Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam shake hands with the India players after their T20 World Cup match. Picture: Satish Kumar/Reuters
Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam shake hands with the India players after their T20 World Cup match. Picture: Satish Kumar/Reuters

Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan get T20 World Cup party started for Pakistan

By Zaahier Adams Time of article published Oct 24, 2021

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Dubai - All roads led to the Dubai Cricket International Stadium last night. Whether the transportation was Bentley and Rolls Royce or taxi and metro, but they came in their masses to watch Pakistan re-write the history books.

The Gulf state was gripped with cricket fever for three manic hours like never before, and the party for the long-suffering Pakistani fans will surely continue long into the night after Babar Azam's team thrashed arch-rivals India by 10 wickets.

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Azam (68* off 52 balls) and his able lieutenant Mohammad Rizwan (79* off 55 balls) needed no help from anyone else as they delivered a masterclass run chase to bring an end to years of disappointment.

India have been the undisputed kings of the biggest match in the game, with a previously unblemished World Cup record - across formats - against their arch-rivals that stretches back all way to 1992.

It was also fitting that the losing streak was ended here at the gladatorial-like Dubai International Stadium. The UAE had been Pakistan's home away from home during their troubled years and the men in green repaid that support with a performance for the ages.

It was set in motion through the brilliance of Shaheen Afridi - the latest terrific left-arm pace bowler off the Pakistan conveyor belt.

Pace and swing combined is lethal at the best of times, but even more so when it crashes into the toe of the batter second ball and Rohit Sharma had no chance. The following over Shaheen repeated the dosage and KL Rahul's stumps were re-arranged. India were 6/2 and there was no way back.

India's lion-hearted captain Virat Kohli tried his best to resurrect the innings with a gutsy 57 off 49 balls along with Rishabh Pant (39 off 30 balls) before he too fell to Shaheen but the eventual total of 151/7 was drastically inadequate on this balmy night in the desert.

Scores

India: 151/7 (Kohli 57, Pant 39, Shaheen 3/31, Ali 2/44)

Pakistan: 152/0 (Rizwan 79*, Azam 68*)

Pakistan won by 10 wickets

@ZaahierAdams

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