Sunday, October 23, 2022
MELBOURNE: The partnership of Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya sailed India to victory against Pakistan by four wickets Sunday in the opening match of the T20 World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
In their chase of 160, India suffered early blows as they lost four wickets. But when Kohli and Pandya stepped in, they helped the team bounce back and piled pressure on the bowlers.
Before Pandya's (40) dismissal, he and Kohli (82) shared a partnership of 113 runs off 78 balls.
Although they dominated the match together, India suffered a setback after Panday's dismissal and the match entered a nerve-wracking phase in the last over.
India needed 16 runs in the final over, when Mohammad Nawaz bowled Pandya. In the beginning, it seemed like Pakistan were on top, but Nawaz's no-ball and six from Kohli set the stage for India — and although Dinesh Karthik was sent back to the pavilion, it did not affect the Men In Blue's determination to win.
At the end of 20 overs, India stood at 160 for the loss of eight wickets. Kohli was awarded the Man of The Match award.
For Pakistan, Haris Rauf and Mohammad Nawaz took two wickets each, while Naseem Shah was able to get one scalp.
Earlier, Shan Masood (52) and Iftikhar Ahmed (51) helped Pakistan reach 159 runs against India.
India took control of the match early on by restricting the Men In Green from scoring and dismissing the dangerous Pakistani opening duo in under five overs.
Arshdeep Singh, in his first ball in the second over, dismissed Babar (0) with a full, straight, and pinned lbw. In the fourth over, Singh — who did not perform well in the match against Pakistan in the Asia Cup — got the wicket of Rizwan (4).
But then came Masood and Ahmed, who stabilised the innings at a time when the Men In Green's duo, which they bank on was dismissed. The batters shared a partnership of 76 runs before Ahmed's dismissal.
Shaheen Shah Afridi, who managed to add 16 runs to Pakistan's total at a strike rate of 200, also played an important innings as his quick boundaries in the death overs pressurised India.
For India, Arshdeep Singh and Hardik Pandya starred as they took three wickets each, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami picked up a scalp each.
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Shan Masood, Shadab Khan, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Asif Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh.