The Indian cricket team gave a great Diwali gift to the Indian cricket fans as it defeated Pakistan in its first match of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 by 4 wickets. The match which was played on Sunday at Melbourne Cricket Ground was undoubtedly one of the most thrilling and exciting encounters that we have ever seen as it had a nail-biting last ball finish.
The toss was won by India and it decided to bowl first in this important match. Indian pacer Arshdeep Singh made things difficult for the Pakistani cricket team by dismissing the Pakistani skipper Babar Azam for golden duck and then he sent the in-form batter Mohammad Rizwan back to the dug-out at the score of 4. However Shan Masood and Iftikhar Ahmed controlled the situation by playing brilliant knocks of 52 runs not out (42 balls, 5 fours) and 51 runs (34 balls, 2 fours & 4 sixes) and helped their team in posting a respectable total of 159/8 in the stipulated 20 overs.
Arshdeep Singh took one more wicket and Hardik Pandya also bowled pretty well as he took 3 wickets but the hero of India’s victory was Virat Kohli who played an unbeaten knock of 82 runs for which he played 53 balls and he smashed 6 fours and 4 maximums in his blistering innings. However, there was a time when Virat Kohli was feeling that he might be messing the things up when he scored only 12 runs on 21 balls.
While speaking to a sports channel, Virat Kohli admitted that he was under pressure at that stage but he also praised Hardik Pandya for playing some good shots which helped the former skipper in opening up. He added that the partnership was really important and they didn’t even realize when they touched the three digit mark because they kept on talking, running and also watching the body language of the Pakistani players. Virat Kohli also said that they knew things would change but they wanted them to change a little earlier and it happened a little late. He further said that all this looked great in the end but when he was at the score of 12 after facing 21 balls, he was feeling that he was screwing up the chase and he was not playing the ball in the gaps. However, the former skipper went on to say that he knew he could do some power-hitting towards the end because he has experience and understands the importance of batting deep as this is the role which he has been playing for the country.
Talking about the Indian innings, it was certainly a start which team India would never have wanted as it lost the openers – skipper Rohit Sharma (4) and KL Rahul (4) very early and then Suryakumar Yadav also got out at the score of 15. Things turned uglier when Axar Patel who was promoted up the order got run out at the score of 2 and the Indian team was in trouble as it had lost four batters at the score of 31 in 6.1 overs. Virat Kohli got a good partner in form of Hardik Pandya and they both not only stabilized the innings but also kept the score board ticking by playing some good shots whenever they got the chance.
But the match once again went in the favor of Pakistan as Hardik Pandya (40 runs, 37 balls, 1 four & 2 sixes) got out on the first ball of the 19th over but then Virat Kohli eased the situation a little bit by hitting two spectacular sixes in the same over. The winning run was scored by Ravichandran Ashwin who came to bat after Dinesh Karthik departed for 1 run and the fans celebrated this victory in a grand manner.
India will face Netherlands in its second match on 27th Oct at Sydney Cricket Ground and we are quite sure that now the Indian team will enter the semi-finals for quite sure. What do you say?