Asia Cup: Ishan slams fourth successive 50, helps India out of trouble in clash against Pakistan

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KANDY: Ishan Kishan on Saturday became the second India wicketkeeper-batter to score four successive scores of 50 or more runs as he made a doughty 82 to bring India out of trouble during Asia Cup 2023 clash against arch-rivals Pakistan at Kandy.

The left-handed batter walked in at number five, with the Men in Blue in trouble at 66/4 in 14.1 overs. Ishan joined forces with all-rounder Hardik Pandya to help Team India recover from a difficult situation.

The Ishan-Pandya partnership helped India cross the 200-run mark. However, the left-handed batter started to struggle due to cramps. This made him to go for big shots as running between the wickets became difficult.

The 138-run stand between the two was broken as  Ishan’s mistimed shot landed in the hands of skipper Babar Azam. Kishan was dismissed for 82 (81 balls), which included nine fours and two sixes off the bowling of Haris Rauf.

This was Kishan’s seventh half-century in ODIs. This is also his fourth successive score of 50 or more in ODIs. Earlier, during the series against West Indies in July-August, Ishan had notched scores of 52, 55 and 77 in three ODIs. His 184 in three matches at an average of over 61 gave him the ‘Player of the Series’ award.

Before him, in 2011, M S Dhoni had scored four half-centuries in a row from September-October 2011. He had scored 69, 78*, 50*, 87* against England. Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Sourav Ganguly are other players who have scored four successive fifty-plus scores for India.

Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have also gone a step further as they are among the names having scored five successive 50-plus scores for India. Among all these, Virat’s run of 133* against Sri Lanka, 108 against Sri Lanka, 66 vs Bangladesh, 183 against Pakistan and 106 against Sri Lanka in five straight ODIs is the strongest by an Indian in ODIs.

Pakistan’s Javed Miandad has record of scoring nine successive fifty-plus scores between March-October 1987, scoring 78, 78*, 74*, 60, 52, 113, 71*, 68 and 103, in a brilliant run of form.

India suffered some early blows as they lost the wickets of skipper Rohit Sharma (11), Virat Kohli (4) to Shaheen Afridi and Shreyas Iyer (14) and Shubman Gill (10) to Haris Rauf. India won the toss in their opening game of the Asia Cup 2023 and opted to bat in the match being played at Pallekele Stadium in Kandy in Sri Lanka.

India’s Playing XI: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.

Pakistan’s Playing XI: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam(c), Mohammad Rizwan(w), Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf. (ANI)

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