The fifteenth season of the Asia Cup has begun in full flow as all the teams in this continent has shown its charm with some terrific all round performances as a group. However, Bangladesh and Hong Kong without any victory has been eliminated from the Super four stage while Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India have made their ways ahead.
Let’s asses some of the great performances that has been part of the first week as the teams look to gear up for the final two spots.
Disciplined Bhuvneshwar Kumar makes the Pakistani batters feel his wrath:
Bhuvneshwar claimed four wickets as he mixed his line well to outmaneuver the Pakistan batters. Asked to bat first, Pakistan lost their skipper Babar Azam early as Bhuvneshwar trapped him on a short ball. The Pakistan skipper tried to pull but failed to get the best of timing on it as Arshdeep Singh took a fine catch at short fine leg.
He was dismissed on just 10 as Pakistan suffered a huge blow early. The premier batter scored a couple of quality boundaries but failed to capitalize. Bhuvneshwar produced another stellar show in the death overs as he dismissed Shadab Khan, Asif Ali and Naseem Shah to put Pakistan on the back foot. By this time, Pakistan was completely derailed and could move no further than a mere score of 147.
Surya Kumar Yadav Launches Assault Against Honk Kong:
Surya Kumar Yadav made the day of every Indian cricket fan with his unrestrained knock against Hong Kong on Wednesday night. He along with Virat Kohli stitched an unbeaten 98-run stand for the third wicket, adding 57 runs in the last three overs. This further propelled India to set Hong Kong a humongous target of 198 runs.
The final three overs of the Indian innings were no less than an ordeal for Hong Kong bowlers. The 17th and 18th over saw India getting 15 and 13 runs, respectively. However, it was the final six deliveries that put India in the driver’s seat. Surya Kumar was on 42 when he took the strike in the final over. The action began with the first ball getting dispatched over sweeper cover while the next one flew over the deep extra cover.
Two consecutive sixes helped Yadav get his 6th T20I half-century off just 22 balls but the show had not finished yet. Surya Kumar hammered Haroon Arshad’s next ball straight down the ground to complete a hat-trick of sixes. The fourth six in the over came off the fifth delivery, scooped over the fine leg fence. The innings ended with a double and Surya Kumar returned unbeaten for 68 off 26 deliveries!
Young Naseer shah makes a dashing entry into the international circuit:
Naseem Shah, on T20I debut for Pakistan for his team’s high-octane clash against India in Asia Cup 2022, was impressive during his first spell taking the wicket of KL Rahul in only his second ball of T20I, but the young pace sensation’s day did not end on the happy note that it had started.
Shah who was drafted into the playing XI in the absence of Shaheen Shah Afridi got cramps under the hot and humid conditions of Dubai to complete his quota of overs as India edged ahead in the business at end of the match. In constant pain, Shah had to be treated practically after every ball during the final over – the 17th of the match.
Although it was unfortunate for the young boy to get cramp-ridden in his very first game still he stood there for his team and even picked up ace batsman Surya Kumar Yadav by destroying the stumps behind him. His zest to compete surely makes him a huge threat for any country playing against Pakistan in near future.
Virat Kohli got back to his rhythm with full flow:
Coming after a terrific start from the openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, Virat Kohli displayed his class in the second back-to-back game. The old charm was visible throughout his innings that was creamed with some of the extra ordinary shots.
He rotated the strike as he used to do in his old days and then there was a six he played on the back foot to register his 32nd half century which surpassed Rohit Sharma (31) to become the man with the most half centuries in the T20Is, was nothing sort of spellbound.
His breezy knock of 60 runs in 44 balls grabbed the spot light as he reached 181/7 in their full quota of 20 overs which given the conditions of the evening was nothing but mindboggling.
Kusal Mendis takes Sri Lanka close to victory in a vital encounter against Bangladesh:
In the powerplay, Mendis (60 of 37) and Pathum Nissanka (20) added 45 runs, giving the Lankans a strong start.
However, Lanka lost four wickets in the span of 32 runs, putting them in serious danger of being eliminated. Then, Mendis and Shanaka added 54 runs for the fifth wicket to put the Lankans’ chase back on pace. During his innings, Mendis hit three sixes and four boundaries.
The highlight of the chase was Mendis’s slog-sweeping and sweeping Shakib for two sixes and a four off consecutive balls after the Sri Lankan openers labored through the first three overs, scoring just 13. Short balls were involved in both offences. Nissanka hit two sixes and two fours, but as Asalanka tried to clear mid-off, Nissanka’s effort to lob-pull a catch to midwicket struck the fielder.
Keeper Mushfiqur dropped him off at Taskin when he was on. However, Sri Lanka was able to recover with to a valiant 50 from Kusal Mendis.
The Lankan lower order stepped up to complete the mission when the opener was unable to do it by being bowled out in the 14th over.
Fazalhaq Farooqi punctures Sri Lanka with left-arm pace in the opening game:
Afghanistan’s thrilling all-around performance helped them overcome Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the opening game of the 2022 Asia Cup. The bowlers set up the win by holding Sri Lanka to a score of 5 for 3. The massacre was largely Fazalhaq Farooqi’s fault.
The fast bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi delivered bowling statistics of 3-11 with an economy of 3.00 with one maiden in Afghanistan’s eight-wicket victory against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup Twenty20 event’s opening match on Saturday.
Afghanistan dismissed Sri Lanka for a pitiful 105 runs when they decided to play, a total that their batsmen in Dubai exceeded in 10.1 overs. Fazalhaq Farooqi is one amazing bowler.
Hardik Pandya and his all-round winning show against Pakistan:
Hardik consistently hit the hard lengths, scooping up 3 for 25 in his four overs, and helped India dismiss Pakistan for 147 in 19.5 overs.
Later, he led a difficult chase, leading India to victory with two balls left thanks to an unbeaten 33 off 17 balls. Hardik had a productive season, both on the field and at the plate. Hardik has played in 14 T20 International matches since the IPL concluded in 2022, compiling 314 runs at an average of 34.88 and claiming 11 wickets.
Pandya played in 54 T20Is, 63 ODIs, and 11 Tests from the time of his India debut in January 2016 and the time he was selected as the Gujarat Titans captain, earning a total of 2371 runs in 100 innings at an average of 28.56. He also had a bowling average in the 30s and grabbed 116 wickets overall throughout this time.
In the last game against Pakistan Hardik has been adopting the philosophy of his mentor, MS Dhoni. The Hardik 2. O is an unbelievable batter in the last over, Pandya picked up the pace and blasted 3 three boundaries off Haris Rauf, adding 19 runs to the total.
The final of the Asia Cup will be on September 11 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai.