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Pakistan Defeats India in Opening Match of T20 World Cup

by Newsweek Pakistan

Pakistan’s squad celebrates their victory over India in the first match of the T20 World Cup

Captain Babar Azam urges team to avoid complacency and build on confidence of victory in rest of tournament

Pakistan on Sunday made history by defeating India in a World Cup tournament—the first such win in any cricket format—with a 10-wicket victory and 13 balls remaining in the match.

Widely perceived as the underdogs of the match, Pakistan’s emphatic victory—it has never beaten India by 10 wickets in a limited overs fixture—prompted celebrations nationwide, with Pakistanis hailing the national team for giving it such a joyous opportunity.

Pakistan won the toss and opted to bowl first. Bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi took three wickets, including Indian captain Virat Kohli for 57 runs, with the rival team ending its innings in the Twenty20 World Cup at 151 for 7. Kohli’s dismissal was the first time Pakistan had ever ousted him in a World Cup game.

The first tumble was Rohit Sharma, who was out for a leg-before-wicket with zero runs. He was soon followed by KL Rahul, who could only muster 3 runs. Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav attempted a fight-back, but wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan caught Yadav out after just 11 runs. He was replaced by Rishabh Pant, who partnered with Kohli to achieve 60/3 at the end of 10 overs.

Pant was dismissed in the 12th over, leaving 84/4; he was replaced by Ravindra Jadeja who lasted until the 17th over when he was dismissed after scoring just 13 runs. He was replaced by Hardik Pandya, whose partnership with skipper Kohli lasted less than an over before the captain was dismissed by Afridi. Bhuveneshwar Kumar and Pandya then entered the last over with 144/6. Bowler Haris Rauf dismissed Pandya in the final over, with India wrapping up its innings with 151/7.

Pakistan commenced its turn at bat with openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. Their partnership continued through the end of the match, with Pakistan losing zero wickets and emerging victorious at 152 runs after 17.5 overs. Rizwan ended on a 55-ball 78, with skipper Azam close behind at 74 runs.

Azam was humble but jubilant, stressing that while a great victory, the match was merely the start of the World Cup tournament. “This is just the start, we have confidence to build on now,” he told press. “It will remain match by match for us. The pressure on us wasn’t that much—we weren’t thinking of the record against India at all,” he added. Addressing the team after the win, he urged them to avoid complacency and focus on winning the remaining matches.

India’s Kohli, meanwhile, praised the Pakistan team and admitted that his squad had been outplayed. “We did not get any chances. They were very professional. We tried our best, we tried to put pressure on them, but there is no shame in accepting that we were outplayed, outclassed,” he told the press. “They did not let us come into the game at any stage. Pakistan deserve credit for finishing the game off in the manner they did,” he added.

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