T20 World Cup: Pakistan break India jinx in style

Mohammad Rizwan
Pakistan opener Mohammad Rizwan plays one on the on side. Photo: AFP

Dubai: 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 Azam 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 per cent win record against them in limited-overs World Cups.

Azam remained not out on 68, while Rizwan made an unbeaten 79.

Wary of the dew factor, captains have preferred to field and Azam too followed that trend after winning the toss.

Shaheen Afridi
Shaheen Afridi removed Rohit Sharma for a first-ball duck. Photo: AFP

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 K  L 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.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam led from the front. Photo: Reuters

Pakistan, in their reply, not only kept their wickets intact in the powerplay overs but also scored briskly with Azam and Rizwan effectively killing off the contest with their rock-solid stand.

Azam 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.

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