Asia Cup 2018 is just around the corner and our favourite teams are set to face-off each other in UAE. India, Pakistan and Hong Kong are in the same group whereas Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh will meet each other in a different group. The hottest of the contest would be of course India vs Pakistan on September 19 in Dubai. So, just before this epic encounter, let us go back to some of the greatest INDO-PAK Asia Cup games of all time:
India vs Pakistan at Karachi in 2008 (Group Match)
India played 2008 Asia Cup without their best batsman Sachin Tendulkar who was suffering from a groin injury. India’s squad was still decent enough to compete with any of the sides. On the other hand, Pakistan too had a strong side including Shoaib Malik as their skipper and other legends like players like Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf etc.
Pakistan batted first and scored a massive 299 in their 50 overs. Skipper Malik smashed a brilliant 125 before he got retired hurt. Younis Khan and Misbah-Ul-Haq played some good cameo that helped Pakistan set a magnificent target of 300 for their arch-rivals.
India didn’t start well as they lost Gambhir early. There was too much pressure on Virender Sehwag and he handled it quite nicely by hitting a tremendous century. He was accompanied by Suresh Raina, who played a terrific knock of 84 then. The duo added 198 runs for the third wicket and put their team in the driver’s seat. Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni did the rest of the work like always to give India a sensational victory. Raina was adjudged as the Man of the Match for his magnificent innings of 84 off just 69 balls.
India vs Pakistan at Karachi in 2008 (Super Four match)
Once again the arch-rivals met in the same tournament but this time it was a do or die encounter. This time India batted first and scored 308. Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma; all played a handy part to help their side go past 300.
Just like India in the previous game, Pakistan crushed the Men in Blue by 8 wickets; thanks to Younis Khan’s special innings of 123* and Misbah-Ul-Haq’s 70*. Younis won the Man of the Match award for his knock.
Even after winning the game, Pakistan couldn’t qualify for the finals as they were behind in NRR. India and Sri Lanka played the final which was eventually won by Sri Lanka.
India vs Pakistan at Dambulla in 2010 (Group Match)
Fans can’t forget this battle as this was undoubtedly one of the best India-Pakistan matches of all time. Pakistan elected to bat first and scored a decent 267 in this high-voltage encounter. Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal scored fifties while Praveen Kumar picked up 3 wickets for India.
On the other hand, India started off on a slower note with bowlers not giving away anything to Sehwag. Pakistan luckily got him in the 11th over but his partner Gautam Gambhir was not ready to give up. He played his one of the best knocks with 83 under his belt. The game was very much balanced with India needing 90 odd runs in the last 14 overs.
India were hugely dependent on Dhoni and Raina who produced valuable knocks. While Dhoni made 56, Raina scored a quickfire 34. Finally, the job was done by Harbhajan Singh by hitting a huge six off Mohammad Amir after his on-field spat with Shoaib Akhtar.
India vs Pakistan at Dhaka in 2014 (Group Match)
This encounter was one of the closest between India and Pakistan. Pakistan elected to field first which proved to be a right decision. The Men in Blue scored a below par total of 245. Ambati Rayudu, Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja scored half-centuries and put their team in some fighting position.
Rivals Pakistan started off really well but in the end, they collapsed. Their lone fighter Shahid Afridi was at the crease till the last moment and he scripted a great win for his team with a six off Ashwin in the last over. It was another Indo-Pak classic. Mohammad Hafeez’s knock of 75 helped him earn the Man of the Match award.
India vs Pakistan at Dhaka in 2012 (Group Match)
Though this game is known for Virat Kohli’s best-ever ODI innings till date, it was also Sachin Tendulkar’s last ODI match in which he scored a good half-century against a quality bowling attack. Pakistan, after elected to bat first, scored a mountainous total of 329 with the help of centuries from Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed. Younis Khan also scored 52 in this innings.
India, on the other hand, lost Gambhir early but Tendulkar got the support of Virat Kohli from the other end, who later went on to score a big hundred. Master Blaster got out off Saeed Ajmal on 52 after playing some delightful strokes whereas Kohli had other plans that day. He alongside Rohit Sharma built a partnership of 172 runs for the 3rd wicket which almost finalised the decision of the game. India won this Asia Cup battle by 6 wickets and VK became the new hero of every Indian fan.