It was a dream start for Team India in the much-awaited T20 World Cup clash, after opting to bowl first, Arshdeep Singh shared the new ball with Mohammed Shami and was making the ball talk right from the get-go. The left-arm pacer dismissed Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan early on.
Pakistan was 15-2 after the 4th over and it was the duo of Iftikhar Ahmed and Shan Masood who rescued Pakistan from this precarious situation. The pair counter-attacked and put some pressure back on India, together they stitched a brilliant partnership of 76 runs. The balance of this game is shifting in the 12th over when Iftikhar smashed Axar Patel for three maximums.
Once the partnership was broken by Shami, it was nothing but a mere collapse that was on awaiting. The Pakistan lower order looked to attack the bowlers and kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
With support cameos from Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf, Shan Masood played a crucial part in steering Pakistan to 159 after 20 overs. Arshdeep Singh and Hardik Pandya were the pick of the bowlers with three wickets each.
India needs 160 runs to win from 20 overs, and this could well be a tricky chase for them
The Indian side got off to a poor start losing two of their openers early. It was KL Rahul getting chopped on off Naseem Shah and Rohit Sharma incurring an outside edge to Haris Rauf. Suryakumar Yadav looked to counter but got out for 15 runs. Soon Axar departed and India was in deep trouble.
Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli stuck around and kept the scoreboard ticking. Hardik took against Nawaz in the 12th over, released the pressure and pulled the momentum back towards the Indian side.
India needed 60 runs from the last 30 balls. 12 runs were offered by Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf in the next two overs. Virat Kohli smoked a few sixes, fours and accelerated the innings in some style. Though Hardik chewed up some balls in the end, Virat steered the scoreboard past. India needed 28 runs from 8 balls and then the King smacked for two marvellous sixes, one to remember for ages. 16 were runs needed from 6 balls and what followed in the next three balls were a wicket (of Hardik Pandya), a single, and a double.
With 13 runs needed from 3 balls, Nawaz tossed one over the waist of Virat, who flicked one over the ropes. 6 runs were needed from 3 balls, which went down to 2 runs needed from 2. Nawaz bowled a wide and released the pressure off Ashwin who lofted the last ball over the mid-off region and got the winning runs.