Pakistan beat India for first time in World Cup fixture

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Babar, Rizwan take apart the Indian bowling; Shaheen given man of the match award

DUBAI

Pakistan made history on Sunday night, defeating India for the first time in a World Cup fixture and ending a painful jinx that first began in 1992.

The Green Shirts were famous for their meltdowns against their arch-rivals in World Cup matches and had lost 12 straight matches to the Men in Blue.

They were again heavy underdogs heading into the game, with few giving them a chance. But they flipped the script and inflicted a chastening 10-wicket defeat on India. It was the first time either side had beaten the other by 10 wickets in a limited-overs fixture.

Chasing 152, captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan batted from start to finish as they made India’s ‘world class’ bowling attack look ordinary for once.

Earlier, Shaheen Shah Afridi took three wickets, including skipper Virat Kohli for 57, but India managed 151 for seven in their high-voltage Twenty20 World Cup clash.

Left-arm fast bowler Afridi returned figures of 3-31 after a lethal first spell to hurt India after they elected to field first in the Super 12s encounter in Dubai.

Kohli scored his 29th T20 fifty to help the team rebuild before being caught behind off Afridi as Pakistan dismissed the star batsman for the first time in a World Cup game.

Afridi struck the first blow with an express delivery that swung in to trap Rohit Sharma lbw for a first ball duck and the bowler celebrated with his trademark open-arm gesture.

Kohli walked in amid raucous applause from the Indian fans inside the 20,000-strong crowd who were soon silenced by another ripper from Afridi in his second over.

The 1.98 metre bowler got KL Rahul with a delivery that came in sharply to take the batsman’s thigh pad and rattle the stumps.

Kohli and new batter, Suryakumar Yadav attempted to hit back with some positive shots as they smashed Afridi for a six each.

Wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan then pulled off a superb diving catch to cut short Yadav’s stay at the wicket with quick bowler Hasan Ali striking in his first over. Yadav made 11.

Rishabh Pant joined Kohli in the middle and the left-right batting pair rebuilt the innings and took India to 60-3 at the end of 10 overs.

Pant, a wicketkeeper-batsman who survived a close caught behind call off one of his attempted reverse sweeps, kept up the charge with adventurous strokeplay.

He hit Ali for two successive sixes but finally fell to Shadab Khan’s leg spin in the next over, top edging a ball that went high and into the hands of the bowler. Pant made 39 off 30 balls.

In return, wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan and Babar batted flawlessly from the start. The duo dominated the opposition with brilliant stroke-play and steered the run-chase without any trouble.

Babar reached to his fifty with a six off Varun Chakravarthy while Rizwan pulled Jasprit Bumrah for a four to reach the half-century. The total was chased down in the 18th over, bowled by Mohammad Shami.

Rizwan was the fierce one among the two, batting at a strike rate of 143.63 for his 55-ball 79. He stroked six fours and three sixes while Babar hit six fours and two maximums for his 68.

Shaheen was awarded player of the match for his high-class spell which set up a perfect platform for the win.

The Men in Green will now take on New Zealand on October 26 at the Sharjah International Stadium.

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