Cricket fans around the world were eagerly waiting for the Asia Cup 2023 encounter between arch-rivals India and Pakistan. However, what was supposed to be a nail-biting clash turned into a one-sided affair as India crushed Pakistan by a massive 228-run margin in the Super 4s round. The defeat left Pakistan fans disappointed, and many veteran cricketers lashed out at the Babar Azam-led side for not putting up a fight.

The historic Kohli-Rahul partnership

The match, which was moved to the reserve day due to rain, witnessed an exceptional display of batting prowess by Virat Kohli and KL Rahul. The duo crafted a record-breaking partnership of 233 runs, etching their names into the annals of Asia Cup history with the highest-ever partnership. The exploit from Virat and Rahul powered India to a formidable total of 356 runs in their allotted 50 overs.

Pakistan’s dramatic collapse

In response to India’s imposing total, Pakistan’s batting lineup crumbled under the relentless pressure from India’s bowlers. They were dismissed for a mere 128 runs in just 32 overs, falling short of the target by a staggering 228 runs. Kuldeep Yadav was the chief architect of Pakistan’s demise, securing a five-wicket haul for India. This defeat marked Pakistan’s most substantial loss to India in terms of runs, a bitter pill to swallow for their fans.

Also READ: Netizens laud KL Rahul after he checks upon injured Agha Salman during India-Pakistan clash in Super 4s of Asia Cup 2023

Shahid Afridi’s scathing critique

The loss was met with disappointment and frustration among fans and former cricketers alike. Shahid Afridi, known for his outspoken nature, took to Twitter to express his displeasure. While congratulating India and Kohli for their victory, he did not mince his words about Pakistan’s lacklustre performance.

“Winning/losing is part of competing, but not putting up a fight, not showing intent to win is just poor. Exactly what I was referring to in my previous tweet. India played as #1 on the field, batting & bowling. Congrats @imVkohlion on achieving another dream milestone of ODI runs and well-crafted by you and KL Rahul Chin up boys, you can do better than this, next match,” Afridi wrote on his X (formerly Twitter) account.

Shoaib Akhtar’s disappointment and hope

Shoaib Akhtar was another iconic Pakistani cricketer who expressed his disappointment over the loss but maintained hope for Pakistan’s resurgence. He commended India’s performance and highlighted the excellence of India’s batting and bowling units in a video shared on his X (formerly Twitter) account.

“It would be premature to dismiss Pakistan based on a single defeat. Congratulations to India for their remarkable performance! India displayed exceptional prowess in both their batting and bowling. They left no stone unturned in dominating the match. India’s bowling unit exhibited a relentless attitude, consistently taking wickets and dismissing the opposition early,” said Akhtar.

Being a former fast bowler himself, Akhtar admitted being particularly impressed by India’s bowling display and said, “As a fast bowler, I found this to be an extremely encouraging sign. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj delivered brilliant spells, and Kuldeep’s bowling was also exceptional.”

Also READ: Asia Cup 2023 – Pakistan bring in back-up pacers for injured duo of Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf

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