India thrash Pakistan by 9 wickets in Asia Cup

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India's Shikhar Dhawan raises his bat and helmet to celebrate scoring a century during the one day international cricket match of Asia Cup between India and Pakistan in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Sept. 23. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
India’s Shikhar Dhawan raises his bat and helmet to celebrate scoring a century during the one day international cricket match of Asia Cup between India and Pakistan in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Sept. 23. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

Dubai, UAE (AP) — Openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan hit centuries as India thrashed rivals Pakistan by nine wickets in the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup on Sunday.

India scored 238-1 in 39.3 overs in reply to Pakistan’s 237-7.

It was India’s largest ODI victory margin in terms of wickets against Pakistan, surpassing their previous best of eight wickets in the group stage of the same tournament and on five other occasions.

“We asked something like this from the boys and they delivered,” said Sharma. “Our bowlers have just been outstanding … The most important thing here is to bat as long as possible because it can become difficult for the new batsman coming in. We did exactly that.”

Batting first after winning the toss at the Dubai International Stadium, Pakistan’s total rarely looked like posing any challenge for India.

Sharma was 111 not out off 119 balls at the end, while Dhawan scored 114 in 100 before he was run out.

Dhawan made his second century of the tournament and the 15th of his ODI career, while his captain Sharma scored his 19th ODI ton.

Pakistan were guilty of dropping Sharma twice — once on 14 with the Indian total on 29 and then when he was on 81 — and he took full advantage of the reprieves. His innings included seven fours and four sixes.

In contrast, Dhawan played a chanceless knock and smashed 16 fours and two sixes. The 32-year-old from Delhi was finally dismissed when he was run out after an opening stand of 210.

India are now almost assured a place in the final on Friday. They will take on Afghanistan on Tuesday in their last Super Four stage match, while Pakistan will have to beat Bangladesh in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.