Pakistan finally beat India in a World Cup, defeating arch rivals and tournament favorites by 10 wickets on an extraordinary night in the Gulf.
The closest the Pakistanis had come in 12 previous games – seven in the one-day World Cup, five in their Twenty20 equivalent – was a 20-tie at South Africa in 2007. Even then, India won a bowlout.
Now they finished a painful hoodoo, thanks to an electric fast bowling spell with Shaheen Shah Afridi’s left arm, followed by a masterful partnership between Captain Babar Azam and goalkeeper Mohammad Rizwan.
Pakistan celebrated after beating India in a World Cup in the 13th time of asking
By the time Babar ran the winning races with 13 balls to spare, a crowd of 16,500 Indians had shrunk, leaving only delusional green and white floodlights.
This was as staggering as the events here 24 hours earlier, when England defeated the West Indies by 55.
The Super 12 stage of this World Cup is off to a memorable start.
Babar had spoken beforehand about forgetting his country’s miserable record against its neighbors, which sounded more like amateur psychology than a professional game plan.
Babar Azam finished with 68 * and Pakistan chased India’s total with 2.5 overs to spare.
Pakistan captain and Mohammad Rizwan put in a brilliant 152 position to win the game
But he and Rizwan gave the impression that the amnesia petition had worked, underscoring its reputation as the best open society in the world.
Established 152 after Virat Kohli’s half-century helped India rebound six-for-two, Pakistan’s top two hitters faced each other blow for blow.
Babar ranks second in the world and Rizwan seventh. And if Pakistan’s batting seems too heavy, Indian bowling never got a chance to test the theory.
Between them, the starters scored 12 four and five sixes as India, unassisted by the evening dew, made herself look like a pedestrian. When reality dawned, even Kohli assumed a subdued air.
Virat Kohli scored India’s all-time high with 57, before being caught in Afridi bowling
The India captain (left) admitted that his team had been overtaken by Pakistan on Sunday.
“Pakistan beat us today,” he said. ‘They didn’t give us a chance. But we are not a team that pushes the panic button. It’s the beginning of the tournament, not the end. ‘
Meanwhile, Babar was sticking to his pre-match theory. “The pressure on us wasn’t that much,” he said.
“We did not think at all about the record against India. This is just the beginning, we are confident to continue building now. ‘
The Pakistan soiree had been hosted by Afridi, who pinned Rohit Sharma leg earlier by a golden duck, then threw KL Rahul with a booming inducker in his next over.
Pakistan swiftly eliminated KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in a brilliant spell
Shaheen Shah Afridi named man of the match after finishing 3-31
Despite a resistance in the fourth wicket of 53 between Kohli and Rishabh Pant, India never broke free, and Afridi came back to have Kohli trapped behind by 57.
“This is the first time we have beaten India and I am proud,” said Afridi. “I knew it would be good for us if it got early terrain, and it worked.”
Pakistan had never won a T20 game by 10 wickets, much less against India.
As they posed for a team selfie in the outfield, they felt their biggest challenge would be to stop pinching themselves.
SRI LANKA HIT BANGLADESH
Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh by five wickets in Sharjah, but their victory was marred by an ugly incident in the sixth final of the game, when Bangladesh starter Liton Das and Sri Lankan locksmith Lahiru Kumara had to be separated after Kumara will catch him halfway.
Mohammad Naim, the other starter, was also involved in the fight. Chasing 172 after half a century of Naim and Mushfiqur Rahim, Sri Lanka was in trouble at 79-for-four in the 10th change, but Liton dropped two catches, and Bangladesh’s captain Mahmudullah failed to launch his two most dangerous weapons: the spinner Shakib Al Hasan. and Mustafizur Rahman fast with his left arm.
Charith Asalanka made the most of it, hitting five sixes on an undefeated 80 with just 49 balls. And with Bhanuka Rajapaksa contributing 53 of 31, including three sixes of his own, the victory came with seven submissions to spare.
Bangladesh is England’s next rival, in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.