India beats Pakistan in last-ball thriller thanks to Virat Kohli

India beats Pakistan in last-ball thriller thanks to Virat Kohli

Sunday, in front of 90,000 spectators at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Virat Kohli’s undefeated 82 led India to a thrilling last-ball victory over Pakistan, which boosted India’s bid for a first Twenty20 World Cup title since 2007.

The No. 1 Indians limited their furious opponents to 159/8 and won by four wickets in a thrilling final over, with ace Virat Kohli becoming the hero.

India appeared to be in deep trouble as they limped to 45/4 after 10 overs, midway through their chase.

India required 16 runs off the last over from a jittery Mohammad Nawaz, who bowled wides and no-balls to assist them reach their mark.

In a group comprising South Africa, Bangladesh, and qualifiers Zimbabwe and the Netherlands, where only the top two go to the semifinals, victory was crucial.

Since the late 1990s, India has largely dominated Pakistan, but had lost two of their three prior encounters, notably by 10 wickets in the group round of last year’s T20 World Cup and the most recent Asia Cup.

The success of India’s batting lineup had enabled them to win home series against Australia and South Africa in recent months.

Few sporting rivalries match the intensity of India-Pakistan, and the atmosphere was electric when Pakistan’s skipper Babar Azam was out lbw for a golden duck to Arshdeep Singh after being sent in to bat.

Mohammad Rizwan (4) top-edged a rising ball to Bhuvneshwar Kumar at fine leg as a result of Singh’s swing in his subsequent over.

Shan Masood survived a close run out appeal when he and Iftikhar Ahmed rebuilt the batting order.

Ahmed flipped a switch when the slow bowlers were introduced, smashing Ravi Ashwin for six and then taking three more runs off Axar Patel in a single over.

Ahmed reached fifty before Mohammed Shami bowled him leg before, triggering a collapse in which Pandya caught Shadab Khan, Haider Ali, and Mohammad Nawaz within 19 runs.

KL Rahul was bowled by Naseem Shah in the opening over as he dragged the ball onto his stumps, and then skipper Rohit Sharma (4) was caught in the slips by Ahmed off Haris Rauf.

This sent Suryakumar Yadav, probably the best T20 batsman in the world, to the crease, but he lasted only eight deliveries before being caught behind by Rauf for a blistering 16 as the Pakistani supporters yelled in delight.

When Patel was run out in the following over, India’s score was 31/4.

Kohli began slowly but eventually found his rhythm, and he and Pandya launched a comeback by blasting three sixes in one over off Nawaz.

There were still 60 runs required with five overs remaining. With 28 required off eight balls, Kohli hit two sixes off Rauf, leaving 16 balls remaining in the final over.

In a wild, exhilarating final over, Kohli smacked another six off a no-ball and sprinted three before being bowled off the next free hit.

With two required runs Dinesh Karthik was caught in the leg side, a wide equalized the score, and Ashwin scored the winning run off the penultimate delivery.

»India beats Pakistan in last-ball thriller thanks to Virat Kohli«

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