- Pakistan defeated India for the first time in the history of World Cup matches.
- Shaheen took three wickets, while Babar and Rizwan both hit unbeaten fifties in stellar win.
- Pakistan totally “outplayed” India, according to Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
Indian fans around the world were disappointed by the Indian team’s performance in their T20 World Cup opener on Sunday. Not only did India lose the match, but they were crushed by Pakistan, who won by 10 wickets at the Dubai International Stadium. Nonetheless, fans remain confident that India would bounce back and finally bring home the T20 World Cup trophy.
This was Pakistan’s first T20 World Cup victory over India, or any World Cup game for that matter. With this first-round victory, Pakistan’s confidence in the competition will be high.
The win comes after 5 consecutive losses to the ‘Men in Blue’ in the showpiece event of cricket’s shortest format, including a heartbreaking loss in the final of the first T20 World Cup in 2007. Babar Azam’s team dominated the game from the start and never let India mount a comeback.
The match was set up by pace bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi, who dismissed India’s openers inside the powerplay, a setback from which India was unable to recover. Indian captain Virat Kohli proved again that why he is the man for crucial moments as he slammed a gritty half-century. However, it was unable to propel the side to a massive score, as India recorded 151/7 in their allocated 20 overs.
In response, Pakistan’s in-form opening pair of captain Babar and wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan looked in exquisite form, dumping the helpless Indian bowlers all over the ground.
Rizwan hit a superb 79 not out to carry the squad to a remarkable victory with 13 balls to spare. Babar stayed unbeaten on 68.
None of the Indian bowlers were able to make an impact on the game as Babar and Rizwan held court in the Dubai International Stadium, playing with power and flare. Rizwan was dominating in the last over, hitting Mohammed Shami for 17 runs to seal a historic victory for his squad.
Earlier, India were off to a shocker of a start as left-arm paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi caught Rohit Sharma plumb in front of the wicket with a scorching yorker, dismissing the senior opener for a golden duck on the fourth ball of the first over.
Afridi wasn’t done yet, as he returned to remove the stumps of KL Rahul, who was removed for 3 after failing to counter the swing and pace of Pakistan’s 21-year-old fast bowler.
Suryakumar Yadav came out and smashed a signature six before getting superbly caught behind the wicket by Mohammad Rizwan off Hasan Ali’s bowling. At that time, India was down at 31/3 on the powerplay.
Rishabh Pant teamed up with skipper Virat Kohli to try to pull India out of their massive deficit. Pant and Kohli both played sensible cricket to help India reach 66/3 after 11 overs.
Pant then let loose, slamming back-to-back sixes off Hasan Ali’s bowling to put India ahead. Leg-spinner Shadab Khan sent back the wicket-keeper batsman in the following over as his attempted big shot soared in the air, and the bowler completed a clean high catch as Pant went for 39.
Kohli held his ground and ultimately completed his 29th T20I fifty to set himself up for a final flourish with Ravindra Jadeja. In the 18th over, Kohli smashed Hasan Ali for two boundaries, but Jadeja was dismissed. Hardik Pandya joined Kohli in the middle with India on 127/5 after 18 overs. Afridi reappeared to send Kohli back for a gritty 57. The huge sixes never came as India struggled to a total of 151.