- Cricket team clinches first-ever victory over India in a World Cup event
Pakistan clinched a historic victory over India as Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam took the team past the winning line with an unbeaten opening partnership in their ICC T20 World Cup encounter at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.
The opening pair were comfortable from the start, easily dispatching off Indian bowlers in the pursuit of a 152-run target, setting up a 10-wicket win over their arch-rivals.
The victory is extra special for Pakistan as it is their first over India in a World Cup event, bringing an end to a losing streak that started in 1992. Since then, Pakistan has faced India in 12 World Cup encounters -- 7 in 50-over contests, while another 5 in T20 World Cups. While one match (in 2007) ended in a tie, India were awarded the game through a bowl-out.
The losing streak started in 1992 when the Imran Khan-led side, which eventually won the World Cup, went down to India in Australia.
However, with this victory, Pakistan has officially ended a 29-year-old losing streak, and opened their 2021 ICC T20 World Cup campaign with a comfortable victory.
Earlier, India recovered to post a total of 151 for seven against Pakistan.
Skipper Virat Kohli’s 49-ball 57 and Rishabh Pant’s 39 off 30 helped India put a respectable total of 151/7 despite losing early wickets.
Led by Shaheen Shah Afridi, Pakistan kept Indian batters under pressure by taking wickets at regular intervals.
India lost both openers early, courtesy Shaheen. Kohli then put up a small partnership of 25 with young Suryakumar Yadav. However, Hasan Ali broke this stand by removing Yadav for 11 in the sixth over, leaving India at 31/3.
Kohli played an anchor’s role but opened his arms in the final overs to take his side to a fighting total. He was well-supported by Pant (39) and Ravi Jadeja (13).
For Pakistan, Shaheen took three wickets for 31 while Hasan Ali grabbed two for 44. Shadab Khan and Haris Rauf took one wicket apiece for 22 and 25 runs, respectively.
Shaheen Shah Afridi finished with three wickets.
He dismissed Virat Kohli for 57 and took the wickets of both openers early on in the innings.
A throw by Afridi, however, cost Pakistan off the last ball of the 19th over.
Hasan Ali helped Pakistan slow down India's pace in the final overs, dismissing Ravindra Jadeja.
India are now 127 for five after 18 overs. Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya are at the crease.
Earlier, Virat Kohli scored back-to-back boundaries off Hasan Ali to take India to 110/4 in 16 overs.
Rishabh Pant was dismissed for 39 off 30 deliveries as Pakistan fought back to take the fourth wicket against India in their ICC T20 World Cup encounter.
Shadab Khan took the wicket. India are now 87 for four after 13 overs.
Virat Kohli and Pant helped India recover after the team lost the first three wickets inside the powerplay against Pakistan.
India lost their third wicket when Hasan Ali removed Suryakumar Yadav for 11 in the sixth over.
Mohammad Rizwan took a brilliant diving catch behind the stumps as Pakistan reduced India to 31 for three.
Opener KL Rahul was dismissed off the opening delivery of the third over as India were reduced to 6-2.
Shaheen Shah Afridi took his second wicket, after having dismissed Rohit Sharma for a golden duck.
Sharma was dismissed off the first delivery by Afridi as Pakistan claimed a wicket in the opening over against India.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam had won the toss and elected to field as his team takes on India in the high profile clash at the ICC T20 World Cup.
The encounter at the Dubai International Stadium is the first between the two traditional cricket rivals since 2019.
Pakistan decided to go with a combination of experienced and younger players. The squad includes both Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez, as well as Asif Ali in the final XI.
Babar Azam will lead the batting unit with in-form wicket-keeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan, and Champions Trophy 2017 final hero Fakhar Zaman.
The bowling brigade, spearheaded by Shaheen Shah Afridi, also looks settled as it includes a variety of options in the shape of Shadab Khan (leg-spin) and Imad Wasim (left-arm off-spin), strengthened by the presence of Malik and Hafeez.
- Babar Azam (c), 2. Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 3. Mohammad Hafeez, 4. Fakhar Zaman, 5. Shoaib Malik, 6. Asif Ali, 7. Shadab Khan, 8. Imad Wasim, 9. Hasan Ali, 10. Shaheen Shah Afridi, 11. Haris Rauf.
- KL Rahul, 2. Rohit Sharma, 3. Virat Kohli (c), 4. Suryakumar Yadav, 5. Rishabh Pant, 6. Hardik Pandya, 7. Ravindra Jadeja, 8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9. Varun Chakravarthy, 10. Jasprit Bumrah, 11. Mohammed Shami.