« Back to articlePrint this article

Kohli's Twin Blows Flattened Pakistan

October 24, 2022 09:15 IST

IMAGE: Virat Kohli's brilliance powered India to victory off the last ball in a thrilling run chase against Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday, October 22, 2022. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Has there been any better batter than Virat Kohli in run chases in the history of limited overs cricket?

The India-Pakistan game was tantalisingly poised with 31 needed from the last two overs, but India always had the edge with Kohli -- the king of run chases -- looking ominous as he cut loose after a cautious start.

Pakistan took a big gamble by keeping spinner Mohammad Nawaz's final over for the end and bringing in pacer Haris Rauf to the crucial 19th over.

Pakistan hoped that the impressive Rauf, who had taken the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav in his first spell, would strike a wicket or two and take the match beyond India's reach.

Rauf started off well with short of good length deliveries, conceding just three singles from the first four balls as Pakistan looked to have a slight upperhand.

But Kohli was not to be denied. He played two of the most sensational shots to yank back India into the hunt.

Rauf's fifth ball, a slower ball which was pitched short, was flat batted by Kohli back over the bowler's head for a six as the entire sea of blue inside the MCG erupted.

Rauf went fuller last ball but Kohli was again up to the task as he flicked it nonchalantly over fine leg for another six.

Twelve runs from the last two balls of the 19th over set panic in the Pakistan camp, while India's task was made much easier with 16 to get against left-arm spinner Nawaz, who had been hit for 20 in his third over.

Even though Hardik Pandya (40) perished off the first ball of the final over, Kohli ensured he steered home as he swung a high full toss, which was ruled a no-ball for height, over midwicket for a six.

Kohli finished unbeaten on a brilliant 82 from 53 balls, hitting six fours and four sixes, as he treated his fans to one of the most memorable knocks in T20 cricket.