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Kohli guides India to 181-7 against Pakistan in Asia Cup Super Four

India's Virat Kohli hit his 32nd T20I half-century. ©AFP

Dubai (AFP) - Star batsman Virat Kohli hit his second successive fifty as India made 181-7 against Pakistan in their opening Super Four match at the Asia Cup on Sunday.

Kohli, who hit 60 off 44 balls before being run out in the final over, helped India survive a middle-order stutter to post a competitive total after being put in to bat first in Dubai.

He reached his 32nd half-century in 36 balls with a six off pace bowler Mohammad Hasnain amid chants of "Kohli, Kohli" at a packed stadium.

Leg-spinner Shadab Khan stood out with figures of 2-31 from his four overs.

India skipper Rohit Sharma came out all guns blazing to smash pace bowler Naseem Shah for a six and four in the opening over of the match.

Opening partner KL Rahul soon took the cue to whack Naseem for two cracking blows over the fence.

The openers put on 54 runs briskly and attempted to make full use of the powerplay, when only two fielders are allowed outside the inner circle, by hitting lofted shots, but Rohit fell when he mistimed Haris Rauf.

Khushdil Shah clung on to a sky-high catch as Rohit went back after scoring 28 off 16 balls in the sixth over.

Shadab struck the next over to cut short Rahul's stay on 28 and then left-arm orthodox spinner Mohammad Nawaz removed the dangerous Suryakumar Yadav for 13.

Kohli, who has slowly come out his lean patch with scores of 35 and 59 in the previous two matches, kept the score ticking and got the occasional boundary.

But Pakistan kept chipping away with wickets including the left-handed Rishabh Pant for 14 and Hardik Pandya for a second-ball duck off Hasnain.

Wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan had an injury scare when he landed awkwardly on his right leg in an attempt to stop a bouncer but was able to continue.

Ravi Bishnoi finished off the innings with two boundaries as Fakhar Zaman faltered twice in the deep, including dropping a catch that reached the ropes. 

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