Saturday, June 22, 2024

T20 World Cup 2024: India beat arch-rivals Pakistan by 6 runs

T20 World Cup 2024
Pakistan's Shaheen Shah Afridi, right, watches as Indian players celebrate their win in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between India and Pakistan at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in Westbury, New York, Sunday, June 9, 2024. AP/PTI

New York, June 10: In a thrilling T20 World Cup match on Sunday, India defeated Pakistan by six runs despite a low-scoring game. India, led by Rohit Sharma, managed only 119 runs in 19 overs. Rishabh Pant top-scored with 42 off 31 balls on a challenging, two-paced pitch under overcast conditions.
Pakistan, needing 48 runs off 48 balls with eight wickets in hand, seemed poised for victory. However, Jasprit Bumrah (3/14) and Hardik Pandya (2/24) delivered crucial spells, leading to Pakistan’s collapse to 113 for seven in 20 overs. Arshdeep Singh defended 18 runs in the final over, sealing a famous win for India.
India’s innings faced a mid-innings collapse, losing seven wickets for just 28 runs after being 89 for three in the 12th over. Naseem Shah (3/21) and Mohammad Amir (2/23) were Pakistan’s standout bowlers. Intermittent rain delayed the start by 50 minutes. Upon resumption, Virat Kohli hit a boundary but was soon caught out. Rohit Sharma scored 13 before mistiming a shot.
Axar Patel (20 off 18) was promoted to shield Suryakumar Yadav, contributing a 39-run partnership with Pant. Pant, dropped early in his innings, capitalised to hit several boundaries. However, India’s innings faltered again, with Pakistan’s bowlers taking crucial wickets.
Despite Pakistan’s strong position, Bumrah dismissed a well-set Rizwan in the 15th over and took another key wicket in the 19th over, conceding only three runs. India made errors, including dropped catches of Rizwan and Babar Azam, but the bowlers’ performance turned the game.
Demoralised Pakistan eye big win against Canada to keep hopes alive
Shocked by the United States and scarred by India, Pakistan have little to play for and everything to lose when they meet Canada in their penultimate group league encounter of the T20 World Cup on Tuesday.
If the Super Over loss against the co-hosts in their opening Group A match was not enough, Pakistan slumped to six-run loss at the hands of arch-rivals India in a low-scoring match here on Sunday.
Pakistan’s Super Eight qualification chance now hinges on winning big against Canada and Ireland, besides hoping that the Americans lose big to India and Ireland.
Even in that scenario, both the teams will end on four points each and it will boil down to which team has a better net run rate. Hence Pakistan can only pray for divine intervention in best case scenario.
The USA after two wins enjoy a healthy run-rate of +0.626 and just a victory against Ireland would suffice while Pakistan with a dismal NRR of -0.150 would not only need to win but also by comprehensive margins.
In the two matches so far, the 2009 champions never really looked the formidable side it was once known to be.
There seems to be no clarity in Babar Azam’s leadership. The two factions in the team — one led by the skipper with his close friends Mohammed Rizwan and Shadab Khan while other including, recently sacked Shaheen Shah Afridi is also making matters worse.
Not a single department clicked for Pakistan in the two matches so far and they will need a more cohesive effort in the remaining matches to give themselves an outside chance.
While Babar and Shahdab Khan scored 40 odd runs against USA to post 159 for 7, Pakistan failed to defend the target, losing the match in Super Over.
And then while chasing an underwhelming 120-run target, none of the Pakistani batters could up the ante as they consumed 59 dot balls to be restricted 113 for 7.
Pakistan’s major concern going forward is the underwhelming performance of their batters as the likes of Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed played loose shots to make life difficult for them against India.
While Mohammed Rizwan took 44 balls to score his 31 runs, Wasim consumed 23 balls for his 15.
The only bright sport for Pakistan on Sunday was the performance of their bowlers with Naseem Shah (3/21) and Mohammad Amir (2/23) leading from the front.
But premier fast bowler Shaheen needs to take more responsibility upfront in the remaining two games to give Pakistan an outside chance. He has hardly been able to get swing in conducive conditions.
Going forward Pakistan will have to do some soul searching if they want to revive their faltering campaign.
Canada, on the other hand, are placed third in Group A with one win out of two games.
After the seven-wicket loss to USA, Canada bounced back in style to beat Ireland by 12 runs in their next match.
In Navneet Dhaliwal, Canada have a veteran top-order batter who was a part of that 2019 victory over Ireland, and a lot will be riding on him.
Canada will also take heart from the defeat against the USA because they had posted an imposing 194, albeit in a losing cause. (PTI)