Cricket-India v Pakistan Asia Cup blockbuster ends in washout

Asian Cup - India v Pakistan

(Reuters) - The much-anticipated Asia Cup clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan was abandoned on Saturday as rain played spoilsport in the Group A contest between the heavyweights in Pallekele.

Pakistan bowled out India for 266 in 48.5 overs to nose ahead in the contest but their chase never began as rain kept the players off the ground before the game was eventually abandoned.

Babar Azam's team, who thumped Nepal in the opener, are through to the Super Four stage after sharing points with India.

World number one Pakistan dominated whatever limited play was possible with Shaheen Afridi leading their fiery pace attack, which claimed all 10 Indian wickets.

Afridi has tormented India in recent encounters between the sides and it was no different at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

India captain Rohit Sharma was left to rue his decision to bat first as his side slumped to 66-4 in the 15th over.

Rohit managed 11 before Afridi breached his defence and Virat Kohli departed for four after his angled bat deflected the ball onto his stump.

Haris Rauf dismissed Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill to pin India on the mat before Hardik Pandya (87) and Ishan Kishan (82) forged a 138-run partnership to arrest India's slide.

With both looking set, India reached the 200-mark in the 37th over and a 300-plus total looked well within their reach before Rauf (3-58) dismissed Kishan.

Afridi (4-35) returned to dismiss Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja in the same over, while his new ball partner Naseem Shah (3-36) polished off India's tail.

The neighbours, who play each other only in multi-team events because of their soured political relations, would clash again in the Super Four stage provided India can avoid an upset against Nepal on Monday.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Pritha Sarkar)