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Captain Babar Azam led by example as Pakistan beat India in a World Cup showdown for the first time ever with a 10-wicket romp in a Super 12 blockbuster at the Twenty20 World Cup on Sunday.
Virat Kohli played a captain’s knock of 57 to rescue India from a top-order wobble and help them post a competitive 151-7 in a rematch of the inaugural 2007 final.
His counterpart Babar combined with Mohammad Rizwan to get Pakistan off to a flying start and then overwhelmed the target with 13 balls to spare to snap India’s 100% win record against them in limited-overs World Cups.
Babar remained not out on 68, while Rizwan made an unbeaten 79.
Wary of the dew factor, captains have preferred to field and Babar too followed that trend after winning the toss.
Pakistan did not have to wait long for a breakthrough as Shaheen Afridi (3-31) struck twice in his first seven deliveries to rattle India.
The left-arm pacer fired in a searing yorker-length delivery to dismiss Rohit Sharma lbw for a golden duck and, in his next over, rifled one through KL Rahul’s gate to rearrange the stumps.
Suryakumar Yadav hit Afridi for a six but Rizwan took a diving catch behind the stumps to dismiss the batsman and reduce India to 31-3 in the sixth over.
Kohli and Rishabh Pant calmed nerves in the Indian camp and guided the team to 60-3 at the halfway stage of the innings.
Pant then decided to counter-attack and hit Hasan Ali for back-to-back sixes but his ultra-aggression ultimately did him in.
Shadab Khan foxed Pant with a googly to induce a skier which the spinner caught himself to dismiss the batsman for 39.
Kohli fell in the penultimate over of the innings trying to accelerate but India still made the 150-mark.
Pakistan, in their reply, not only kept their wickets intact in the powerplay overs but also scored briskly with Babar and Rizwan effectively killing off the contest with their rock-solid stand.
Babar brought up his fifty in style, hitting spinner Varun Chakravarthy for a six, while Rizwan reached his own fifty with a pulled boundary off Jasprit Bumrah.
India vs Pakistan
Group 2 opener got under way in Dubai at 3pm BST
Group also features New Zealand, Namibia, Afghanistan and Scotland
19:05 , Harry Latham-Coyle
That just about does us for this evening’s live coverage of a supreme win for Pakistan against India. Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan were a class apart as the dew descended in Dubai and reeled in a trick target virtually flawlessly after Shaheen Shah Afridi had led a strong bowling performance.
We’ll have plenty of reaction in the next couple of days to an historic victory for Pakistan, their first at a World Cup over their neighbours. What a way to start the Group 2 action as an already thrilling T20 World Cup rolls on.
I’ve been Harry Latham-Coyle for The Independent - thank you for joining us!
18:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle
This is the real beauty of cricket! pic.twitter.com/pqQUdap9fe
— Sami Ul Hasan (@Samiburney) October 24, 2021
18:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle
A thoroughly intriguing encounter in Sharjah is tomorrow’s fare from the UAE - it’s Scotland, so impressive in the first round, against Afghanistan. Can Scotland keep their form going? Chris Greaves was their standout in the preliminary round with his skiddy leg-spin and clean striking - it will be interesting to see how he goes against a potentially uber-attacking Afghanistan batting line-up constructed of new-wave hitters reared on this format of the sport.
Beyond Afghanistan’s more established globe-trotting stars, look out for Ramanullah Gurbaz and Hazratullah Zazai, two of the most exciting young ball-strikers anywhere in the world.
🤲 @calummacleod640's boundary work at the World Cup has been nothing short of outstanding 💯
5⃣ joint-most catches at the competition so far 🔝
Including this beauty against Bangladesh 👇
Safe as 🏘️#FollowScotland 🏴 | #PurpleLids 🟣 pic.twitter.com/nmqDUe7Pdz
— Cricket Scotland (@CricketScotland) October 24, 2021
Perfection for Pakistan
18:52 , Harry Latham-Coyle
A quirk of the schedule means New Zealand are also the next opponents for Pakistan at Sharjah on Tuesday. It looked relatively batting friendly today as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka both found scoring easy. You’d expect Pakistan to go in unchanged.
That was a brilliant start to the tournament for Babar Azam and his team, who didn’t need to use their batting depth, but were vindicated in their decision to pick Mohammad Hafeez by two economical overs from their veteran part-timer to exploit the match-up with Rishabh Pant. New Zealand will probably also have a right-hander heavy top five but Hafeez could again be key against Devon Conway.
Changes for India?
18:48 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Virat Kohli did not commit to changes but with their next game also in Dubai, against New Zealand, the way the pitch played tonight will surely see Shardul Thakur’s cutters come in for consideration, while India may also think about an extra spinner - if Hardik Pandya was fit to bowl, that would be even more likely, but his injury makes balancing the side tougher. We’ll see how fit Pandya is after not taking the field in the second innings. If he is out, India could include Thakur or Ravichandran Ashwin at number seven and go bowling heavy, or a long-term injury could open the door to Axar Patel from the reserves, who would probably be the best fit for that spot.
That New Zealand game is not until next Sunday - plenty of time to ponder.
Virat Kohli on his side’s defeat
18:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle
“We did not execute the things that we wanted to, but credit where it is due, Pakistan out-played us today. They did not give us any chances and were very professional and effective today.
“The pitch played very slowly in the first half but the dew helped it come on in the second innings. You know the conditions will change in the batters’ favour in the second innings so you need those extra runs in the first innings.
“We are certainly not a team that presses the panic button. It is just the start of the competition. There will be a chat about what we want to do in the next game.”
18:39 , Harry Latham-Coyle
That is the third time that this Pakistan opening pair has put on more than 150 for the first wicket. Remarkable stuff. Mohammad Rizwan averages 95.90 as an opener in T20 internationals!
Player of the Match - Shaheen Shah Afridi
18:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan will rightly get plenty of plaudits for an utterly flawless chase, but it was Shaheen’s new-ball burst that set the tone for an exceptional win. He returned at the death to take out Virat Kohli, too - a high quality display from a special, special bowler.
Pakistan win by 10 wickets with 13 balls to spare!
18:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle
They’ve done it! Pakistan have beaten India at a World Cup FOR THE FIRST TIME! What a way to do it! A clip from Babar Azam to long-on, a hurried two completed comfortably even on fatiguing legs, and Pakistan have been utterly, utterly supreme in chasing down India’s 151.
Babar ends with an unbeaten 68 off 52 balls; Mohammad Rizwan with 78 from 55. Ten wickets in hand and 13 balls to spare. Emphatic. Magnificent.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) October 24, 2021
PAKISTAN WIN BY TEN WICKETS!
18:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Pakistan 150-0 (17.3)
18:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Driven to long-on for a single. Over to the captain with the 150 partnership up. This has been faultless.
FOUR! AND FOUR MORE! Pakistan 149-0 (17.2), 3 off 15 required
18:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Four more! After a brief delay while more fans make their way out by the sightscreen, a swipe past midwicket from Rizwan and Pakistan move ever nearer.
Have another! Fine of the square leg fielder on the fence, Pakistan one stroke away...
SIX! Pakistan 141-0 (17.1), 11 off 17 required.
18:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle
And it is made to look an immediate error! An attempted yorker slips out of Shami’s hands and Rizwan hoists it high over fine leg from his hip, just evading a group of Indian fans who have begun to make their way for the exit!
17 needed off 18
18:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Right, how does Virat Kohli play this? 17 neeeded off 18 - surely it is Jasprit Bumrah time? Yes...no! He had the ball in his hands but re-dons his cap as Mohammed Shami instead marks his run-up.
Pakistan 135-0 (17), M Rizwan 63 (51), B Azam 66 (51)
18:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle
This is now the highest opening partnership in men’s T20 international cricket against India, and on these two go.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is somewhat harshly penalised with a wide as he tries to hid the ball out of hitting reach, but umpire Chris Gaffaney evens things up by baffling Babar with his decision not to give him an extra ball with a particularly wide close to the over from Kumar. The Pakistan captain had taken a step across, actually - maybe that is far enough from the New Zealander.
Pakistan 131-0 (16.3)
18:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle
For a player of such timing that was a bit of a bludgeon from Babar Azam, fortunate that his timing is so horrific that Suryakumar Yadav is gathering a stopping ball from the floor rather than claiming a catch.
A wide moves Pakistan one run closer. 21 off 21.
Pakistan 128-0 (16), M Rizwan 61 (48), B Azam 63 (48)
18:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle
And there is the rarest of beasts - an outright miss from Mohammad Rizwan, struck on the pad as he tries to flick a Shami cutter. Pakistan still manage to pilfer a single as the ball burrows at his feet.
A fine enough over from Shami but Pakistan still take seven from it to leave 24 off the last four - a single every ball would do it.
FOUR! Pakistan 125-0 (15.1)
18:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle
More of the same! Another ball short of a length from the returning Mohammed Shami, and his near namesake Rizwan is quickly getting in line for another of those gorgeous pull shots. Four more to the tally, scorer!
Pakistan 121-0 (15), M Rizwan 56 (44), B Azam 62 (46)
18:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle
This really has been properly good from Pakistan. They haven’t offered a single chance on a surface that India found difficult to score upon. ESPNCricinfo has Mohammad Rizwan with a control percentage of 98%, by the way - I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a higher figure.
50 for Mohammad Rizwan! Pakistan 116-0 (14.2)
18:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Virat Kohli had to go back to Jasprit Bumrah at this juncture but it matters not! Having kept out a yorker, Rizwan is on a back of a length ball in trademark fashion, dispatching it for the midwicket fence with a well-timed pull and celebrating his 50 (41 balls, 3x4, 2x6) with a prayer for the heavens.
FOUR! Pakistan 112-0 (14), M Rizwan 48 (39), B Azam 61 (45)
18:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle
And Ravindra Jadeja’s final ball of the night is also going to have to be retrieved from the boundary, dragged down the leg-side and given an encouraging slap by a swivelling Babar beyond short fine leg. Pakistan cruising.
Pakistan 108-0 (13.5)
18:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle
This has been high, high quality from Pakistan, who are now able to play freely with so many wickets in hand and moving ever nearer to India’s total. Babar pulls Ravindra Jadeja crisply to the cow corner fence for four more.
Pakistan 101-0 (13), M Rizwan 46 (37), B Azam 52 (41)
18:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle
A single brings up the 100 partnership for this pairing - what a revelation they have been since being combined at the top of the order.
Just 51 needed from the last 42 balls after a big over to rather ruin Varun Chakravarthy’s figures - 4-0-33-0 is his final analysis.
SIX AND FIFTY FOR BABAR AZAM! Pakistan 99-0 (12.4)
18:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Bigger, and better! Short from Chakravarthy and that’s a mahoooooosive blow from Babar, thumping it over midwicket for a sizeable six to bring up a 40-ball half-century. Four fours, two sixes, and all class from the Pakistan captain.
SIX! Pakistan 92-0 (12.2)
17:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Clears square leg! Varun Chakravarthy has barely had an attacking shot played against him but Mohammad Rizwan finally loses patience. It isn’t quite there for the big heave to the leg-side, turning away from a length outside off, but the boundary is short enough and the connection sufficiently clean to come down a couple of metres beyond the fielder on the fence.
Pakistan 85-0 (12), M Rizwan 38 (34), B Azam 44 (38)
17:57 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Ravindra Jadeja is properly forcing the ball through here, up over 60mph as he tries to tie down the Pakistan pair. It doesn’t look simple to deal with his darts, driven into the surface, often from wide of the crease, but a slight erring in length means Rizwan can pull between the fielders in the deep to cow corner and collect a couple.
He tries to repeat the dose but the ball this time skids on, thudding into his thigh via an inside edge and drawing a right hook of frustration from the batter. Rizwan is removing his helmet after every over and is caked in sweat on a sticky Emirati evening.
Pakistan 79-0 (11), M Rizwan 35 (30), B Azam 43 (36)
17:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Nearly the perfect answer from Bumrah, seeking the base of the stumps with another of those devastating yorkers and so nearly finding it, the ball giving Babar’s off-peg a frisk as it hurries past having beaten his defences.
Still, two twos and a single, plus that boundary, make that a good over for Pakistan.
FOUR! Pakistan 77-0 (10.2)
17:52 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Delightful! A slower ball from Bumrah is lifted by a flowing off-drive from Babar Azam, just holding his stroke slightly in recognition of the change-of-pace and beating a leaping mid-off in reasonable comfort for four.
17:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Virat Kohli looked quite controlled in India’s tam huddle. He’s still got three overs left from Jasprit Bumrah, the first of which he will use now. He might not be able to afford to leave the remaining two to the death.
Pakistan 71-0 (10), M Rizwan 35 (30), B Azam 34 (30)
17:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle
A clean defensive stroke to close the tenth from Mohammad Rizwan and the batters have faced 30 balls apiece as we reach the halfway point of the chase, and take a drink.
81 needed off the last ten - on most surfaces that would represent a cruise with all ten wickets intact but it became tough to score at the end of India’s innings when Pakistan went to their slower balls. Pakistan bat all the way down to nine so are well set, but with these two set, they may also be keen to try and force the pace in the next few overs to get ahead of the game.
NOT OUT! Pakistan 69-0 (9.4)
17:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Close, but it’s just about down! Rizwan ends up propped awkwardly upon his bat like an old man on a cane as he stumbles trying to make his ground, but he’s just about forced it against the floor as the short fine leg fielder hits the stumps with his throw.
Is that out? We’ll check the run out upstairs...
17:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle
It looked like Mohammad Rizwan may have fumbled his bat in diving in at the non-striker’s end but has he got it down?
FOUR! Pakistan 66-0 (9.1)
17:43 , Harry Latham-Coyle
That will help! Babar Azam isn’t in full control as he cuts at a bouncing Chakravarthy ball that moves away from him but there’s enoguh fury in his wrists to skew a thick outside edge over the fielder at short third man and away for four.
Pakistan 62-0 (9), M Rizwan 32 (27), B Azam 28 (27)
17:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle
That’s the sort of blow that Pakistan needed to strike, just keeping them trundling along at somewhere reasonably near the required rate. It’s 8.18 runs an over required from here - very, very doable with wickets in hand.
SIX! Pakistan 61-0 (8.5)
17:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Large! Babar Azam rocks back and brings his bat through cleanly as the ball sits up invitingly, pulling it into the third row of fans over deep midwicket. It’s a short boundary, but that was a crisp strike.
Pakistan 55-0 (8.3)
17:39 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Jadeja continues and drives three left-arm darts on a length, with Pakistan able to get each of them away for a single.
Pakistan 52-0 (8), M Rizwan 30 (25), B Azam 20 (23)
17:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle
More good stuff from vexing Varun. He’s bowling just short of a length and Pakistan are trying to play him off the pitch, struggling to pick his variations. This will be the first time they’ve seen him in the flesh, unlike most of the big stars at the tournament who have had the displeasure of not picking him at the IPL.
Pakisan 49-0 (7.3)
17:36 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Rizwan nearly over-balances as Chakravarthy gets a ball to spin viciously down leg. He jut about keeps his toe down as Rishabh Pant whips the bails off.
Pakistan 46-0 (7), M Rizwan 27 (21), B Azam 18 (21)
17:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle
The other thing about Jadeja is that he properly races through his overs, doing so here for the concession of only three.
Spin at both ends - Virat Kohli has a chinwag with Varun Chakravarthy at the top of his mark. It looks like it might be the way to go against this pair who have manipulated the spinners well.
Pakistan 44-0 (6.4)
17:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle
This looks like a Jadeja sort of surface, with plenty of bounce and enough turn to be bothersome. Babar Azam twice mistimes drives back to the bowler, who then hustles to his right to prevent a single. Tidy start.
Pakistan 43-0 (6), M Rizwan 25 (19), B Azam 17 (17)
17:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Another very enjoyable over for Pakistan, as their openers don hard hats and hi-vis jackets, taking no risks whatsoever with a succession of nurdles and nudges to still take eight from the over an exit the powerplay unscathed.
Ravindra Jadeja will get his first bowl. Can the left-arm spinner force an opening?
Pakistan 35-0 (5), M Rizwan 21 (16), B Azam 14 (14)
17:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Clever! More manipulation of length from the short Mohammad Rizwan, getting low in his stance once more to pull another not-so-short delivery away for the second boundary of the over. Really solid start from Pakistan’s openers.
FOUR! Pakistan 29-0 (4.3)
17:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle
That’s another pleasing stroke from Babar, lifting Mohammed Shami from a good length, presenting the maker’s name and letting it pivot slightly as he strikes to time the ball sweetly over wide mid-on.
Pakistan 24-0 (4), M Rizwan 15 (13), B Azam 9 (11)
17:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Half an appeal as a ball slides on with the arm and strikes a flicking Babar on the thigh pad, but that’s ducking down leg. Excellent start from Chakravarthy, who has appeared particularly troublesome to pick since bursting on the scene during last season’s IPL and has been mentored by the master of his sort of mystery, Sunil Narine, at KKR.
Pakistan 24-0 (3.4)
17:18 , Harry Latham-Coyle
He’s a tough man to get underneath, Chakravarthy, with a habit of hitting a difficult area to strike both short and full of the traditional “good” length, mixing things up. He’s in to his flow well early, helped by two sharp bits of fielding at backward point.
Pakistan 22-0 (3), M Rizwan 14 (12), B Azam 8 (6)
17:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle
An attempted yorker from Bumrah is instead clipped from just off the floor by Babar, who takes three as Suryakumar Yadav does a floor routine after sliding to collect in the deep.
Another attempt is right on the money, Rizwan pulling out a shovel and just about digging beneath a rapid Bumrah toe-crusher from that awkward contorted angle.
Four from the over, and our first sighting of spin - Varun Chakravarthy has bowled semi-regularly in the powerplay for the Kolkata Knight Riders of late and we’ll see some of his front-of-the-hand mystery early on in his debut at a major international tournament.
Pakistan 19-0 (2.3)
17:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Virat Kohli makes a change - Jasprit Bumrah is probably the world’s best bowler across formats and leads the Indian attack. He replaces Bhuvneshwar.
FOUR! Pakistan 18-0 (2), M Rizwan 13 (9), B Azam 5 (3)
17:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle
By the way, Hardik Pandya is not out there for India - Ishan Kishan appears to be on as the substitute fielder. That’s a concern for Virat Kohli, with Pandya already unable to bowl due to persistent injury issues.
Oh, Babar! The collective works of the great renaissance artists are less aesthetically pleasing than the Pakistan opener’s off-side oeuvre and he produces his first masterpiece to Shami’s fifth ball, a back-foot punch through the covers for four. Delectable.
Pakistan 11-0 (1.1)
17:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Shami delivers his first ball to Babar Azam, who defends into the off-side and communicates well with his partner to steal a single.
Pakistan 10-0 (1), M Rizwan 10(6), B Azam 0 (0)
17:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Pakistan will have watched the IPL with interest and seen that a fast start can make totals like these much easier to track down. On a pitch like this capitalising while the ball is hard and new may well be key.
Those boundaries are the only two opening shots of Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s first over - Mohammed Shami will share the new ball.
SIX! Pakistan 10-0 (0.3)
17:05 , Harry Latham-Coyle
A six to follow! That’s not that short, but Rizwan is swiftly latching on to it, squatting in his stance to get underneath a ball that may have grazed the top of the bails and unleash a compact pull over the short square leg boundary. A lovely little number.
FOUR! Pakistan 4-0 (0.2 overs)
17:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle
A hint of away-movement to the right-handed Mohammad Rizwan through the air as Kumar immediately finds a good area.
That’s a nice shot, though - Rizwan clips a leg-side length ball between midwicket and mid-on, with Varun Chakravarthy just about able to scoop the ball back and prevent a boundary. We check with the third umpire - has he still got the ball when he slides into the advertising triangle? Ah, he has - four runs it is!
Taking the new ball...
17:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle
...Will be Bhuvneshwar Kumar, a mightily effective bowler when there’s a bit of swing of nip. Can he find it?
How do Pakistan go about chasing 152?
17:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Much may rest on Pakistan’s excellent opening pair. Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan have evolved into one of the world’s most consistent partnership, neither the fiercest ball striker but each perhaps the perfect sort of player for a surface like this.
If they are able to get them close, Asif Ali might be key - he’s the true power-hitter in this side and will likely be given the finisher’s role at six. The usage of Fakhar Zaman will be interesting, too - he’s the sole left-hander in the top order who may try and target Ravindra Jadeja. Remember that with Hardik Pandya unable to bowl, Virat Kohli (!) is India’s sixth bowling option.
A good bowling showing from Pakistan
16:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle
An off-day for Hasan Ali, who went at eleven an over, but otherwise a pleasing day at the office for Pakistan’s bowling attack. Shaheen led the charge with his superb new-ball burst but Haris Rauf was outstanding, conceding just 25 from his four and bowling some tough overs, while Shadab Khan and the combined might of Imad Wasim and Mohammad Hafeez tied India down well in eight economical overs of spin.
16:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle
You would say that 151 is just about par on a surface upon which it looks tricky to score freely. Having been rocked by a brilliant new-ball spell from Shaheen Shah Afridi, India, led by Rishabh Pant and Virat Kohli, battled well to a competitive score but missed out on the late acceleration to propel themselves to something slightly more imposing.
The surface looked particularly devilish when Pakistan’s seamers used their cutters late on, and there was a bit of turn and bounce for the spinners. It won’t be easy for Babar Azam’s side to track it down, but they’ll be pleased to have limited India as they did. Might dew have a role to play - the ball could well skid on slightly better under the lights?
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) October 24, 2021
Pakistan will need 152 to win
16:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle
India 151-7 (20)
16:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle
This time it is a raunchier number from Bhuvneshwar, throwing his bat all over the place like a crazed conductor’s baton as he tries to manipulate Haris Rauf behind the stumps. Rauf drags the ball wide of off in response to an initial attempted scoop, and Bhuvneshwar can’t make contact as he tries to reverse the shot and beat short third man.
Shami nonetheless calls him through for a bye as Mohammad Rizwan is forced to his knees in gathering Rauf’s slower ball, and India will finish up on 151.
India 150-7 (19.5)
16:48 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Just about home! India hurry two as new man Mohammed Shami beats the throw of the fielder despite a direct hit.
And again! India reach 150 as Hasan Ali fumbles his pick-up after another Bhuvneshwar Kumar leg-side nudge allows his partner to use his sprinting spikes. Two more.
OUT! Hardik Pandya c Babar Azam b Haris Rauf 11 (8b 2x4 0x6), India 146-7 (19.3)
16:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Lobbed to extra cover! This has been a death bowling master-class from Haris Rauf, executing his plans perfectly on a pitch favouring cutters and slower balls. Another sticks in the surface from short of a good length and Hardik, like all of the batters tonight, is ahead of the curve in his short, skewing an attempted slog up and to the off-side.
Babar Azam calls off the dogs as he steadies himself and takes a calm catch moving to his right and towards long-off.
India 146-6 (19.2)
16:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Good start from Rauf, first beating Hardik Pandya with a ball that just misses off-stump and then conceding only two to a rather nasty heave to leg.
FIVE! India 144-6 (19), H Pandya 9 (5), B Kumar 1 (1)
16:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle
FIVE! Yes, five! Byes, too! What are you doing Pakistan?
Pandya misses with his swing as another Afridi slower ball out-foxes him, and India are desperate to keep their gun-hitter on strike, so Bhuvneshwar Kumar hurries through for a quick single to the keeper.
Rizwan tosses to Shaheen, who hurls for the stumps at the bowler’s end but misses wildly, and it evades the long-off fielder for buzzers. Five byes, Pandya on strike, India up over the 140 mark and eyeing 155 as Haris Rauf prepares to see the innings out.
FOUR! India 138-6 (18.5)
16:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Brilliant from Hardik Pandya, slicing Shaheen quite deliberately through backward point as he receives an inviting full toss. Away it races for four, and it’s a no-ball, too. Shaheen over-steps and Hardik will try to have some fun with the free hit...
OUT! Virat Kohli c †Mohammad Rizwan b Shaheen Shah Afridi 57 (49b 5x4 1x6), India 133-6 (18.4)
16:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle
This time it falls into Mohammad Rizwan’s hands and Virat Kohli is on his way! Shaheen Shah Afridi strikes again!
Another slower ball that sticks in this tacky Dubai surface and Kohli is ahead of the ball, which hops like an anxious rabbit off his top edge and nestles deep in the gloves of Rizwan after the keeper lunges at it after taking a stride-and-a-half to his right. A battling knock from Kohli to get his team to a defendable score but how he would have liked to push them on further.
FOUR! India 133-5 (18.3)
16:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Shaheen starts by pushing it too far across Hardik, rightly signalled as a wide, but then gets his slower ball spot on, leaping from a length above Pandya’s swing to leg.
Cruel! That’s a brilliant yorker from Shaheen that Hardik can only jam his bat down on, but he makes strangely sweet connection as he preserves his wicket, and the ball flies down to third man, beating the fielder hustling around the rope for four.
Out this time? No, it falls between the fielders! Hardik was late on a pull but neither the bowler nor wicketkeeper can hurry to the ball in time to snatch it out of the air.
OUT! Ravindra Jadeja c sub (Mohammad Nawaz) b Hasan Ali 13 (13b 1x4 0x6), India 125-5 (17.5)
16:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle
A slower ball fools Jadeja and he is on his way! It looked like it was of a hittable length but Jadeja fails to adjust to Ali’s change-up, getting underneath the ball and picking out the man on the midwicket fence, who runs in about 15 yards to gobble it up.
Hardik Pandya to the crease with two overs to cause some damage. Virat Kohli charges back for two to give the new man the strike at the start of the 19th - which Shaheen Shah Afridi will bowl.
FOUR! India 125-4 (17.4)
16:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Here come India! Ali strays down the leg side and Ravindra Jadeja uses the pace on the ball to lob him over fine leg. A couple of skips and into the boundary.
50 FOR VIRAT KOHLI! India 120-4 (17.2)
16:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle
A quickly taken two and that will be a half century for the Indian captain. A muted raise of the bat to the balcony - there are more runs to be scored, but my word is Virat Kohli consistent at ICC T20 tournaments.
And that’s a wonderful way of celebrating, sitting back as a back-of-the-hand ball from Hasan Ali sticks in the surface and unfurling a delicious drive over extra-cover on the top of the bounce. Gorgeous!
India 114-4 (17), V Kohli 48 (44), R Jadeja 9 (11)
16:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Outstanding from Haris Rauf. With expert control and canny changes of pace, he concedes just four from the over as Kohli is content to take just one from the last ball to keep the strike.
Hasan Ali to bowl his fourth. Shaheen Shah Afridi to bowl the last, then, you’d think.
India 113-4 (16.4)
16:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Rauf mixes things up well with a rare slower ball defeating Ravindra Jadeja, who looked to be lining up something large to leg but can only dig it out for a scrambled single.
Even better! An off-cutter that sticks in the surface and leaps over the top of a Virat Kohli cut. Kohli mimes the shot with his hand, frustrated with his inability to get Rauf away.
India 110-4 (16), V Kohli 46 (40), R Jadeja 7 (9)
16:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Two more singles take India to 110 with four overs to go. What can India get from here with Kohli beginning to accelerate and Hardik Pandya to come? Haris Rauf will bowl two of them, with Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasan Ali each with one left - here’s Rauf to bowl the seventeenth.
FOUR! India 108-4 (15.4)
16:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Is that the start? Hasan Ali’s slower-ball bouncer cuts nicely into the arc of Virat Kohli’s pull and it evades short fine leg to give Kohli his first boundary for a little while.
But Ali straight away replies by beating Kohli outside off-stump with another back of a length ball! Good battle, this.
Lovely from Kohli! Over-pitched from Ali and a gentle caress is followed to the boundary by mid-off, who can’t quite reel it in before it collides with the advertising cushions that cover the rope. Kohli five away from his half-century.
Kohli building dangerously?
16:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Virat Kohli has barely played a shot in anger through the middle overs, which is sometimes his modus operandi ahead of an explosion at the death, as these figures show. Will he be able to find his striking form tonight?
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) October 24, 2021
India 100-4 (15), V Kohli 37 (35), R Jadeja 6 (8)
16:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Lovely stuff from Shadab, whose form with the ball has dipped a touch in the last 18 months but has flighted it beautifully this evening. He gives Jadeja, sent in partly to potentially target him, you’d think, nothing and concedes just a single from the first half of the over.
Kohli trots to the other end after a push to the cover sweeper but soon returns as Jadeja drives to long-off. A crisp cut to cover brings another 22-yard saunter for the India captain to close the over, and complete Shadab’s allocation - 4 overs, 1 for 22 are his rather impressive figures. A pleasing start to the tournament for the wrist spinner.
FOUR! India 96-4 (14), V Kohli 35 (33), R Jadeja 4 (4)
16:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Shoaib Malik twice gets his slightly aged legs moving at third man as he hustles round to first save four on the slide and then prevent Jadeja charging back for a second. Rauf then tries to test Virat Kohli upstairs, but pulls his length back to far and a wide is signalled for height.
That’s loose, too, pushed down the legside and effectively sent on, Kohli giving the ball a pat on the back as it careers past the keeper to the fence. A yorker length, but the line was wrong, and Rauf howls into his hands in anguish.
A dot to close the over and Shadab Khan will bowl out.
India 88-4 (13.2)
16:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Haris Rauf is back on and clocking 92 mph (148kph) with his first two balls. Brisk.
India 87-4 (13), V Kohli 30 (30), R Jadeja 1 (1)
16:09 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Shadab had nearly five seconds to get underneath that skyer from Pant, which went the best part of 30 metres in the air.
Jadeja nudges one to get off the mark from his first ball. These two are both rapid between the wickets, and they are already look to turn ones into twos as Virat Kohli also adds a single to his tally from teh final ball of Shadab’s third over.
OUT! Rishabh Pant c & b Shadab Khan 39 (30b 2x4 2x6), India 84-4 (12.2)
16:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Finally he falls! It’s another heroic heave for the fences from Rishabh Pant, targeting a long boundary to cow corner as Shadab Khan deceives him with a googly. It goes a mile in the air and Khan, a very safe pair of hands, has plenty of times to trot back and to his left to take it with a reverse cup high above his head.
Pant falls, and India replace him with another left-hander - Ravindra Jadeja, in a cap, sent in ahead of Hardik Pandya.
India 81-3 (12), V Kohli 28 (27), R Pant 37 (28)
16:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle
A good over for India. Pant beginning to find his range.
Just the one-over spell for Haris Rauf - Babar Azam goes back to his leg spinner, Shadab Khan.
SIX MORE! India 78-3 (11.3)
16:02 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Another one-hander! Over mid-off this time, bottom hand drawn from the bat as Pant swings through the line of a length ball and gives it just enough club to pitch it a yard beyond the boundary. The fielder is in the circle - it’s back-to-back sixes! Pant on to 34 from 26.
SIX! India 72-3 (11.2)
16:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle
What a shot! It’s something he does better than just about anyone else, Rishabh Pant, looking completely out of position but still managing to clear the ropes. He contorts himself horribly and releases a hand from the bat as a Hasan Ali slower ball deceives him but has such power that he still sends it five rows back over backward square leg.
He really is the master of the off-platform six.
India 66-3 (11), V Kohli 28, R Pant 22
15:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle
A brisk start from Rauf, hurrying Pant twice from a back of a length. That will likely be his ploy during the middle before looking to his yorkers at the death.
Six from the over as India keep ticking along.
India 63-3 (10.2)
15:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Rauf is a fascinating story. He went to the Big Bash in Australia as a real unknown but was remarkably effective for the Melbourne Stars, and has surged to prominence quickly for Pakistan. He can be a little streaky, but he’s got out-and-out gas and is already up towards 90mph (145kph) in his first three balls, the second of which is a legside wide.
15:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle
I think this is the right approach from India. The IPL showed that grinding out a score is never a bad strategy on these UAE surfaces and Kohli has measured his innings well so far. He will know that he has two strong hitters to come in Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya - can he and Rishabh Pant keep accumulating for the next five overs or so and set up a big finish?
Pakistan have back-loaded Haris Rauf’s overs, but with Hafeez through two for not too many, Babar Azam will have options at the death, which is valuable.
And here is Rauf to bowl the eleventh!
India 60-3 (10)
15:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Three more singles to see out the over and the players will take a much-needed drink. It’s been frantic and furious so far, but this partnership is just beginning to build.
FOUR! India 57-3 (9.2)
15:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Shot. Like a man rushing for the bus Pant is incredibly late on a skiddy off-break from Hafeez, taking virtually a lick of paint off his off stump as he eventually chops it between the two fielders fine of point on the offside, bisecting them perfectly for another boundary.
Virat Kohli has started well in Dubai
15:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle
FOUR! India 52-3 (9)
15:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle
In contrast, Rishabh Pant doesn’t look particularly settled, again swinging wildly at a wide leg-break from the continuing Shadab, drawing a half-hearted appeal from the bowler, but Rizwan is this time certain there is no feather. That’s better, a crisply struck cut that the off-side sweeper does well to haul back to prevent a boundary.
Streaky again! A horrible slice falls short of the long-off fielder as Pant tries to force some pace on a ball not quite of a full enough length for such an adventurous slog.
Finally he gets one away! Shadab drags the last ball of the over down the leg-side and Pant shovels it over short fine leg for four. A bit of a gift but perhaps a stroke to allow Pant to release a degree of tension.
India 43-3 (8)
15:43 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Virat Kohli has looked a class apart so far, ever-able to generate a single off the spinners on a pitch that appears to be shaping similarly to the one that caused the West Indies such difficulty last night. The early impressions are that anything in excess of 135 might not be an awful score. There’s a bit of turn and a fair bit of bounce already for Pakistan’s tweakers.
NOT OUT! India 41-3 (7.4)
15:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Marais Erasmus is proved correct. There’s not even a gurgle on UltraEdge as the ball passes Pant’s rather hopeful reverse-handed waft above a bouncing off-break, perhaps taking a sliver of the arm on its way through, and that is the first review lost for Pakistan. Rizwan was convinced having snared well, but no dice.
REVIEW! Have Pakistan got Rishabh Pant? India 41-3 (7.4)
15:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle
It’s not given on the field but keeper Mohammad Rizwan is convinced there is a feather on Rishabh Pant’s jaunty reverse sweep. Babar Azam gives Marais Erasmus the T - we are going upstairs...
India 41-3 (7.3)
15:39 , Harry Latham-Coyle
And with the left-hander in mind, Babar Azam now turns to Mohammad Hafeez - a wily off-spinner of vast experience and a useful option when not under suspicion for the legality of the kink of his arm.
Pant gets a stride in and sweeps his second ball to square leg for one, before Virat Kohli drives to long-on.
India 39-3 (7)
15:37 , Harry Latham-Coyle
The field spreads as we exit the powerplay and Shadab Khan, Pakistan’s leg-spinner, is introduced. Khan cramps the left-handed Pant well with his first three balls, not daring to give the ball any flight, though Pant is eventually able to step away from a googly and cut to the point boundary for a couple.
Another googly draws Pant from his crease but he is forced to defend after being foxed in the flight, and he’s content to escape the over for an addition of only three as he flicks to deep midwicket to retain the strike. Strong start from Shadab against a batter that may look to target him.
FOUR! India 36-3 (6)
15:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Yadav rather got his feet stuck there, not quite moving at the ball and thus being all shoulders and arms rather than an efficient entity.
Rishabh Pant is the new batter and India’s first left-hander, prompting Hasan Ali to go around the wicket.
After a single, Ali is back over the wicket and his bowlers are fetching the ball from the cover boundary, where it had been signed, sealed and delivered by a lovely cover drive from Virat Kohli, showing Suryakumar Yadav how to do it as his limbs work in combination to drive delightfully to the fence. India are in strife but their captain looks in good nick.
OUT! Suryakumar Yadav c †Mohammad Rizwan b Hasan Ali 11 (8b 1x4 1x6), India 31-3 (5.4)
15:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Three in the powerplay for Pakistan! It’s an accomplished grab behind the stumps from Mohammad Rizwan and Suryakumar Yadav pays for his adventure.
The ball isn’t quite there for Yadav’s forceful off-side punch, perhaps just going away from the right-hander a touch as Hasan Ali hits a back of a length. It draws a thickish outside edge, with Rizwan moving well to his right to pouch on the dive. Ali celebrates with customary gusto - India into further bother.
India 31-2 (5.2)
15:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle
A first bowling change from Babar Azam, and our first sighting of a right-armer. Hasan Ali rarely lacks for intensity and this might be precisely his sort of contest.
Virat Kohli is again sauntering from his crease as he looks to knock Ali off his length, but it’s a dot ball to start as he finds a fielder in the ring. He gets his single from the second ball of the over, though, dabbing down to third man on the fence.
A first-rate display of new-ball bowling
15:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Shaheen Shah Afridi has been rewarded for ability to control the new ball today, pushing the ball across the right-handers before picking up the wickets of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul with the only two balls hitting the stumps in his opening 2 overs. #T20WorldCup #INDvPAK pic.twitter.com/mceF5ILQnc
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) October 24, 2021
SIX! India 30-2 (5)
15:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle
How about that for an emphatic riposte? Three dot balls from Shaheen only ire Virat Kohli, who steps away, frees the arms and launches the ball back over Shaheen’s head for a meaty six, disturbing the Pakistan substitute fielders in the balcony beyond the long-on boundary. Crisp from the Indian captain.
That’s good, too, pinching one to mid-off on the ring as Kohli notices a fielder slightly on their heels.
India 23-2 (4.2 overs)
15:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Shaheen will continue as Babar Azam looks to press home the advantage. It might leave him a touch short at the death but why not use a man of such scintillating talent with a newish white ball in his hands?
FOUR! India 21-2 (4)
15:21 , Harry Latham-Coyle
Imad Wasim gets a second on the spin, and there’s a big appear as Suryakumar Yadav misses a sweep to his fourth ball, with the Indian number four’s elongated stride just, just getting him outside of the line of off-stump. That would have been hitting on the angle from the left-armer around the wicket with nary a hint of turn, but ball-tracking confirms that it did strike Yadav a couple of inches outside of the line.
Two balls later and he repeats the shot, this time far more effectively, down on one knee and paddling the ball like an oarsman, efficiently and swiftly past the short fine leg fielder and to the boundary. Yadav off to a good start.
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