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Pakistan beats India, registers its first victory over arch-rivals in an ICC World Cup

T20 India vs Pakistan

The recent Pakistan vs India T20 World Cup 2021 match saw a new cricketing chapter being written, as Pakistan beat India by 10 wickets on October 24. This was Pakistan’s first victory over its arch-rivals.

Until recently, in India vs Pakistan head to head contests in ICC world cups, India was 12-0 ahead. For some reason, Pakistan has had an ill-fated destiny with India in world cups. But Babar Azam and his men have created history.

They rose to shine in all departments of the game, be it bowling, batting, or fielding. With the exception of Virat Kohli’s innings, when it did seem that India had a chance, Pakistan was always ahead, and India was struggling to catch-up. The key contributors from Pakistan were Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan, and Babar Azam.

In this blog, Fun88’s experts deconstruct the manner in which Pakistan won the match against India.

Shaheen Afridi was too much for India’s famed top-order to handle

Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi win over arch-rivals India team in World Cup 2021.
At Fun88, our experts have been saying for a while that watch out for Shaheen Afridi. This tall, left-arm bowler is much like Pakistani fast bowlers from an earlier era, like Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis.

Afridi doesn’t need support from the pitch when he’s on a song. His talent was for everyone to see when he trapped Rohit Sharma LBW in his very first over. Then, in his second over, he clean bowled the in-form K.L. Rahul, leaving India at 6 for 2 wickets.

While Afridi was on a roll taking wickets, other Pakistani bowlers also bowled well and didn’t let Indian batsmen play their natural game. They were well supported by a pitch, which was too slow. As a result, the ball wasn’t coming onto the bat, and playing shots was very difficult.

After Rahul left, Suryakumar Yadav came in to bat with Virat Kohli. Yadav played well and hit a six and a four, but soon he was caught on Hasan Ali’s delivery at just 11, and India was 31 for 3.

Kohli and Pant steadied India after Pakistan made an early dent

Virat Kohli & Rishabh Pant's stint during th Cricket Twenty20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan in Dubai.
With in-form batters like Sharma, Rahul, and Yadav gone, it was left to Kohli and Pant to steady India’s ship, and they did a decent job. Kohli played genuine cricketing shots without taking too much risk, while Pant tried to score quick runs by taking a few risks.

Pant delighted the crowd when he hit two one-handed sixes, which were a treat to watch. But his eagerness to take the aerial route cost him his wicket when he tried to hit Shadab Khan for a big one but ended up edging the ball.

As a result, Pant had to walk to the pavilion. By then, he and Kohli had stitched together a 53-run stand and India was 84-4. Then, walked in Ravindra Jadeja, who sensibly let Kohli take most of the strike.
Kohli went on scoring runs in a business-like manner by minimizing risks. In the process, he scored 57 runs off 49 deliveries and took India to a respectable total of 151 runs in 20 overs.

Jadeja and Hardik Pandya tried to contribute, but both appeared to be struggling to play shots on the slow pitch. Meanwhile, Pandya was hit on his right shoulder and appeared to be injured, as he didn’t come to the field. Fortunately for India, the scans later showed that Pandya is fit to play the remaining matches of the T20 World Cup.

Babar and Rizwan didn’t give Indian bowlers a single chance and helped Pakistan cruise to victory

Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan with captain Babar Azam during the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan in Dubai.
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan played on the same slow pitch, which had troubled Indian batsmen, but they played very well without allowing pitch to make it difficult for them.

They were also helped by predictable bowling by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami. Seeing Pakistani bowlers use in-swing, Indian bowlers also tried to follow the same strategy, but they swung the ball less and used the angle more, which worked in favour of the Pakistani batsmen.

In Bhuvenshwar’s first over itself, Rizwan hit him for a four and a six on two deliveries, which had angled in. Meanwhile, Babar kept on playing superb shots even on good balls, completely frustrating the Indian bowlers.

Kohli had five bowlers at his disposal, but four of them, including Bhuvneshwar, Shami, Varun Chakravarthy, and Ravindra Jadeja, proved ineffective in front of Babar and Rizwan.

As a result, Kohli had to turn to his ace-bowler, Jasprit Bumrah, who used slow deliveries and also attempted yorkers, but even he couldn’t get that elusive wicket. Both Rizwan and Babar continued to use the crease to make space for themselves to play impressive shots all over the park.

Doing so, they ensured that they didn’t lose any wicket and also the asking rate was within their reach. In the 13th over by Chakravarthy, first Rizwan hit a slog sweep for a six and then Babar hit him for a six. It was clear by then that the match was slipping away from India and Kohli had hardly any options left.

He had five bowlers, who were all ineffective. The Indian team looked jaded, as there seemed to be no way to take a Pakistani wicket. In the end, Pakistan won the match in the 18th over itself by 10 wickets.

Related read: ICC T20 World Cup: Five Batsmen you should be betting on during the tournament

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