India v Pakistan Asia Cup match to have reserve day amid rain threat

Sunday's Super Four clash set to take place in Colombo despite weather warnings

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The Super Four clash between India and Pakistan at the Asia Cup in Colombo will now have a reserve day to ensure a full game as weather threatens to disrupt play.

The first match of the tournament between the rivals in Kandy was washed out after persistent rain ensured the second innings never got underway. With the India-Pakistan match seen as the marquee clash of the tournament, or any other tournament for that matter, organisers have gone the extra mile to provide a reserve day for just this match, apart from the final of the tournament.

According to the new playing conditions, Sunday's match at the R Premadasa Stadium will be completed on Monday if there are rain interruptions. Only 20 overs need to be bowled in the second innings for a match to be considered complete, which raises the prospect of a result.

However, the change of rules just for one fixture during the tournament has raised questions about the fairness of the process, and also what it means for Sri Lanka and Bangladesh who are also part of the Super Four stage, which began in Lahore where tournament hosts Pakistan eased to a seven-wicket win over Bangladesh.

Also, the match could have been moved out of Colombo to a drier part of the country, like Hambantota, but organisers could not come to a consensus over moving the tournament despite hectic backroom negotiations.

Weather forecast for Sunday's clash between India and Pakistan

The prediction for the next few days in Colombo is not promising. It has been raining regularly in Sri Lanka's capital and according to the UK's Met office, there is a 70 per cent chance of rain for most of Sunday and Monday.

However, there is a ray of hope as rain was predicted for the India-Nepal game as well but the weather cleared up enough in the evening for a 23-over second innings and India chased down the 145-run target in Kandy with 10 wickets in hand.

Can Pakistan lose their No1 ODI ranking?

The other factor worth considering will be Pakistan's place at the top of the ICC rankings table. The recently crowned No 1 side in ODIs consolidated their position after the Super Four stage win over Bangladesh.

However, they are still only one rating point ahead of second-placed Australia, with 120 points. India are third with 114 points.

If Australia win Saturday's second ODI against South Africa, they will jump to the top of the rankings table with 121 points. Then Pakistan will have to beat India to regain the top spot. If Rohit Sharma's team end up on the winning side, then Pakistan will slip down to 118 points and remain in second place.

Updated: September 08, 2023, 12:11 PM