IND vs PAK: India emerged victorious on Sunday after beating Pakistan by 5 wickets in what turned out to be a nail-biting affair. The Men in Blue have started their campaign with a win unlike the T20 World Cup last year. Skipper, Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to bat first. The decision proved well as the bowlers bowled great lengths and gave a stellar start in the powerplay.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar got the big fish in the form of Babar Azam (10) in only the third over of the innings, while Avesh Khan sent Fakhar Zaman (10) back on the last over of the powerplay. Pakistan was in trouble at 42 for 2 after the power play.
Iftikhar Ahmed then joined hands with Rizwan and the duo steadied the ship for the next six overs. Spinners, however, ensured the duo couldn’t score boundaries with ease. Coming in his second spell, Hardik Pandya removed I Ahmed and Rizwan in the space of two overs to reduce Pakistan to 96 for 4 to leave them in deep trouble.
Rizwan top-scored for Pakistan, scoring 43 in 42 balls. However, once he got out, the Men in Green lost the plot. From 96 for 4, Pakistan was reduced to 128 for 8 in 18.2 overs. S Dhani’s 6-ball 16, in the end, somehow propelled them to 147 in the first innings. For India, Bhuvneshwar Kumar starred with the ball, picking 4 for 26.
In pursuit of the run-chase, India was dealt with a big blow as KL Rahul departed on the very first ball. Naseem Shah cleaned him up while Rohit Sharma struggled to get going at the other end. He took 18 balls to score 12 runs before getting out off Nawaz in the 8th over. But before getting out, he had added 49 runs with Virat Kohli for the second wicket.
Jadeja-Pandya 52-run partnership
Kohli didn’t look at his best either but would be happy to get some time in the middle. Riding on his luck on a few occasions, he managed to score 35 runs in 34 balls. India, at one stage, was 89 for 4 in 14.2 overs. However, valuable contributions from Ravindra Jadeja (35 off 29) and Hardik Pandya (33 off 17) meant India chased down the score with 2 balls to spare.
Needing 8 runs in the last over, Jadeja got out on the very first ball but Pandya hit a six on the fourth ball to finish the game.
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