Pakistan defeated their arch rivals by ten wickets in Dubai, kicking off their World Cup campaign in style.
In their first T20 World Cup group match, Pakistan thrashed fierce rivals India by ten wickets.
In Dubai, Pakistan batted first and restricted India to 7-151, with Shaheen Afridi taking three vital wickets and only Virat Kohli (57) and Rishabh Pant (39) making an impression with the bat.
What distinguishes the new ball weapon? Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi is extremely significant.
In a devastating opening session, Shaheen Afridi established himself as the bowler to watch in this tournament by putting India on the back foot. According to the statistics, India will not be the only team he has trouble with with the new ball.
With just four deliveries to his name in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Afridi had an immediate impact, trapping Rohit Sharma in front for a golden duck with a superb in-swinger. Nasser Hussain, the commentator, called it out first, before the umpire.
In his following over, Afridi struck once more, dismissing KL Rahul for three runs with an unplayable delivery that snaked in off a decent length.
Later, he would complete his set of India’s great three by dismissing Virat Kohli in the 19th over, demonstrating his ability to bowl in the end. It’s what he can accomplish with the new ball, however, that stands out.
According to, the seamer has taken a wicket in the first over of a T20 innings 20 times in 60 innings, totaling 21 first-over wickets.
Over the course of his career, he has taken a wicket in the first over nearly every three matches.
Of course, as Rahul discovered, he’s not only dangerous in the opening T20 over.
According to CricViz, Afridi has taken the most Powerplay wickets in T20s since the beginning of the year, with two early strikes against India bringing him to an even 50.
Deepak Chahar of India is the only other bowler with more than 45 wickets in the Powerplay during this time, and his sub-20 strike rate is unusual among bowlers with more than 35 wickets.
Pakistan managed to keep India’s batters in check for the duration of the innings thanks to Afridi’s early surge, opening the way for a 10-wicket triumph.
Mohammad Rizwan (79no off 55 balls) and Babar Azam (68no off 52 balls) put on a stunning unbroken 152-run partnership to win the match with more than two overs to spare.
Due to geopolitics, both sides had never played bilateral cricket before, and this was the first T20 match since the 2016 World Cup and the first meeting in any format since the 2019 50-over World Cup in England.
Both of those matches were won by India, who had never lost to Pakistan in a World Cup before, making Pakistan’s victory all the sweeter.
“We didn’t execute the things we wanted to accomplish,” Kohli added, “but credit where credit is due, Pakistan outplayed us today.”
“They got off to a great start with the ball.
“This is only the beginning of the tournament; it is not the end.” It’s critical to maintain composure, recognise our strengths, and decide what we want to accomplish in the midst.”
With a near-capacity crowd in attendance and hundreds of millions watching on television around the world, Afridi got off to a flying start, knocking Rohit Sharma for a first-ball duck in his first over and KL Rahul for three in his second.
Suryakumar Yadav slammed a six off the last ball of that over, and Kohli smacked another six off his third.
However, Yadav was caught behind by Hasan Ali for 11 runs in the sixth over, leaving India 3-31 and forcing Kohli and Pant to consolidate.
They did, accumulating 35 runs off the next five overs as Pant decided it was time to fire, flogging Hasan for two sixes and taking 15 runs off the 12th over.
However, he skied Shadab Khan in the next over and was caught for a 30-ball 39.
In the 18th over, Kohli reached his 45-ball half-century. However, Shaheen’s slower-ball bouncer surprised the Indian skipper in the next over, and he was caught for 57.
Pakistan then scored 18 runs in their first two overs to conclude the Power play with a score of 0-43. By the halfway mark of the innings, Babar and Rizwan had moved to 0-71, thanks to good running and cautious hitting.
Nothing India’s potent bowling attack did had any effect, and the result was obvious even before Pakistan’s captain hit the winning runs.
“There is a long way to go in the competition,” Babar emphasized as euphoria erupted across Pakistan.
“With the new ball, he bowled extremely effectively,” India skipper Virat Kohli remarked after the match. “He picked up wickets in the appropriate locations, and in T20 cricket, you need terrific execution to pick up wickets with the new ball, and he certainly accomplished that, so credit to him.”
“With the new ball, he put our batters under strain right away, and he raced in with intensity and proved that he’s bowling in consistent areas, so batsmen had to be a little wary.”
“That period put us on the back foot right away, and it felt quite difficult from there to get those extra 20, 25 runs in the end when you lose three wickets for 20 runs.”