanted to give it back and not let the bad balls go unpunished. Adds that it is important to hit the seam early on and then mix up the lengths as he personally found it a bit difficult when the lengths were mixed up.
Pakistan, on the other hand, missed a trick by opting to bowl first. They were put under pressure right from the first phase of the match as Shaheen Afridi was hit for some boundaries. Babar Azam brought Shadab Khan into the attack but he too was smashed for a couple of boundaries by Rohit Sharma. Shadab got the last laugh in the end by dismissing the Indian skipper and Shaheen sent Shubman Gill back to the pavilion. Soon after that, rain came and the play was called off. Today, the Pakistani bowlers weren’t on their A-game as they failed to pick any wickets during the innings. They certainly missed their speedster, Haris Rauf who had to pull out due to niggle and didn’t bowl at all on the reserve day as the others were smashed all around the ground. Naseem was the only bowler who bowled well and troubled the batters at the start of the day, unfortunately for him, he failed to get any wickets. Some poor bowling and sloppy fielding allowed the Indian batters to reach their centuries. The Indians have put forth a massive 357-run target for the batters.
At the toss, Rohit Sharma was confident he wanted to bat first and he was happy to do it after losing the toss. Fair to say, he along with his team stood up on the occasion and put up a brilliant batting display during these two days. Yesterday, we saw a very strong opening pair of Rohit and Shubman Gill putting up a good 123-run partnership to start off the innings. After their dismissal, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul started off their innings steadily but then came the rain which brought an end to the day’s play. At the start of the reserve day, they both picked off from where they left and put the pressure on the fielders. They slowly built up a very good partnership and went to their half centuries. After that, there was no stopping them as along with rotating the strike, both the batters played aggressively smashing the bowlers all around the ground. A lot of milestones were achieved by both of them as KL smashed his 6th ODI ton and Virat crossed the mark of 13000 runs in ODI cricket, quickest to that feat, just before reaching his century. Thanks to the brilliance of the top 4 batters, India have put up a massive score of 356 – their joint-highest score against Pakistan in ODIs.
Total carnage! It did rain in Colombo this evening also but the cricket fans won’t mind it as long as it’s fours and sixes and not H2O! Virat Kohli and KL Rahul have put up some brilliant batting displays out here in Colombo. What a comeback match for KL Rahul, he will certainly gain a lot of confidence from this knock. India has put up 356 on the board and this is a huge total on this ground.
49.6 overs (6 Runs) SIX! OH, MY WORD! Virat Kohli ends proceedings in epic fashion and 18 runs come off the final over of the innings. Faheem Ashraf looks for the yorker on middle but Kohli reads it well and walks down the track converting the ball into a full toss. Kohli then just holds the shape and whacks it straight back over the bowler’s head for a maximum and holds the pose as well. India finish with a mammoth total of 356/2 on the board!
49.5 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Does get the free ball away and the 350 is also up for India. Fuller in length and well outside off, Virat Kohli reaches out and slaps it over cover-point for yet another boundary.
49.5 overs (5 Runs) FOUR! Oh, that is cheeky! Very full and outside off, Virat Kohli gets across the off stump but adjusts brilliantly to change the face of the bat and deflect it past short third man for a boundary. Faheem Ashraf has overstepped as well and a no ball is called. Free Hit coming up for Virat Kohli.
49.4 overs (0 Run) Top delivery! Faheem Ashraf bowls this one at 134 clicks and gets it right around the base of middle stump, Virat Kohli just about gets a bat on it.
49.3 overs (1 Run) Banged in short and outside off, KL Rahul picks it up and flat-bats it down to long on for just another single.
49.2 overs (1 Run) Well bowled! Very full, right in the blockhole on off, Virat Kohli can only manage to dig it out to long on for one more.
49.1 overs (1 Run) Good length outside off, KL Rahul attempts the reverse ramp but miscues it on the off side for a single.
48.6 overs (0 Run) Full and straight, drilled back but straight to the bowler who makes a sharp stop.
48.5 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Pierces the gap now! A juicy full toss on the legs, Virat Kohli just uses his wrists and eases it behind square leg for a boundary. The fielders from fine and deep square leg converge but neither can get to it.
48.4 overs (1 Run) DROPPED! That can hardly be considered a catching chance though. Floated up full on middle, KL Rahul hammers it straight back and Iftikhar Ahmed gets both hands out to his left. The ball hits the palms hard and goes toward mid off. They get a single and the umpire is relieved Iftikhar Ahmed got his hands to it.
48.3 overs (1 Run) Comes from around the wicket and bowls it very full on middle. Virat Kohli only manages to firm it down to long off for a single.
Naseem Shah is walking off the field. It seems he has some injury and he will not continue. A big concern for Pakistan especially when Haris Rauf is already injured.
48.2 overs (2 Runs) Gets it over the infield! Short and outside off, Virat Kohli frees his arms and slaps it well over extra cover for a couple of runs.
48.1 overs (0 Run) A slower bumper this over middle, right around the helmet and Kohli misses the pull.
47.6 overs (0 Run) Slower and shorter outside off, cut away late but can’t get it past the man at short third.
47.5 overs (4 Runs) FOUR MORE! KL Rahul showing his full range here. Shaheen Afridi nails the yorker around off, Rahul walks across the stumps and paddles it on the full past the diving man at short fine leg for a boundary.
47.4 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! The carnage is on! Full and outside off, KL Rahul lofts it over the cover region and picks up another boundary. The 200-run stand is also up between these two.
47.3 overs (1 Run) ODI HUNDRED NUMBER 47 FOR VIRAT KOHLI! Short of a length around off, Virat Kohli just bunts it out in front of point for a quick single and gets through for a single. Kohli punches the air in joy and takes off his helmet as well. Kohli just loves the big stage and this is his fourth consecutive hundred at this ground as well, staggering!
47.2 overs (2 Runs) 13,000 ODI runs up for Virat Kohli! Banged in short at the body, Kohli gets inside the line and pulls it down to fine leg for a couple of runs. Kohli also becomes the fastest man to achieve this feat and he moves to 99 as well.
47.1 overs (0 Run) Good length outside off, angling in a bit, Virat Kohli pushes it toward point for no run.
46.6 overs (2 Runs) What a comeback, take a bow KL Rahul! This is floated up full and on the stumps, Rahul leans on a bit and just pushes it gently through mid on. They race back for the second and Rahul gets to his SIXTH ODI HUNDRED. He takes off the helmet and soaks in the applause from the crowd and his teammates, classy knock.
46.5 overs (1 Run) Much better from Naseem Shah as he bowls it quick and full around off. Virat Kohli knocks it down to long off for a single but seems a bit displeased with his shot.
46.4 overs (6 Runs) SIX! Picked up and dispatched! Attempted slower ball, in the slot a bit and around middle, Virat Kohli gets under it and lofts it over the long on fence for a maximum.
46.3 overs (2 Runs) Hard length over middle and leg at 140 clicks, Virat Kohli nudges it away past square leg and picks up a brace. Kohlu moves into the 90s now.
46.2 overs (0 Run) Hard length outside off, takes pace a bit as well. Virat Kohli looks to stand tall and just lift it over mid off but is undone by the lack of pace.
46.1 overs (1 Run) Good length angling into middle and leg, hit away on the up in front of mid-wicket by KL Rahul and he picks up a single.
45.6 overs (2 Runs) Excellent running! Hard length around off, Virat Kohli stands tall and just checks the pull shot, hitting it down to long on for a couple of runs.
45.5 overs (1 Run) Fuller and angling into the legs, flicked away to deep square leg for one more.
45.4 overs (1 Run) Slower again and bowled into the pitch over off, Virat Kohli looks to force it on the off side but gets an inside edge onto the leg side for a run.
45.3 overs (0 Run) Good change of pace. Good length over the stumps but the pace is taken off, Virat Kohli comes forward but is beaten all ends up.
45.2 overs (2 Runs) The call is for two and they get it with ease. Back of a length over middle, Virat Kohli nudges it nicely into the gap in front mid-wicket and picks up a couple of runs.
45.1 overs (1 Run) Hard length close to the off pole, KL Rahul looks to cut close to the body but chops it past the stumps and to the left of the keeper. Mohammad Rizwan scampers across to make the stop as the batters pick up a single.
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