The Babar Azam-led Pakistan side scripted history on Sunday as the Green Brigade broke their World Cup jinx against arch-rivals India after thrashing the Virat Kohli-led side by 10 wickets in the third match of the ongoing T20 World Cup in Dubai.
Chasing a modest total of 152 runs for victory, Babar (68 not out off 52) and Mohammad Rizwan (79 unbeaten off 55) played brilliantly as the opening duo denied the Indian bowlers any success and helped their side cross the line with 13 balls to spare.
Notably, it is for the first time when Pakistan defeated India in a World Cup match, having lost their all encounters in the past.
The Pakistan opener posted the highest ever partnership for any wicket by any team against India in T20Is and also surpassed the previous best, which was 133 by David Warner and Shane Watson.
Rizwan and Babar also created another record of Pakistan’s best-ever partnership for any wicket against India in T20Is as they surpassed the nine-year-old record created by Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik when they scored 106 runs for the fourth wicket in 2012 at Bangalore.
For India, pacer Mohammed Shami was the most expensive bowler, leaking 43 runs from 3.5 overs.
Pakistan’s Rizwan, meanwhile, also completed 1,500 T20 runs in the ongoing calendar year. He’s only the 2nd Pakistani after Babar Azam to score 1,500 runs in a calendar year.
Earlier put into bat, skipper Kohli (57 off 49 balls) and stumper Rishabh Pant (39 off 30 balls) steadied the ship for India as they duo forged a crucial 53-run partnership for the fourth wicket after the Men in Blue lost three early wickets.
It was the duo’s effort in the middle which somehow helped India to reach 151/7 in the allotted 20 overs.
Put into bat, India was reduced to 36/3 in the power-play as Shaheen Shah Afridi (3/31) jolted the kohli-led side after packing back both the openers – KL Rahul (3) and Rohit Sharma cheaply. Rohit couldn’t even manage to open his account as he was trapped before the wickets by Afridi in the very first over of the match itself.
Later, incoming batter Suryakumar Yadav (11 off 8) hit a maximum off Afridi and swept spinner Imad Wasim for a boundary but his stay at the crease was cut short by Pakistan wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan, who dived to his right to catch a thick edge off Hasan Ali delivery in the final over of the power-play.
Follwoing his dismissal, Kohli was joined by Pant in the middle and the duo led the charge for rebuilding the Indian innings.
While Pant was more aggressive, Kohli kept on rotating the strike.
Just when the duo looked settled in the middle, Pant top-edged a slog delivery of the 13th over by Shadab Khan, who caught the Indian stumper off his own bowling.
After Pant’s dismissal, Kohli took the charge as he slammed four boundaries off Haris Rauf and Hasan Ali en route to his half-century while Ravindra Jadega chipped in with 13 runs off as many deliveries as the men in Blue somehow posted a respectable total on the score board.
For Pakistan, Afridi was the wrecker-in-chief as he returned with impressive figures of 3/31 while Hasan Ali bagged couple of wickets conceding 44 runs. On the other hand, Shadab Khan and Haris Rauf picked one wicket each handing 22 and 25 runs respectively.
Pakistan will next face New Zeland in Sharjah on Tuesday while India will face the Kiwis in their next encounter on October 31.
Brief scores: Pakistan 152/0 (Mohammad Rizwan 79 not out, Babar Azam 68 not out) in 17.5 overs BEAT India 151/7 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 57, Rishabh Pant 39, Shaheen Afridi 3/31, Hasan Ali 2/44) by 10 wickets