Men in blue started their T20 World Cup campaign with a memorable win against arch-rivals Pakistan at MCG. Chasing a competitive target of 160, India’s star batter Virat Kohli played fabulous innings with an unbeaten knock of 82 off 53-balls and powered India to beat Pakistan by 4 wickets in a high-pressure nail-bitter match. Hardik Pandya produced an all-round performance by scoring crucial 40-runs and scalping three wickets with the ball.
Bowling first, India got off to a start as young Arshdeep Singh dismissed Pakistan skipper Babar Azam for a golden duck. Arshdeep then removed Mohammad Rizwan (4) in his next over. Shan Masood and Iftikhar Ahmed batted beautifully and steadied Pakistan’s innings by adding 76-runs for the third wicket.
Mohammed Shami gave the breakthrough by dismissing Ahmed for 51. Indian bowlers then took regular wickets to get back into the game. Masood played an anchoring inning and scored an unbeaten 52 to help Pakistan post a defendable total of 159/8 in 20 overs. For India, Arshdeep picked up three wickets.
In reply, India lost the early wickets of KL Rahul (4), Rohit Sharma (4), and Suryakumar Yadav (15) inside the powerplay overs. Haris Rauf troubled Indian batters with good pace, line, and length. Kohli and Pandya stayed positive and added a game-changing 113-runs for the fifth wicket.
Kohli shifted gears and smashed two astonishing shots to clear the boundary ropes in the penultimate over. Ravichandran Ashwin hit the winning run in the final delivery to clinch victory. With 3794 runs, Kohli became the highest-scorer in the T20I.