The T20 World Cup Super 12 Group 2 match between India and Pakistan turned out to be a thriller and the game had a number of ups and downs. In the end, it was the Rohit Sharma-led side that came out on top and the credit for the victory has to go to Virat Kohli, who played an unbeaten knock of 82 runs off just 53 balls to help India get over the line with four wickets in hand. The victory was sealed on the final ball of the game with Ravichandran Ashwin hitting the winning runs.
However, the victory was set up by the bowlers first as Arshdeep Singh got the prized scalps of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan inside the powerplay. He ended up with three wickets and so did Hardik Pandya. After the win, speaking at a press conference, India skipper Rohit Sharma hailed his bowlers, saying the starting of the match against Pakistan felt like a “Test match”.
“I felt really good. That felt really good. We spoke of certain things in our team meetings and stuff like that. We spoke of how we want to utilise our bigger boundary and try and challenge the batsmen a little bit. You’ve got to sometimes understand what the pitch is doing, as well. That back of a length, slightly back of a length, slightly full, was not easy to hit, and what happened in today’s game will tell you that,” said Rohit.
“A lot of the guys got wickets bowling that back of length because, like I said, at the toss, as well, there was a little bit of grass on the pitch and a bit of weather, quite nippy, as well. So we knew if you keep hitting that length, it’s going to be challenging, and that is something that we kept constantly putting in bowlers’ ears, that challenge them — if they hit you a couple of successful there, it’s fine,” he added.
Further praising his bowlers, Rohit said: “Actually we got rewarded bowling that length, as well. Hardik in particular bowling that kind of length and a couple of their batters trying to play cross-batted short got the top edge, and we got the wicket, and that is something that we spoke of at the start.”
“With the way, Bhuvi and Arshdeep were swinging the ball, our initial plan was to just try and pitch it up and see if we can get the ball to swing. The first four or five overs were brilliant to watch, honestly. For a little while, it felt like a Test match because of the way the ball was moving around and the carry in the pitch, as well. It was a good cricketing pitch,” he added.
In the match between India and Pakistan, Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to bowl first. Pakistan were restricted to 159/8 in 20 overs.
Chasing 160, India were 31/4 in the 7th over, but Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya put on 113 runs for the fifth wicket and this stand was broken in the final over of the game by Mohammad Nawaz as he dismissed Hardik, who scored 40 runs.
However, Kohli was able to steer the chase in the final over, helping India script a memorable win.
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