India and Pakistan to try again on Monday after rain returns at Asia Cup

Super Four match goes to reserve day with Rohit Sharma's side resuming on 147-2 in Colombo

Just 24.1 overs were bowled in the Asian Cup Super Four match between India and Pakistan before rain halted play in Colombo on September 10, 2023. AP
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The heavyweight Asia Cup battle between India and Pakistan will now be completed on a reserve day after rain ended proceedings abruptly in Colombo on Sunday.

An extra day was a last-minute addition to the Super Four clash โ€“ the only game to get that honour other than the final โ€“ after the group-stage meeting between the two teams was washed out due to rain in Pallekele.

Put into bat, India had reached 147-2 in 24.1 overs when heavy rain interrupted proceedings. The umpires then waited for nearly four hours before deciding the rest of the match would be played on Monday.

The Indian openers impressed on Sunday after Pakistan captain Babar Azam won the toss and elected to field at the R Premadasa Stadium.

Shaheen Afridi had troubled India's top orders in recent encounters but Rohit Sharma and his team appeared to have found an antidote against the left-arm speedster.

Gill, particularly, took the sting out of Pakistan's fiery pace attack when he combined with Rohit in a 121-run opening stand off 100 balls.

On two occasions Gill smashed Afridi for three boundaries in an over, eventually throwing the bowler out of the attack after a wicketless and expensive first spell.

Rohit survived Naseem Shah's hostile opening spell before asserting himself, hitting four sixes in his breezy 49-ball knock of 56 as boundaries flowed from both ends.

He smashed leg-spinner Shadab Khan for two sixes and a four from successive balls in a 19-run over to raise the noise of the Indian fans at a largely empty stadium.

Shadab broke the partnership, though, when Rohit holed out in the deep and Shaheen returned to end Gill's fluent knock to drag Pakistan back into the contest.

Gill hammered 10 fours on his way to a 52-ball 58.

Virat Kohli (eight) and KL Rahul (17) were unbeaten at the crease when the heavens opened and brought an end to the day's play.

After three inspections โ€“ and fans helping to dry wet patches โ€“ the umpires looked like restarting play after more than four hours of stoppage, but the rain came back to have the final say.

It was announced on Thursday that an extra day was being brought into play with the weather forecast predicting rain at the stadium.

The reserve day means relentless cricket for India, who will meet hosts Sri Lanka in their next Super Four match on Tuesday at the same venue.

Changing the rules just for one fixture during the tournament, though, has also raised questions about the fairness of the process.

The matches involving Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the Super Fours will have points shared if rain washes out play.

โ€œI haven't seen this kind of thing in another tournament, this changing rules in the middle of the tournament,โ€ said Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusinghe.

โ€œI am sure there is a technical committee that has representations from every participating country. They must have decided for some other reason. Yes, it is not ideal.โ€

Updated: September 10, 2023, 7:48 PM