ICC World T20, Ind vs Pak: Virat show in Eden high

India finally beat Pakistan in a limited overs game at Eden Gardens to stay in contention at World Cup.

Kolkata: Virat Kohli scored an unbeaten half-century and guided India to a six-wicket victory against Pakistan in their Super 10 Group 2 match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Saturday. The star batsman remained unbeaten on 55 off 37 balls, which included seven fours and a six, as India maintained their unblemished record against Pakistan in ICC competitions.

This was also India’s first victory against Pakistan in five outings at this venue.
Batting first, Pakistan scored 118 for 5 in the rain-curtailed match. The game got delayed only by an hour and lost four overs (two in each innings). The target might have looked easy on paper, Mohammad Sami made life difficult for the Indians after removing Shikhar Dhawan (6) and Suresh Raina (0) off consecutives deliveries. Kohli and Yuvraj Singh rescued India from danger.

The southpaw immediately made his presence felt with a six off Wahab Riaz.
The duo stitched 61 runs off 44 balls for the fourth wicket. However, Yuvraj, perhaps getting carried away by the enthusiastic cheering by the fans, mistimed a shot off Riaz. He scored 24 off 23 balls. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni joined the in-form Kohli in the middle, and finished the job with 2.1 overs to spare.
Dhoni, who remained not out on 13, levelled the scores with his signature six, paving the way for a thrilling win.

Read: ICC World T20, Ind vs Pak: Virat Kohli dedicates fifty to Sachin Tendulkar

Earlier, the Pakistan openers struggled to up the ante against Ravichandran Ashwin and Ashish Nehra. The visitors looked tired and clumsy, and crossed the 10-run mark only after three overs. After Pakistan limping to 38 in the eighth over, Suresh Raina drew first blood for the hosts. Khan (17 off 24) tried to clear the circle at mid on and mistimed the pull. Hardik Pandya plucked the ball out of thin air.

Shehzad, who had missed out on Asia Cup, was calculated in his approach. The right-hander tried to steady the innings with skipper Shahid Afridi but Jasprit Bumrah ended his resistance. He intended a shot for the leg side but the top edge was pouched by Ravindra Jadeja from point. Jadeja rarely makes a mistake on the field and Shehzad departed for 25 off 28 balls, a knock that included three fours.

Read: Narendra Modi congratulates team India over win against Pakistan

Afridi (8 off 14) ran out of steam and followed suit, leaving Pakistan reeling at 60 for 3 towards the end of 12th over. The aggressive captain couldn’t clear the rope even once. In fact, Pakistan’s first six came only in the 14th over when Shoaib Malik took on Pandya.

Malik looked impressive with a 16-ball 26 till he gifted a sitter to Ashwin off Nehra at short fine leg. His innings included three fours and a six. Umar Akmal displayed flashes of brilliance with a 16-ball 22 before Dhoni caught him off Jadeja.

Bumrah’s last over is worth a mention, for he managed to contain the dangerous Mohammad Hafeez who remained unbeaten on 5. For India, Nehra (1/20) and Jadeja (1/20) were the pick of the bowlers as they sucked the momentum out of their opponents when it mattered the most. Bumrah, Raina and Pandya picked up a wicket each.


Pakistan: Sharjeel Khan c Pandya b Raina 17, A. Shehzad c Jadeja b Bumrah 25, S. Afridi c Kohli b Pandya 8, Umar Akmal c Dhoni b Jadeja 22, S. Malik c Ashwin b Nehra 26, Sarfraz Ahmed (not out) 8, M. Hafeez (not out) 5. Extras (b-2, lb-3, w-1, nb-1) 7. Total (for five wickets in 18 overs) 118.
FoW: 1-38, 2-46, 3-60, 4-101, 5-105.
Bowling: Nehra 4-0-20-1, Ashwin 3-0-12-0, Bumrah 4-0-32-1, Jadeja 4-0-20-1, Raina 1-0-4-1, Pandya 2-0-25-1.
India: R. Sharma c Shoaib Malik b Mohammad Amir 10, S. Dhawan b Mohammad Sami 6, V. Kohli (not out) 55, S. Raina b Mohammad Sami 0, Yuvraj Singh c Mohammad Sami b Wahab Riaz 24, M.S. Dhoni (not out) 13. Extras (lb-3, w-7, nb-1) 11. Total (for four wickets in 15.5 overs) 119.
FoW: 1-14, 2-23, 3-23, 4-84.
Bowling: Mohammad Amir 3-1-11-1, Mohammad Irfan 2.5-0-25-0, Mohammad Sami 2-0-17-2, Shahid Afridi 4-0-25-0, Shoaib Malik 2-0-22-0, Wahab Riaz 2-0-16-1.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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