Pakistan break India jinx with 10-wicket rout
Published: 09:10 AM, 25 October 2021 Updated: 12:39 PM, 25 October 2021
Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan smashed unbeaten half-centuries as Pakistan crushed India by 10 wickets to register their first win over their arch-rivals in a Twenty20 World Cup on Sunday.
Chasing 152 for victory, Babar (68) and Rizwan (79) took apart the Indian bowling as they steered their team home with 13 balls to spare in Dubai.
Left-arm quick Shaheen Shah Afridi set up victory - their first over their neighbours in six attempts in the tournament - with figures of 3-31 that kept down India to 151-7 despite a valiant 57 from skipper Virat Kohli.
In the immediate aftermath of victory, celebratory gunfire erupted in the Pakistan cities of Islamabad and Karachi.
Babar and Riwan went on the attack from the start with boundaries inside the powerplay - the first six overs when only two fielders are aloowed outside the innner circle - to set the tone for their chase.
The dew did not help the Indian bowlers who regularly wiped the moisture off the ball with their towels while the openers kept the score ticking and got the occasional fours and sixes.
The batting pair kept up the charge as Babar reached his fifty with a six off spinner Varun Chakravarthy to get the Pakistan crowd dancing with joy.
Rizwan raised his fifty with a boundary off pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah and then raced past his captain, hitting six fours and three sixes in his 55-ball knock.
Babar hit the winning runs to turn a new page in Pakistan-India rivalry.
Earlier Afridi returned figures of 3-31 after a lethal first spell to hurt India who elected to field first in the Super 12s encounter watched by 20,000 in the stadium and a global TV audience of hundreds of millions of fans across the globe.
Kohli scored his 29th T20 fifty to help the team rebuild before being caught behind off Afridi as Pakistan dismissed the star batsman for the first time in a T20 World Cup game.
Afridi struck the first blow with an express delivery that swung in to trap Rohit Sharma lbw for a first ball duck and the bowler celebrated with his trademark open-arm gesture.
Kohli walked in amid raucous applause from the Indian fans who were soon silenced by another ripper from Afridi in his second over.
The 1.98 metre bowler got KL Rahul with a delivery that came in sharply to take the batsman's thigh pad and rattle the stumps.
Kohli and new batter, Suryakumar Yadav attempted to hit back with some positive shots as they smashed Afridi for a six each.
Wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan then pulled off a superb diving catch to cut short Yadav's stay at the wicket with quick bowler Hasan Ali striking in his first over. Yadav made 11.
Rishabh Pant joined Kohli in the middle and the left-right batting pair rebuilt the innings and took India to 60-3 at the end of 10 overs.
Pant, a wicketkeeper-batsman who survived a close caught behind call off one of his attempted reverse sweeps, kept up the charge with adventurous strokeplay.
He hit Ali for two successive sixes but finally fell to Shadab Khan's leg spin in the next over, top edging a ball that went high and into the hands of the bowler.
Pant made 39 off 30 balls. Kohli stood firm to soak up the pressure to get to his 50 in 45 balls. - AFP