Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Shaheen, Babar and Rizwan hand Pakistan emphatic win. Afridi bagged 3 for 31 to restrict India to a below par score.
Afridi bagged 3 for 31 to restrict India to a below par score.
In a nutshell
A multiple record-shattering opening stand between Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan carried Pakistan to an emphatic 10-wicket victory over India. Despite the start provided by Shaheen Afridi, India went past 150 thanks to Virat Kohli's fifty and quick runs at the death. But even that was too little in front of Pakistan's opening duo who clinically completed the chase to end India's dominance over them in T20 WCs.
Shaheen magic in the PowerPlay
Two searing deliveries – one at yorker length and one good length – shaping inwards sharply came with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul's name on it. Rohit was sent packing for a first-ball duck in the opening over and Rahul was undone by a delivery that nipped in to knock over the poles to leave India two down for six runs. Suryakumar Yadav arrived with counter-attacking intentions, and even got a six off Shaheen, who was still hot on his heels. But Hasan Ali nipped Suryakumar's proactiveness in the bud inside the PowerPlay, getting him to nick one to Mohammad Rizwan.
The middle-overs fight and Shadab's googly
India had Virat Kohli to fight their fight but were pinned down by Babar Azam's match-ups game, and Pakistan's overall impressive ground fielding and high-catching. Babar tested Rishabh Pant's patience by putting him against Mohammad Hafeez's off-spin to take the ball away while Shadab Khan, the leg-spinner, also dished out googlies to the left-hander. Though Pant had the rub of the green with two wild swipes, he and Kohli largely resisted the temptation to go the West Indies way and hit their way out of trouble on the same wicket that had the defending champions bowled out for 55. India went from 36/3 in 6 overs to 60/3 in 10.
Pant finally found an outlet when Azam brought back Hasan Ali in the 12th, hitting him for two sixes – one over the shorter leg side boundary and one down the ground in a 15-run over. But Pakistan ensured that that over wouldn't go down as a definitive turning point as Shadab lured a false shot from Pant with a googly.
India's eventful finish
Once again Hasan Ali was used to break the shackles as Kohli got two fours in the 16th over – one a pull behind to the fine leg fence and another a pristine cover drive to give India a late boost. But Haris Rauf brought a wily change of pace to accompany his 140kmph deliveries to bowl a tight 17th over. Hasan then got one back with the wicket of Ravindra Jadeja to set Pakistan up for a possible small chase. Shaheen returned and used his slower bouncer to end Kohli's fight on 57, but a boundary off a no-ball followed by an unnecessary overthrow for four earned India 17 runs from the penultimate over. Just seven came off the 20th but it took India's tally to 51 in the last five overs to finish on 151 for 7.
Pakistan's solid start
India were hit by a calculative opening pair, armed with the best and second-best runs tally in this calendar year in T20Is. None of India's three quicks could quite get the ball to move around like Shaheen did and were taken on by both Azam and Rizwan. The only over in the PowerPlay where the Pakistan duo looked circumspect was in the fourth, bowled by Varun Chakravarthy.
Pakistan's clinical finish
Even Chakravarthy was soon easily dealt with while Ravindra Jadeja couldn't make incisions in the middle-overs either as dew began to make its presence felt. After scoring 43 in the PowerPlay, Pakistan seamlessly shifted gears to score 78 in the next eight overs, as India never came close to picking a wicket. As conditions ease, India couldn't put pressure via dot balls as the Pakistan pair kept scoring freely.
In the process, Babar and Rizwan put on an undefeated 152 – the highest partnership for any wicket against India in T20Is, and the second-highest ever in the T20 WCs, behind Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene's 166 against West Indies in the 2010 edition. This was also the fourth century-plus stand between the two in T20Is this year.
Brief Scores: India 151/7 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 57, Rishabh Pant 39; Shaheen Afridi 3-31, Hasan Ali 2-44) lost to Pakistan 152/0 in 17.5 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 79*, Babar Azam 68*) by 10 wickets.
What next for the teams?
Pakistan have just one day's break before going up against New Zealand in Sharjah on Tuesday (October 26). India have a week's time to regroup and recalibrate before taking on New Zealand in Dubai.