A spellbinding display of pace and swing from Shaheen Shah Afridi and a majestic opening partnership between Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan brought tears of joy for Pakistan fans around the world. India have finally been defeated in a World Cup game. In their proud cricket history, Pakistan had produced several world-class teams – teams
A spellbinding display of pace and swing from Shaheen Shah Afridi and a majestic opening partnership between Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan brought tears of joy for Pakistan fans around the world.
India have finally been defeated in a World Cup game. In their proud cricket history, Pakistan had produced several world-class teams – teams that were better than India’s.
But a win over their big rivals always eluded them.
All that came to an end at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday when a young Pakistan team put Virat Kohli’s hugely experienced Indian side to the sword with the most clinical of performances in the T20 World Cup.
Shaheen (4-0-31-3), the 21-year-old left-arm pacer, broke the back of India’s top-order by dismissing Rohit Sharma (0) and KL Rahul (3), setting the tone for Pakistan’s ascendency as the highly fancied Indian team were restricted to 151 for seven.
Captain Babar (68 not out, 52 balls, six fours and two sixes) and Rizwan (79 not out, 55 balls, six fours, 3 sixes) then came up with a sublime exhibition of shot-making to script a stunning 10-wicket win, sending Pakistani fans on an exhilarating ride.
Deeply hurt by New Zealand and England’s decision to pull out of their cricket tours to Pakistan due to non-cricketing reasons, new PCB chief Ramiz Raja had urged the team to take their anger out on their rivals in the World Cup, starting from the high-profile opener against bitter rivals India.
And Babar’s team rose to the challenge in style, even drawing praise from Kohli after Rizwan put India out of their misery in the 18th over, hitting a six and two fours against the listless Mohammed Shami to guide Pakistan home with 13 balls to spare.
Brief scores: India 151/7 in 20 overs (Kohli 57, Shaheen 3/31). Pakistan 152/0 in 17.5 overs (Rizwan 79 not out, Babar Azam 68 not out)
A big fan of the Argentina national football team, Rituraj generally writes on sports. But he deeply cherishes the time he spent with his favourite musician from Assam, India, for an interview. And he loves to bring human interest stories to Khaleej Times readers.