Bumrah superb as India prevail in T20 World Cup thriller with Pakistan

SUMMARY: India 119 all out from 19 overs (Pant 42; Naseem 3-21, Rauf 3-21) beat Pakistan 113-7 from 20 overs (Rizwan 31; Bumrah 3-14, Hardik 2-24) by six runs


Jasprit Bumrah took 3-14 as India battled to a gritty six-run victory over Pakistan in a T20 World Cup thriller in New York.

Pakistan seamers Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah both finished with fine figures of 3-21 as India were bowled out for 119 in 19 overs in slippery conditions after morning rain.

Rishabh Pant’s aggressive 42 was imperative for India, but their usually fearsome bowling attack initially missed some of its bite as Pakistan reached 80-3 with six overs left, Muhammad Rizwan patiently setting about chasing down the total.

The game swung India’s way following the Pakistan wicketkeeper’s dismissal for 31 off 44, bowled by the brilliant Bumrah, who spearheaded India’s fightback when Pakistan looked set for victory.

With 18 needed off the final over of the game, bowled by Arshdeep Singh, Pakistan could only scramble 10 runs as they fell just short.

India have now won seven of their last nine meetings with Pakistan in T20 World Cups, with one no-result.

This victory at a stadium in New York – which will be dismantled once the US leg of the T20 World Cup is over – will be particularly sweet for India.

Not least because it pushes their winless rivals closer to the exit door and puts themselves on the brink of qualifying for the Super 8s.

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Pant the glue for India after Rohit, Kohli go cheaply

Rohit Sharma adeptly played a tricky pitch in his side’s opening victory against Ireland at this venue, so there was much on the shoulders of India’s most skilful operator.

“Rohit, Rohit, Rohit” the India fans feverishly bellowed from the stands when he effortlessly whipped the third ball of the match from Shaheen Afridi over the ropes.

It should have set the tone for a big total, but when Virat Kohli drilled Naseem into the hands of point, and Rohit was caught in the deep attempting to repeat the trick against Shaheen, India’s middle order was exposed.

There was no sense they might simply be happy trying to rebuild, though. Especially when Pant swaggered to the crease in that inimitable style of his.

The left-hander played with typical bombast and when he swung, he swung hard. Sometimes he connected, sometimes the ball flew off in another direction.

His six fours in a 31-ball knock were vital in getting India to a semi-competitive total with Axar Patel (20) one of only three India players into double figures.

Pakistan’s seamers, however, showed superb discipline in the rest of India’s innings, with Naseem and Rauf superb as India’s last six wickets went down for just 24.

Pakistan blow chance as Bumrah thrills blue wall

India blundered early into Pakistan’s response, with overthrows and dropped catches, before Bumrah expertly found the edge of Babar Azam’s bat and Suryakumar Yadav took a fine slip catch.

The majority of the 34,028 crowd packed into a sold out Eisenhower Park roared in support for India as their bowlers hunted for wickets.

That blue wall might have appeared a tidal wave at times, but Pakistan’s batters initially stood firm as the ground was bathed in sunshine and batting conditions appeared favourable.

Rizwan anchored the innings with a patient 44-ball knock before a brain fade when he was bowled while trying to whip Bumrah into the leg side.

Pakistan were still favourites at that point but the pressure got to their middle and lower order, who were unable to find the boundary amid some good bowling.

Imad Wasim (15) kept them in the hunt but with the run-rate climbing India’s bowlers really turned the screw.

Bumrah was instrumental although Hardik Pandya (2-24) also played his part along with a tight spell from Mohammed Siraj, who went wicketless but conceded just 19 runs.

After a shock defeat by the United States in their opening match Pakistan have it all do. Even for international cricket’s mercurial side it will be a big ask to qualify for the next stage from here. (BBC)

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