Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

Pakistan crushed arch-rival India by 10 wickets for its first-ever victory against its arch-rival in a T20 World Cup match on Sunday.

Captain Babar Azam (68 not out) and Mohammad Rizwan (79 not out) beat Sovereign undefeated half-centuries and eased Pakistan to 152-0 in 17.5 overs in Group 2 of the Super 12s.

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Fast bowler Shaheen Afridi (3-31) had previously rattled India’s top spot by removing both openers, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, in his first two overs before skipper Virat Kohlis 57 off 49 balls took the 2007 champion to 151-7.

Babar won the cast and chose to hunt. The decision paid off as Rizwan played with Indian bowlers as they struggled with the wet ball as dew fell to in the second half of the game.

It was Pakistan’s first ever victory with 10 wickets against any opposition in a T20, while India also faced the shame of losing by such a margin for the first time.

“This is just the start, we have confidence to build on now,” Babar said after his side’s historic victory. “It will remain battle for battle for us.”

“The pressure on us was not so much – we did not think at all about the record against India. I just wanted to back up all our players who have prepared well.

“When you play tournaments before a big World Cup, it helps, and our players came with a lot of confidence because of that.”

The result was a massive blow to tournament favorites India, with Kohli lamenting the loss of early wickets during his side’s stroke play.

“We did not do the things we wanted, but the credit is certainly due – they surpassed us today,” he said.

“When you lose three early, it’s very difficult to come back, especially when you know the dew is coming.

“They were also very professional with bats. Hitting through the line was not as easy in the first half as it seemed in the Pakistani round, so once you know the conditions can change, you need 10-20 extra runs. But some quality bowling from Pakistan did not let us get out of the way.

“We are certainly not a team that presses the panic button, it is the start of the tournament, not the end.”

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