World T20: Rizwan, Babar lead Pakistan’s historic drubbing of India
SUMMARY: Pakistan 152-0 (Rizwan 79*, Babar 68*) beat India 151-7 (Kohli 57, Afridi 3-31) by 10 wickets
Pakistan hammered India by 10 wickets to claim a famous win over their great rivals at the Men’s T20 World Cup in Dubai.
Chasing 152, Mohammad Rizwan made an unbeaten 78 and captain Babar Azam 68 not out as Pakistan registered their first win over India at a World Cup.
Both players leapt into the air after Azam hit the winning runs before the team came together to celebrate a famous night in Pakistan’s cricket history.
Virat Kohli had earlier made 57 to anchor India in their 151-7, despite a thrilling 3-31 from fast bowler Shaheen Afridi.
It is the first time Pakistan have won a T20 by 10 wickets – and the first time India have lost one by such a margin.
There was a packed stadium in Dubai for the first meeting between these two sides since the 2019 World Cup. Bollywood stars and former players were among the crowd, who never let up on the noise.
They saw Pakistan produce a brilliant batting performance to stun India, one of the tournament favourites, and overturn their long history of losing to India at major events.
Pakistan shared a huddle at the end of the innings as they soaked in what is a remarkable win.
Pakistan change history
Some may have predicted a Pakistan win. But no-one could have envisioned a victory this big.
Not only was history against them, but Pakistan have had a tumultuous build-up to the World Cup, with coaches stepping down and England and New Zealand withdrawing from tours of the country.
But this win will be scarcely believable for Pakistan fans, who remained until the very end in Dubai as the India supporters filtered out.
The tone was set from the third ball of the reply, when Rizwan swatted a six into the stands, and he and Azam rarely looked troubled.
They flayed the bowling all around the ground and their running – not always a strong suit of Pakistan – was good, both players aware to quick singles.
Azam went to his 41-ball half-century with a towering six off Varun Chakravarthy, with the 13th over of the run chase disappearing for 16 runs.
Rizwan was equally hard-hitting, taking Pakistan to the brink of victory by hitting Mohammad Shami for a six and two fours in consecutive balls.
Kohli was quick to offer his congratulations to Rizwan and Azam, with the two captains sharing a hug, before the players ran to their teammates to celebrate together.
Kohli and Shaheen star on biggest stage
India went into this tournament with many of their players in good form after the second half of the Indian Premier League, which was played in the UAE, finished a few weeks ago.
However, Shaheen, one of the quickest bowlers in the world, needed just three deliveries to make an impact, pinning the in-form Rohit lbw with a pacey yorker.
He struck again in his second over, another quick delivery breaking through KL Rahul’s defences to leave India struggling.
Kohli, who will step down as T20 captain at the end of this tournament, is one of the most combative figures in cricket; a player who relishes the fight and the chance to dig his side out of a hole.
In the same over that KL Rahul fell, Kohli smacked a six over long-on, determined not to allow Shaheen to dominate him. He also calmed Pant, who was frenetic in the early stages of his innings, paving the way for their 53-run stand.
Kohli notched his 29th T20 half-century and was well set heading into the final overs. It took the return of Shaheen to end his stay, with the Pakistani dismissing him for the first time in international cricket.
Although Pakistan were slightly wayward in the final overs – Shaheen bowled a no ball that went for four and then conceded five overthrows – they were largely disciplined, their bowlers providing the best platform they could for the batters. (BBC Sport)