India and Pakistan are yet again at loggerheads, and exactly where they should be, in a sporting event and this time, on a cricket pitch. The mouth-watering contest between the two arch-rivals is slated to take place on 19 September and expect some high-octane action as both teams look to outdo each other. Indo-Pak matches have been savoured by the fans from the two nations equally and while we know and reminisce some epic World Cup matches, the two teams have also played some memorable games in Asia Cup.
Here we look at five best matches played between India and Pakistan in Asia Cup.
India vs Pakistan, 5th Match, 26 June, 2008
To begin with, Pakistan had the upper hand in this clash. They had won the toss and asked Indians to bowl first on what looked like a beautiful batting track. They intended to put a huge total on the scoreboard and opener Shoaib Malik provided the impetus to make it happen as well, scoring a brilliant 125 off 119 balls. However, he suffered cramps and had to retire hurt. It turned out to be a blessing for India who managed to restrict Pakistan to a score of 299/4.
If India were to chase down this total, someone at the top needed to fire and it was yet again Virender Sehwag who came to do the job. He fired 199 runs off just 95 balls, helping India chase down the total with 47 balls remaining.
Pakistan did come back to win the second encounter against India in the same tournament. But this game is remembered for two brilliant knocks from Shoaib Malik and Virender Sehwag.
India vs Pakistan, 4th Match, 19 June, 2010
At the presentation ceremony of the match, a usually cool MS Dhoni, captaining India, said, "Not really, wasn't cool today. With a match like this, especially against Pakistan, you can never be cool." This surely tells you how this game went about between the two arch-rivals.
Pakistan opted to bat first in this game and got off to a brilliant start with openers Salman Butt and Imran Farhat putting up 71 runs for the first wicket. Praveen Kumar and Harbhajan Singh did good damage in the middle overs but a late surge by Kamran Akmal made sure Pakistan reached 267/1o in the end.
It was a fighting total for a bowling attack like Pakistan. Virender Sehwag fell early on 10 but it was Gautam Gambhir who took the baton in his hand and batted superbly. MS Dhoni too made a gritty fifty but was not able to finish off the game with his bat. After his knock, coupled with a fighting inning from Suresh Raina came to an end, the responsibility to take India to victory was on the shoulders of Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar. With three runs required off the last ball, Harbhajan Singh smashed a good length delivery from Mohammed Amir to mid-wicket for a six. It was a fairytale ending for India, not so much for Pakistan.
Harbhajan Singh roared as he hit the six and showed the bat to Shoaib Akhtar who was fielding at long-on, with whom he had some heated exchanges earlier while batting. Unarguably, the best match between the two teams in Asia Cup history.
India vs Pakistan, 5th match, 18 March, 2012
The match is best remembered for the brilliance of current Indian team captain Virat Kohli, who scored his best in ODI cricket till date – a massive 183 while chasing a difficult 330.
Pakistan batted first and thanks to a monstrous first-wicket stand between Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed, Pakistan were cruising to set a mammoth total on the board. The fall of wickets deep down the batting order did not help their cause yet they were able to post 329 on the board.
Then came India's turn to turn the heat on the bowlers. They got off to the worst possible start as Hafeez trapped Gautam Gambhir on only the second ball of the innings. However, from thereon, India did not look back. Kohli partnered with Sachin Tendulkar to wreck havoc on Pakistan's bowling. He ended up scoring 183 and took India to victory with 13 balls remaining.
India vs Pakistan, 6th match, 2 March, 2014
This was not the best Indian XI playing, with some big names like MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina missing from the ranks. However, even with this line-up, India managed to put up a fighting 245/8 in their 50 overs.
Pakistan openers Sharjeel Khan and Ahmed Shehzad provided the perfect start for Pakistan as they posted 71 runs for the first wicket. However, Indian spinner Amit Mishra and Ravichandran Ashwin brought India back in the game with quick wickets. From 93 for 1, Pakistan were soon 113 for four. Shahid Afridi then came to bat and played a stunning knock. However, wickets kept tumbling at the other end but he maintained his composure and with just one wicket left, guided his side to victory, with two big sixes in the last over of the game. Pakistan won the match by one wicket.
India vs Pakistan, 4th match, 27 February 2016
The stakes were high in this tournament as a loss could almost end the campaign. India and Pakistan were yet again at loggerheads in this 20-overs a side Asia Cup, a first in its history.
India won the toss and decided to bowl first. The decision turned out to be a good one as Indians ran through the Pakistan batting order, bowling them out for a paltry 83 in just 17.3 overs.
This was not a placid batting wicket. And the way Pakistan returned to dismantle Indian top-order reflected the same. Mohammad Amir sent back three Indian batsmen in a matter of three overs. The one batsman he could not send back was Virat Kohli and that made all the difference. He formed a 68-run partnership with Yuvraj Singh but the left-handed batsman was a mere spectator in that stand as Kohli did most of the scoring. With India, needing just 8, he was trapped by Mohammad Sami on 49. Kohli fell short of a brilliant fifty by just one run but made sure India went past the victory mark.