Virat Kohli congratulates Mohammad Rizwan after Pakistan won the T20 World Cup match in Dubai on Sunday. AP
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan smacked cracking fifties after Shaheen Shah Afridi picked up 3-31 as Pakistan mauled India by 10 wickets in a lopsided T20 World Cup match in Dubai on Sunday.
Pakistan made a light work of the modest total to break their losing jinx against India after 12 failed attempts in the showpiece events.
Prior to this match, India had defeated Pakistan in all 12 World Cup matches – seven times in 50-over and five times in T20.
Babar and Rizwan gave Pakistan a blazing start as they plundered the Indian bowlers, hitting them all over the ground.
The duo added an unbeaten 152 runs for the first wicket to steer Pakistan to a victory with 13 balls to spare. Bhuvneshwar gave away 10 runs in the first over and Mohammad Shami conceded another eight as Pakistan’s opening batsmen blew the lid away to take the pressure off from the beginning.
They brought up a 50-run partnership in 7.4 overs as Indian bowlers failed to mount any kind of pressure.
Indian bowlers were reduced to mere cannon fodders who had no escape but to face the wrath of in-form Pakistan’s batsmen.
Virat Kohli (C) tosses a coin as Babar Azam (R) looks on before the start of the match.
Babar remained unbeaten on 68, hitting six four and two sixes while Rizwan, who was more clinical, smashed 79 not out, which featured six boundaries and three over the fence.
Earlier, India got off to a disastrous start as they lost the prize wicket of Rohit Sharma with just one run on the board.
Pakistan pace sensation Shaheen trapped Rohit in front of the stumps for a golden duck to give Pakistan first breakthrough early on in the innings.
KL Rahul, who scored a whopping 600 plus in the recently concluded IPL, failed to create the same magic and was clean bowled by Afridi after scoring just three runs.
Shaheen bowled a superb spell and subdued the fearsome Indian batting line-up in the power play. Kohli was standing firm on the other end.
Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav started building the innings and added 24 runs for third wicket to take the score to 30/2.
But Hasana Ali also joined the party and got rid of Yadav to peg India back as India were reduced to 30/3. India needed someone to play a big knock to steer the faltering innings.
Muhammed Rizwan makes the winning run against India. Reuters
With Kohli on the pitch, their hopes were still very much alive. Indian captain along with Rishab Pant knuckled down to stitch the innings, which was falling apart.
Both the batsmen played sensibly and kept the scoreboard ticking with dab here and dan there, hitting occasional boundaries to maintain the run rate.
However, Pakistan spurned the chance and failed to keep the pressure intact as Kohli and Pant added 53 runs for the fourth wicket and took the score to 84/3.
Pant was more brutal of the two as he removed the pressure by taking 16 run off Ali with the help of two consecutive sixes before being caught by Shadab Khan off his bowling.
Shaheen Shah Afridi celebrates his wicket against India in Dubai. AFP
Kohli reached his fifty with a couple in 45 deliveries. Kohli shared a 41-run stand with Ravindra Jadeja also for the fifth wicket but they consumed too many deliveries. They took 33 deliveries to score those runs. Shaheen sent back Kohli for his third scalp of the day.
Indian needed someone to play a quick-fire cameo to propel the score past 160 but no one could capitalize on the two partnerships as they could manage to muster 151/7 in their 20 overs.
"It is the most sought after rivalry in cricket and I never miss these games," Himanshu Desai, who has flown in from Harrow in England to watch the game in person, told AFP.
Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam and his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli have called it just another game, but that is clearly not the case.
"We give him the freedom to strike," said Pakistan bowling coach and former South African fast bowler Vernon Philander on Monday. "It's an asset to have left-arm fast bowlers. Shaheen is such a wonderful talent."
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