India’s unblemished
record against Pakistan in World Cups ended as captain Babar Azam and Mohammad
Rizwan’s batting masterclass sealed an emphatic 10-wicket victory in the T20 World
at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

Babar scored 68 from 52 deliveries, while Rizwan notched 79 from 54 as the openers alone chased down the 152-run target without breaking a sweat, registering Pakistan’s first-ever 10-wicket win in T20 World Cup history. It was also India’s first-ever loss by that margin in T20 Internationals. 

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This was also Pakistan’s highest-ever partnership against India for any wicket in a T20 international, surpassing the 106-run stand by Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik in Ahmedabad in 2012. 

India had no answers for the historically uncharateristic calmess exuded by the Pakistan openers, with the pacers unable to break the partnership despite all the yorkers and variations. 

In his post-match comments, Kohli said, “We didn’t execute properly. Credit where it’s due and Pakistan outplayed us today. They started brilliantly with the ball, and 3 wickets for 20 runs was not a good start.”

Babar credited the team’s effort and said the early wickets were helpful. “It gave us a lot of confidence and our spinners were very good as well. We applied our plans and got the results,” he said. 

Earlier, it was Shaheen Afridi’s unplayable spell early on that helped Pakistan restrict India to a 151-run total. The lanky pacer finished with figures of 3/31 from four overs, with India’s top three batsmen – Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli – in his spell. 

Shaheen trapped Rohit plumb on the pads as the ‘Hitman’ returned with a golden duck in the very first over, before getting Rahul clean bowled. 

Kohli then anchored the innings with a composed 57 from 49 deliveries, adding 53 runs for the fourth wicket with Rishabh Pant (39). He fell to Shaheen in the 19th over, his first dismissal vs Pakistan in T20 World Cups.