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PIX: Pakistan humble India, end losing World Cup run

Last updated on: October 24, 2021 23:45 IST
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Images from the T20 World Cup Super 12 Group 2 match between India and Pakistan, in Dubai, on Sunday.

Mohammad Rizwan

IMAGE: Mohammad Rizwan led Pakistan's charge, scoring 79 off just 55 balls, including 6 fours and 3 sixes, in the T20 World Cup Super 12s match against India, at Dubai International Stadium, on Sunday. Photograph: Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters

Openers Mohammed Rizwan and Babar Azam hit half-centuries as Pakistan outclassed India by 10 wickets in the Super 12s match at the ICC T20 World Cup, in Dubai, on Sunday.

The thumping victory ended Pakistan's losing run against India across all World Cups.

 

The defeat is not only India’s first at a World Cup to Pakistan, but also their first-ever 10-wicket defeat in T20 internationals.

The law of averages finally caught up with India after having won seven ODI and five T20 World Cup games since they first met at Sydney in 1992.

Babar scored 68 off 52 balls, while Rizwan stroked 79 from 55s as Pakistan chased down India's total of 151 for 7, made possible by a gutsy 57 off 49 balls from skipper Virat Kohli, with 13 balls to spare.

Rizwan got Pakistan’s reply off to a phenomenal start, smashing ten runs off the first three deliveries of the innings. And while the Pakistan openers slowed the scoring rate, the partnership was exactly what their side required, eating away at the target with minimal risk while not allowing the required rate to climb too high.

Babar Azam

IMAGE: Babar Azam bats during his 68 off 52 balls. Photograph: Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters

The pair shared the strike 30-balls apiece in the first ten overs, with Rizwan on 35 and Azam on 34. At the midway point of the run-chase Pakistan were 71 without loss, with 81 runs required.

On the day, there was only one team that could have won and that was Pakistan, who were better on a man-to-man comparison with each Indian player.

It started with the captains. On a track where Kohli struggled, Babar just effortlessly found the gaps and when required, hit those sixes as release shots.

Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam bump fists during their innings

IMAGE: Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam bump fists during their match-winning innings. Photograph: Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters

If India lost three wickets in power play, Pakistan literally humiliated their opponents with an opening stand, which will be billed as one of the best in this format for years to come.

If Shaheen Shah Afridi was a rockstar with his searing pace and incisive swing, his new-ball counterpart Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled at early to mid 120 kmph with no swing at all.

Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam cross over to seal victory.

IMAGE: Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam cross over to seal victory. Photograph: Satish Kumar/Reuters

If Pakistan's spin troika of left-armer Imad Wasim (0/10 in 2 overs), leg-spinner Shadab Khan (1/25 in 4 overs) and off-spinner Mohammed Hafeez (0/10 in 2 overs) gave only 47 runs in their eight overs together, Varun Chakravarthy (0/33 in 4 overs) didn't have any 'mystery' about him as he and Ravindra Jadeja (0/28 in 4 overs) gave away 61 runs.

In the chase, Pakistan were in complete control and Bhuvneshwar's lack of pace and non-existent swing made it easy for Rizwan to effortlessly cart him over square leg for a six. 

Skipper Babar was also elegant as he punched Mohammed Shami off the back-foot and rocked back to pull Jadeja over deep mid-wicket for a six.

 The 50 came in the eight over and before India realised, the duo had taken the game away by posting the highest ever opening stand against India in T20 internationals.

Virat Kohli

IMAGE: Virat Kohli plays a defensive shot as Pakistan's wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan looks on during the T20 World Cup match, at Dubai International Stadium, on Sunday. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

Earlier, Virat Kohli hit a dogged half-century to help India recover after the loss of early wickets and finish on a healthy 151 for 7.

India were on the backfoot early after pacer Shaheen Afridi dismissed Rohit Sharma (0) and KL Rahul (3) in his first two overs.

Suryakumar Yadav, preferred ahead of Ishan Kishan, also failed to make most of the opportunity and was caught behind off Hasan Ali for 11, and India were reeling at 31 for 3 in the sixth over.

Pakistan pacer Shaheen Afridi celebrates after dismissing India opener Rohit Sharma.

IMAGE: Pakistan pacer Shaheen Afridi celebrates with teammates after dismissing India opener Rohit Sharma. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

Kohli then led the recovery in the company of Rishabh Pant (39 from 30 balls), as the duo put on 53 runs for the fourth wicket.

India’s skipper and Pant were the only two batsmen to go past the 20-run mark.

Kohli’s 57 off 48 deliveries was his 29th T20 half-century for India and his 10th at World Cups, and came at a particularly important time for his team after a fiery opening spell from Afridi blew apart the top order.

Shaheen Afridi celebrates the wicket of K L Rahul with teammate Babar Azam.

IMAGE: Shaheen Afridi celebrates the wicket of K L Rahul with teammate Babar Azam. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

But Kohli anchored India’s recovery, helping his side to 60/3 at the midway point of the innings, before upping the scoring rate in the second half of the innings.

Rishabh Pant’s 39 off 30 had Pakistan sweating before Shadab Khan removed him caught and bowled in the 13th over.

Ravindra Jadeja, promoted up the order, struggled to get going while scoring a patchy run-a-ball 13.

Hasan Ali celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Suryakumar Yadav.

IMAGE: Hasan Ali celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Suryakumar Yadav. Photograph: Satish Kumar/Reuters

But Kohli looked secure throughout his knock, bringing up the half-century with a clip to deep midwicket as he helped his side to a competitive total - something that seemed some way off at 6 for 2 in the third over.

Kohli's fifty means he goes above Chris Gayle and become the leading half-century scorer in T20 World Cup history with 10.

He now averages 83.4 across 17 World Cup innings.

Virat Kohli waves to the stands after completing 50.

IMAGE: Virat Kohli waves to the stands after completing 50. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

But his innings came to an end at the hands of Afridi, who returned for the penultimate over, bamboozling India's skipper with a slower-ball bouncer that was edged behind.

Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar scrambled 18 runs off the last eight balls, leaving Pakistan with 152 to chase for a first T20 World Cup win over their neighbours.

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