Hosts India ease past Pakistan – World T20
By Lee Dolbear
- Comprehensive win for India
- Slow start costs Pakistan
- Super Sunday brings two more games
KOLKATA, INDIA – India were far too hot for Pakistan after early rain made for an 18 overs shoot out.
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Virat Kohli scorched a magnificent half century to condemn Pakistan to their first defeat in the tournament today beating them by six wickets at Eden Gardens. It was also India’s first victory and they are still unbeaten by Pakistan in both World T20 and 50 over World Cups.
With rain around just over two hours before the game was scheduled, it meant the toss was delayed and there was a reduction in time, making it 18 overs a side.
India skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and decided to bowl with the conditions looking changeable. It proved a worthy call as Pakistan got off to a sedate start on a difficult pitch.
Both Sharjeel Khan (17) and Ahmed Shehzad (25) scored slowly before Khan was caught by Hardik Pandya off the bowling of Suresh Raina, it was Raina’s only over and he finished with figures of 1/4.
Both Shehzad and his skipper Shahid Afridi went in fairly quick succession where Pakistan found themselves 60/3 with just 37 balls remaining, thankfully Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik motored on to help set India an under par 120 to win.
It all started so well for the Pakistan bowlers with Mohammad Sami in particular on fire, Shikhar Dhawan (6) and Raina (0) both played on to consecutive deliveries. They were 23/3 at this point but Kohli and Yuvraj Singh sent the 61000 predominantly Indian crowd into raptures after aggressively getting them home with 13 balls to spare. Man of the match Kohli was unbeaten with 55 off 37 balls.
Afterwards Kohli told Sky Sports “It was a challenging wicket out there – that’s what you need as a cricketer, you need new challenges every innings that you play. Today was about keeping calm and working how to go about it. The seamers bowling cutters was a different ball game.”
What a game, what a crowd. Great entertainment and India will be happy to be off the mark.
Two games on Sunday, South Africa v Afghanistan from Mumbai at 0930 GMT and West Indies v Sri Lanka from Bengaluru at 1400 GMT.
More pulsating action is on the cards!