Mohammad Rizwan, Pakistan opener, praised pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi for providing the spark for the 10-wicket crushing win over India at the Twenty20 World Cup on Sunday.
The tall paceman dismissed dangerous opener Rohit Sharma with the fourth delivery of the match for a first-ball duck and then had KL Rahul (three) and Virat Kohli (57) in an incisive 3-31 spell off his four overs. His effort restricted India to a below-par 151-7 in their 20 overs. A target Pakistan overhauled in 17.5 overs without losing a wicket — their first victory over India in six Twenty20 World Cup games.
Mohammad Rizwan Said That Shaheen Shah Afridi’s Wickets At The Top Of The Order Were Decisive
The win also broke Pakistan’s jinx of 12 World Cup games (seven 50-over World Cup matches as well) without a victory against India since 1992.
“Shaheen got us wickets at the top of the order and that proved to be the turning point,” said Mohammad Rizwan after Pakistan’s victory in Group 2 of the Super 12 stage.
Captain Babar Azam scored a 52-ball 68 not out while Mohammad Rizwan hit an undefeated 55-ball 79 as Pakistan achieved their first ten-wicket win in all Twenty20 internationals. This was also India’s first ten-wicket defeat in Twenty20 cricket. Mohammad Rizwan said the victory was a gift to the nation.
“Congratulations to the whole of Pakistan and all our people as we were all waiting for this win,” said Mohammad Rizwan.
“This was my first game against India, so it’s a good thing for me. I used to watch all the Indo-Pak matches on television and used to pinpoint where we made mistakes. But today’s game was great and after Shaheen got those wickets we were confident we would win.”
After India was reduced to 6-2, losing Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul early in the third over, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav put up a 25 run stand in 20 deliveries. Virat Kohli’s half-century helped India recover from a disastrous start and post 151/7 against Pakistan in Sunday’s ICC T20 World Cup match. Besides Virat Kohli’s 49-ball 57, Rishabh Pant slammed 39 in 30 deliveries.
Shaheen Shah Afridi Said First Win Over India In A World Cup Match Was Heartening And Welcoming
Shaheen Shah Afridi said the win was the perfect start to the tournament where the top two teams in each Super 12 group make the semifinals.
“We knew that we have to win this game as we had never won a World Cup match against India, so it’s very heartening and welcoming,” he said.
Shaheen Shah Afridi said he had planned to bring the ball in as the dry pitch was offering some swing. It worked as he first trapped Rohit Sharma plumb before wicket and then bowled KL Rahul with a yorker.
“I had a plan against Rohit and that was to bring the ball in,” said Shaheen. “It swung and I got him leg-before wicket and that was the start we needed.”
Indian skipper Virat Kohli scored a valiant 57 before he was caught behind off Shaheen Shah Afridi in the 19th over.
“Kohli is a world-class batsman so he survived that first spell but I know that he bats like Babar and I bowled to him as I bowl against Babar in the nets.”
Pakistan next plays New Zealand in Sharjah on Tuesday. Shaheen Shah Afridi was adjudged as the player of the match as Pakistan registered their first win over India in World Cups. Both sides next face New Zealand, a set of fixtures that could arguably seal the fate of the group.