Saturday Mar 19, 2016
KOLKATA: Pakistan made 118 for five in 18 overs against Indiain the World Twenty20 Super Ten Group Two match that has been deemed more important for fans than the WT20 Final. Unfortunately, Pakistan were unable to defend the target and break the jinx against India which remains undefeated by the green shirts in ICC fixtures.
Sent into bat by India captain Mahindra Singh Dhoni, Pakistan openers Ahmed Shehzad and Sharjeel Khan made a cautious start but as soon they began to speed up the score they lost their wickets.
Pakistan reached 50 in the tenth over after losing both the openers. Sharjeel for 17 and Shehzad for 25.
Then came in captain Shahid Afridi, promoting himself at number three but he could make only eight facing 14 balls.
However, Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik made some recovery adding 40 runs off 24 balls and Pakistan crossed the 100-run mark in the 16th over. But both departed in the span of just four runs. Akmla made 22 and Malik scored 26. Both hit a six each, the only two sixes in the Pakistan innings.
Later, Sarfraz Ahmed and Mohammad Hafeez tried to accelerate the score but could finish it at 118-5.
The match was reduced to a 18-overs-a-side after it was delayed by an hour due to a wet outfield.
Pakistan made one change in the team which won against Bangladesh . They brought in fast bowler Mohammad Sami in place of left-arm spinner Imad Wasim while India were unchanged since their loss to New Zealand on the opening day of the Super 10s.
Before the toss, former players were honoured with their achievements recognized in the field of cricket. Pakistan's former skippers Imran Khan, Waseem Akram and Waqar Younis were bestowed with bouquets for their services to the game.
Heavy rainfall hit Kolkata on Saturday morning ahead of the much anticipated Pakistan-India match in the ICC World Twenty20 championship here at Eden Gardens today. The afternoon brought with it sunshine and lifted the hopes of cricket fans anxious to see two traditional rivals clash together for what has been deemed a match more important than the Final of the WT20.
As evening dawned, the clouds returned with thunder and lightening and lots of rain. Covers had been put in place on the outfield as a precautionary measure in the afternoon, but with less than three hours for the match to start analysts began discussing possibilities of a six over clash and even the possibility of the match abandoned due to rain.
Pakistan and India facing off, is always viewed by fans as a treat and often one bigger than the final match of the series. Ahead of the fixture off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin termed the match a bigger contest than the traditional rivalry of the Ashes, Shaun Tait told Geo News' Faizan Lakhani that he views a clash between the two teams to be a tight match. Meanwhile, Pakistan coach Waqar Younis sees the rivalry as something the cricketers should be proud off.
Snapshot: Pakistan at Eden Gardens
Eden Gardens Kolkata, the largest Indian cricket stadium and the second largest in the world after the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia, has certainly been a happy hunting ground for the Pakistani cricketers who have won all their previous ODIs at this ground against India, West Indies and Bangladesh, but had lost one against Sri Lanka on May 27, 1997 by 85 runs.
The green-shirts have also remained unbeatable against India in limited overs cricket at this venue.
The venue for the clash was shifted to Kolkata from Dharmasala due to security reasons after Hindu extremist groups threaten to dig-up the pitch if Pakistan play there.