India vs Pakistan World T20: 6 coolest moments of the match

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Virat Kohli World T20
KOLKATA, INDIA – MARCH 19: Virat Kohli of India bats during the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016 match between Pakistan and India at Eden Gardens on March 19, 2016 in Kolkata, India. (Photo by Vivek Prakash-IDI/Getty Images)

India defeated Pakistan for the 11th time in a World Cup game (6 ODIs and 5 T20Is). On a turning pitch and in a rain affected game, Pakistani batsmen find it difficult to make a connection between ball and bat and Pakistan could make only 118 in 18 overs. Apart from Malik and Umar Akmal, no batsman could play Indian bowlers with even a tinge of confidence. Afridi promoted himself to number 3 but it did not work even. He fell for an ordinary 8 off 14 balls. In reply, India lost Rohit Sharma to Amir in the third over. Then, Sami dismissed Dhawan and Yuvraj on two consecutive deliveries to push India to the back-foot. However, Kohli stood to the task and India courtesy to Kohli’s yet another unbeaten half century made light of the target and chased it with 13 balls to spare. Kohli made 55 from 37 balls with the help of 7 fours and 1 six. He was awarded man of the match for his brilliant knock under pressure. Here are plays of the day from the game.

1. Sami’s déjà Vu

Muhammad Sami came to bowl 5th over in the 2nd Innings and was punished for a four on the very first ball by Shikhar Dhawan. The second ball he bowled was a slower cutter outside off which missed Dhawan’s bat and went to the keeper. However, Sami had overstepped in his stride and Umpire signaled a no-ball and then a free-hit. All of a sudden, it reminded everyone of the two no-balls Muhammad Sami bowled in the second last over of Asia Cup Match against Bangladesh and which played the main role in ousting Pakistan out of the tournament. Lucky for him, today he went for nothing on free-hit and also did not ball a follow-up no-ball.

2. Amir-2 Rohit-0

Hardly ten days ago, Rohit Sharma stated that Muhammad Amir was an ordinary bowler and he was not a world-class bowler at all. The stage was all set for both players to make a practical statement. Rohit Sharma had struck two fours in Muhammad Irfan’s over, and he was looking confident. First ball of the third over was delivered by Muhammad Amir and Rohit Sharma was on strike. Rohit Sharma tried to loft it down the long-off fence but the ball went straight up very high towards extra cover where Malik called for the catch and took it comfortably. It was now Amir-2 Rohit-0 since Amir returned.

3. Dhoni’s Last Ball Six came on Early today

Dhoni has a habit of hitting the ball out of the park when runs required are 6 or less than those. He has done it on 12 occasions in International Cricket. Today, when India required 7 to win from 14 balls, Muhammad Irfan bowled an off-cutter but it was slightly fuller. Dhoni took the full advantage of mid-on fielder in the ring and dismissed the ball for a massive six over long-on. To a statistician’s disappointment, one run was still required to win and Dhoni took a single to see his side home for the 11th time in a World Cup Game against Pakistan.

4. The ball bounces back- Sami pounces back

Having bowled a no-ball on the very second delivery, Pakistani fans were not expecting much from Muhammad Sami. Again the questions “Why Sami is even playing” started echoing again. However, after getting a dot ball of free hit, Sami bowled a short of length delivery which Dhawan tried to guide to third man. In the process he got too close and chopped it onto the stumps. Raina came in to face the next delivery and almost a similar delivery was bowled by Sami which bounced a little more than previous ball. Raina in his trademark style jumped to keep the ball down but he closed the face a little more than required and the ball bounced onto his leg-stump. Sami had at that moment won the hearts of millions of Pakistani fans. Interestingly, it was 3rd successive time that Pakistan changed the winning combination and brought in a pacer in a World Cup game against India and he proved it right- the other two being WahabRiaz in 2011 and Sohail Khan in 2015.

5. Virat Kohli’s Cover Drive

Every batsman struggled on this pitch. Pakistani openers continued testing luck on almost every second ball and fortune favored them on many a occasion, even though they were not brave. There were too many played-and-missed shots in Pakistani Innings. Rohit, Dhawan and Raini could not find the touch either. Yuvraj stuck around for a while but he too missed many deliveries. Amidst all clueless batting performances today, there was one man who stood out and he was ultimately the real difference. Virat Kohli started the innings very sensibly with singles and doubles. He played wonderful shots in every gap but climax came when he struck Muhammad Amir for a four through extra cover. Amir was brought back into the attack by Afridi to get a wicket or two. However, Kohli was calm and cool and did not take any risk. Off the last ball of Amir’s over which was slightly fuller and angling across, Kohli came onto the front foot and driven the ball away from deep cover fielder. His timing and placement were so perfect that the fielder had no chance to reach anywhere near the ball.

6. Ashwin’s Magical Delivery

It was bound to be a spinning track but the ball was spinning way too much especially when Ashwin was bowling.  His magic started to excel from the very second ball he bowled. Ashwin came from around the wicket to Sharjeel and got him beaten twice in two balls. On the last ball of the same over, Ahmad Shehzad missed his off-spinner and it went past Dhoni even for one bye.  However, it was the last ball of Ashwin’s second over which was the real magic. Ashwin came around the wicket again and bowled a good length delivery which pitched on middle stump and was going angling towards 7th stump if it had no turn. Ahmed Shehzad went back towards leg-side to make room to cut the ball behind point. However, the ball turned and bounced more than anyone could have expected and it struck Ahmad Shehzad on his gloves. The hawk-eye showed that the ball had diverted a long way from its actual path due to turn.

Written by Roy Dilawar Khan.

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