DHAKA, March 18 (BSS) - There are still hope alive for Bangladesh place in the final despite India powered by Virat Kohli's sensational 183 runs went on to beat Pakistan by seven wickets in the Asia Cup match at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium today.
India were set a massive of 330 by their arch rival Pakistan but Virat Kohli's blitzkrieg innings of 183 saw India at the ends made the chase looked too easy as they scored 330 for 4 in 47.5 overs.
Earlier in the day Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first, Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed record breaking opening partnership of 224 runs Pakistan piled up massive 329 for 6 in their allotted 50 overs.
Nasir Jamshed with 112 off 104 balls laced with 10 boundaries and one six was the top Pakistani batsman. Hafeez scored his 105 off 113 balls with help of nine boundaries and one six.
Younis Khan with a cameo 52 off 34 balls And Umar Akmal with 26 made sure Pakistan crossed the 300 mark.
Ashoke Dinda with 2 for 47 and Praveen Kumar with 2 for77 were the leading Indian bowlers.
In reply Indian facing a daunting task suffered a hiccup in the beginning when their dependable opener Gautam Gambhir was caught in front of the wicket by Mohammad Hafeez for a duck.
India recovered from a worst possible start as Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar looked tentative in the beginning but they found their rhythm it was a treat for the packed stand to watch cricket at his best. Specially, Tendulkar looked fresh with arrays of brilliant stroke play.
They put on 133 runs for the second wicket partnership as Tendulkar was caught on wrong foot by Saeed Ajmal's doosra and the master blaster departed for a vintage 52 off 48 balls with five boundaries and one six.
Virat Kohli was batting at the other end with full confidence; he was literally toying with pedestrian Pakistan bowling with strokes all around the ground.
Rohit Sharma replaced Sachin but looked vulnerable in the beginning but as the Indian innings grew he also found his form to support Kohli in a massive run chase.
The third wicket stand of 172 runs off 158 balls saw Pakistan's toothless attack fizzled out as India raced toward the victory target with utmost ease.
Rohit Sharma was dismissed by Umar Gul for a polished 68 runs off 83 balls. While at the other Virat Kohli kept the demolition job with dynamic stroke play and his knock was thoroughly enjoyed by the sardine packed spectators as he reached his splendid century off 97 balls then went to reach his 150 off 131 balls and finally when he departed for his priceless 183 off 148 balls studded with 22 boundaries and one sixer of the bowling of Umar Gul.
In the end Suresh Raina (12) and Mahender Singh Dhoni (4) remained unbeaten as India romp home scoring 330 for 4 in 47.5 overs.
Pakistan skipper Misbah after the match said, "Excellent innings by Kohli. Credit goes to their batsmen, it's easy out there under lights, 329 is still a good score. The best innings (Kohli) I have ever seen."
While Dhoni in his comments said, "They batted brilliantly, we used 8 bowlers. Sachin and Virat batted brilliantly, Rohit can be a good finisher. Kohli was brilliant. Once you cross 300 it's difficult irrespective of how flat the pitch is, we did it in Hobart. We've got the talent in the bowling department also. It's about how you handle pressure, they will learn from games like these."
Kohli picks up his man of the match award from Bollywood star Actor Akshay Kumar: "I still can't believe what happened out there honestly. I'm really satisfied. We were waiting for these 3-4 overs of 15-20 runs. I'm a fan of Rohit Sharma, love watching him bat. I would rate this knock and Hobart equally. To be able to chase 330 against this bowling is satisfying."
Pakistan are through to the final. India are on eight points but not there yet. They will wait on the result of the next game. A win for Bangladesh, with or without a bonus point, means that they are through, so India will have to say good bye from the Asia Cup. Therefore, Bangladesh need nothing less than a win. Sri Lanka are out so they will play for pride.