With an ecstatic win against Pakistan, by a convincing margin of 35 runs, India have registered their second straight win in a row. On the other hand, Pakistan had a taste of their own medicine as India emerged victorious this time after the former had won the battle in their previous head to head.
After the Toss, India batted first and it KL Rahul who started firing right from the start while Rohit Sharma took a backseat. India’s Powerplay was powered by Rahul’s quickfire innings with brilliant shots against everything Pakistan had to over. After a double-wicket over mid-innings, by Imad Wasim, Shreyas Iyer continued what Rahul had started and remained unbeaten till the end to see India put up a defendable total of 182/5.
In reciprocation to the target of 183, Pakistan looked fairly confident with openers Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman staying in the middle forming a stable first-wicket partnership of 46 runs after which Zaman’s wicket fell in the sixth over. Since his wicket, Pakistan run rate in the chase took a hit and the asking rate continued to increase as the Indian bowlers kept the runs in check and there was no recovery from it. Pakistan had one wicket remaining in the end but, however, lost the game by 35 runs.
The turning point of the game was Asif Ali’s wicket in the 13th over, when Pakistan had reached the three-figure mark. Together Babar Azam and Asif Ali had built a stable fourth-wicket partnership after Pakistan lost Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik in successive overs for cheap. However, after Ali’s wicket, even though Imad Wasim tried to accelerate the chase, Pakistan fell short by a huge margin since wickets kept tumbling down.
Highs and Lows
I believe the high of the game was the seventh over of India’s innings when KL Rahul was looking to be in an invincible form. Pakistan’s fast bowling prodigy Haris Rauf was taken for a ride by the Indian opener, who added 22 runs, in that over. Rahul started and ended the over with a SIX each and reached his fifty off just 25 balls. At the end of seven overs, India were on 65/0.
According to me, the low of this game was the form of the senior players of Pakistan’s batting. Even now, in many T20I games, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez act as enforcers of the batting order but their wickets that fell in quick succession, across the sixth and seventh overs, had Pakistan at a shaky position quite early in their chase.
Powerplay exploitation: - India (6/10) and Pakistan (6.5/10)
At the end of the Powerplay, India were on 43 for no loss with only KL Rahul firing and Rohit Sharma carrying taking the backseat. Hence, India’s Powerplay exploits were not as magnificent as one would have expected as two explosive batsmen were in the middle. At the point, after the end of the first six overs, Rohit was on 8* off 15 while Rahul was firing at 35 off 21.
On the other hand, at the end of the Powerplay, Pakistan were on 50 for the loss of two wickets. Both wickets had fallen in the final over of the Powerplay, bowled by Jasprit Bumrah, hence removing Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez. Apart from that, Pakistan’s Powerplay run was fairly promising in the 183-run chase.
Middle overs:- India (8/10) and Pakistan (7/10)
The middle overs started with KL Rahul’s explosive over against Haris Rauf, squeezing out 22 runs in the 7th over. Even as Rahul left the field, adding 62 runs off 34 deliveries, India were on a strong position 86/1 off 9.5 overs. Even as India lost captain Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma on the next couple of deliveries, Shreyas, who was on 23* off 14 at the end of the middle overs, anchored and accelerated the innings to see India on 121/3 at the end of the 15th over.
On the other hand, at the end of the 15th over, Pakistan were still looking at a position from where the match could’ve been won with fair ease. Pakistan were on 124/5, with 13 runs conceded by Shardul Thakur in the 15th over, and Babar on 48* off 39 and Imad Wasim on 20* off 9. They required another 59 runs off 30 deliveries at that point and had added 74 runs in the middle overs while losing three wickets.
Death Bowling: - Pakistan (10/10) and India (7/10)
In the last five overs of the first innings, India added 61 runs while losing only a couple of wickets. Shreyas Iyer(53 n.o. off 28) powered the death overs firing against all bowlers starting from Shadab Khan to Mohammad Amir. Pakistan, despite being able to Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya out in the final overs, couldn’t restrict Iyer’s breezy attack.
On the other hand, Indian bowlers sealed the deal for the team in the final overs as Pakistan were totally crushed in the chase. There was ample hope at the end of the 15th over, when Pakistan required 59 runs off the next five overs, but soon Shardul Thakur removed Babar Azam and Navdeep Saini took care of the rest. In the end, Pakistan could only manage 147/9 at the end of 20 overs and ended with a 35-run deficit.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Good
Despite what the margin of the result might portray, this game between India and Pakistan was fairly fought game for at least 80% of the match. In fact, Pakistan were overpowered completely by the Indian bowlers only in the death overs. Hence, it had also the components that should be in a competitive game if T20.
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