World T20 World Cup

India beats Pakistan by 6 wickets

Pacers Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah kept the visitors under check. Photo: Reuters  

India won its first ICC World Twenty20 match, against arch-rivals Pakistan at the Eden Gardens on Saturday.

A 61-run partnership between Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh saw India carry forward its all-win record in the World Cup. Kohli remained unbeaten on 56 to make it an emphatic win for India, which also kept alive its World Cup hopes. The win also broke the Eden Gardens jinx, where India had never beaten Pakistan before. Yuvraj had scored a defiant 24 to assist Kohli in the successful run chase. Mohammad Sami’s two quick wickets in the fifth over that saw India slumping to 23 for three, was nullified by the fine batting of Kohli and Yuvraj. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (13 not out) ensured a proper finish after Yuvraj got out in the 12th over. Virat Kohli was named the man-of-the-match,

Indian bowlers produced a decent effort but Pakistan still managed a competitive 118 for five on a rank turner during their group league encounter of the ICC World Twenty20, on Saturday.

While 118 might not be a great score otherwise, considering the amount of turn on offer, the visitors have something to defend on a match that was reduced to 18-overs-a-side due to rain delay.

Mohammad Sami recalled his vintage form to see Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina off in successive deliveries. The two Indian batsmen could not cope with the express pace of Sami, who made the ball work and had India slumping to 23/3 after five overs. Rohit Sharma (10) hit two fours to give India a start but he went in the third over to take away the advantage from the host.

Here are the live updates:

From the field, Amitabh Das Sharma reports

The rains can never dampen the intensity of passion that any India-Pakistan encounter generates. Imran Khan, the legendary Pakistani captain, added more to this frenzy when he wished both the opponents all the best and hoped the result of the match will be the same as the last time when he played at the same venue, the Eden Gardens.

“Thanks for the great welcome and warm reception you have given us. Hope it is a great game today and I hope that the result will be the same like when I played for Pakistan on this ground,” Imran was referring to the MRF World Series for the Jawaharlal Nehru Cup on 28 October 1989 where he as the captain of Pakistan had crushed India by 77 runs. That was the league stage and Pakistan went on to win the trophy beating West Indies at the same venue later. Imran, who was introduced as the “Lion of Lahore” by the presenter Harsha Bhogle, was asked to speak among the three former Pakistan superstars – Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis being the other two – who were felicitated by the Cricket Association of Bengal.

Giving the felicitation was the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag were the three Indian stalwarts feted on the occasion. Sachin Tendulkar, who received the loudest of cheers during the felicitation function, was more composed and balanced in his appreciation. “It is a fantastic atmosphere. The India-Pakistan match is always been exciting. It is nice to see the stalwarts from Pakistan. Also Sunny Bhai (Sunil Gavaskar), Viru Bhai (Sehwag) and Amitji (Amitabh Bachchan) are here. We hope for a fantastic match and let’s enjoy cricket above all,” Sachin was measured in his approbation like always.

Amitabha Bachchan, the living legend of Bollywood, introduced himself as the son-in-law of the city and exhorted the “warm, loving and passionate people of Kolkata… to appreciate another historic game at the historic venue. I wish all the best for the game and may the better team win,” Bachchan said. “I thank Mamata Didi for very thoughtfully giving us the symbol of peace (the assurance of security and protection to the visitors by the CM). And may peace prevail between Pakistan and India,” Bachachan concluded the proceeding in his inimitable baritone.

The Indian screen legend also sung the Indian national anthem before the start of the match. Famous Pakistani singer Shafqat Amanat Ali sung the national anthem for the visitor.

10:10 pm: India does fairly good job of restricting Pakistan to 118 for five. The Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal pair produced 41 runs in four overs providing the acceleration Pakistan was looking for. With Pakistan having a better bowling attack it needs to be seen how the visitor fairs in this condition with its overtly pace attack.

9:45 pm: A packed Eden Gardens (around 67,000) roared in delight when ‘Boom Boom’ Shahid Afridi when bust. He was foxed by a slower one from Pandya and was caught in the deep by Virat Kohli. Pakistan's downslide continued as the captain departed in the 12th over with just 8 runs to his credit and the team at 60/3.

9:24 pm: Young Hardik pulled off a spectacular catch in the eighth over, darting in from deep mid-on to grab a mis-timed pull from Sharjeel Khan. India got rid of the Pakistan opening pair when Jadeja ran back from his postion in point to catch Ahmed Shehzad in the 10th over bowled by Jasprit Bumrah. At the end of 10 overs, Pakistan were 51/2.

8:11 pm: India win toss, elect to field

8:00 pm: The high-profile India versus Pakistan match in the ICC World T20 has been reduced to 18 overs per side due to evening thundershowers that lashed the city. Match scheduled to start at 8:30 pm.

7:15 pm: Here are the teams:

India: M.S. Dhoni (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra, Ajinkya Rahane, Harbhajan Singh, Pawan Negi, Mohammad Shami.

Pakistan: Shahid Afridi (captain), Sharjeel Khan, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Imad Wasim, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Sami, Khalid Latif, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Nawaz.

7:00 pm: As the ICC World T20 championship comes to India this year, no team has won the event twice. > Read here

6:50 pm: Rain delays toss. It is a big test for Eden Gardens which has earned the reputation of being one of the most unfit venues when it comes to getting outfield ready after rains.

6:15 pm: Rain played spoilsport on Saturday evening as Kolkata was all set to witness an India-Pakistan match, first in many decades. Kolkata - including its central areas where Eden Gardens is located - came to a standstill following heavy downpour around 5 pm. The crucial ‘Super 10’ match between Pakistan and India is expected to start around 7 pm. > Read more

Actor Amitabh Bachchan gets ready to sing the National Anthem as former captain Saurav Ganguly looks on at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Photo: K.R. Deepak

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2021 2:12:05 PM |

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