Pakistan won their first Twenty20 World Cup match against India by a crushing 10-wicket margin in Dubai.
AFP Sport looks at three things we learned from the Super 12s stage’s one-sided contest.
Afridi’s new-ball magic
With a lethal spell of fast bowling that put India on the back foot from the start, Shaheen Shah Afridi justified his captain’s decision to field first.
On the fourth ball of the innings, Afridi’s inswinging yorker trapped Indian opener Rohit Sharma lbw for naught.
He struck again in his second over, sending KL Rahul trudging back to the pavilion, and finished with figures of 2-19 in his first three overs, laying the groundwork for Pakistan’s dominance.
The left-arm quick went for 12 runs in his final over but got captain Virat Kohli’s key wicket to keep India to 151-7, finishing with figures of 3-31.
Kohli later admitted that Afridi’s new-ball heroics put their batsmen “under pressure,” and they didn’t know what to do.
“With the new ball, he immediately put our batsmen under pressure and ran in with intensity,” Kohli said.
Babar Azam scored 68 as captain in a clinical performance by Pakistan, which had never won a World Cup match against India in 12 previous attempts (five in T20 and seven in 50-over tournaments).
Babar, the world’s second-ranked T20 batsman behind England’s Dawid Malan, attacked the Indian bowlers alongside opening partner Mohammad Rizwan, who hit 79.
The skipper showed no signs of slowing down, hitting six fours and two sixes in his 52-ball knock.
He hit his fifty with a huge six-off spinner Varun Chakravarthy, making India’s celebrated bowling attack look ordinary as they chased down their target with 13 balls to spare.
Babar, on the other hand, warned his players not to become complacent after breaking their India jinx, with four more games remaining in the round-robin Super 12 second stage against New Zealand, Afghanistan, and Scotland.
“It’s not going to get any easier just because we beat India,” he said.
“We’ll take the confidence, but one match at a time, and there’s a long way to go in the tournament.”
It’s not often that an Indian bowling attack led by Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar returns without a wicket.
Kumar bowled the first over, which yielded 10 runs, with Rizwan hitting him for four and six to set up the chase.
Babar looked equally lethal when he hit a crisp cover drive off Shami to signal his intentions for the innings.
The bowlers simply couldn’t hit the right lengths on a pitch that improved as the game progressed.
Dew remained a factor in the bowling blank, and Kohli stated that the toss will be crucial in the tournament’s upcoming matches.
India’s bowling blank
“We could make the case for another slower bowler, but it’s important to stay composed and understand our strengths, because the slower bowlers couldn’t be effective either with the dew,” he said.
“This is only the first game of the tournament; it will not be the last.”
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