Pak vs Ind: Babar and Co live up to ominous expectations, lose World Cup tie from winning position

Published June 9, 2024
Photo courtesy: BCCI Twitter
Photo courtesy: BCCI Twitter
Photo courtesy: PCB Twitter
Photo courtesy: PCB Twitter
Photo courtesy: PCB Twitter
Photo courtesy: PCB Twitter
Photo courtesy: PCB Twitter
Photo courtesy: PCB Twitter
Photo courtesy: T20 world Cup X account
Photo courtesy: T20 world Cup X account
Photo courtesy: PCB Twitter
Photo courtesy: PCB Twitter
Photo courtesy: PCB Twitter
Photo courtesy: PCB Twitter
Photo courtesy: PCB Twitter
Photo courtesy: PCB Twitter
Screengrab taken from Ehtisham Siddique’s X account.
Screengrab taken from Ehtisham Siddique’s X account.

Pakistan choked in the final sequence of their World Cup 2024 clash with India to somehow surrender a tie they dominated for large parts of the game in New York on Sunday.

Chasing a meagre 120, the Green Shirts could only manage 113 for the loss of 7 wickets as their run chase inexplicably, but also expectedly, derailed, bringing them on the verge of a swift exit out of the tournament.

The Green Shirts were given two lifelines early on when both their openers, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, were dropped by Indian fielders.

However, Jasprit Bumrah swiftly removed Babar, in addition to proving a nuisance for Pakistan all through the innings.

Others in Pakistan’s top and middle orders contributed in double figures but did not last long, although the run chase kept on ticking along, making it Pakistan’s game to lose.

The expectation was for Rizwan (31) to hang in till the end. However, when Bumrah returned in the 15th over, he got rid of Rizwan, which opened up the floodgates as wickets kept on falling but the hits needed to get closer to the target never came.

In the end, Pakistan finished with 113-7, falling seven runs short of the target.

Earlier, Pakistan pacers exploited New York’s overcast conditions to the fullest, limiting India to 119.

Indian innings

Indian great Virat Kohli was caught at point by youngster Usman Khan on the third delivery of the second over.

Opener Rohit Sharma was the next to depart after three good balls from Shaheen piled pressure on him. He tried to flick the ace pace over square but was caught in the deep by Haris Rauf.

Axar was bowled by Naseem in the 8th over after the pacer was brought back into the attack.

Suryakumar Yadav was dismissed by Haris Rauf in the 12th over. The pacer was dispatched for three boundaries in his first over but came back strongly to concede only a single run from his second over, picking up the prized wicket of Yadav.

Shivam Dube scooped the ball to Naseem and departed next as the pacer claimed his third wicket of the game.

Amir got consecutive wickets in the 15-over, dismissing Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja as the wheels came off the Indian innings.

Although both countries are cricket powerhouses, head-to-head matches are rare between the nations. The two sides do not meet outside of official competitions of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the last Test match between them was in 2007.

The Rohit Sharma-led India were to Babar Azam and his men in their Group A match at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York — the 34,000-capacity venue built earlier this year.

The tickets for the high-profile encounter were sold out months ago.

A loss in today’s match would significantly diminish Pakis­tan’s chances to qualify for the Super Eight stage of the 20-nation spectacle.

According to AccuWeather, there was a 43 per cent chance of rain before the start of the tie, a probability which rose to 54pc at 11am New York time.

 Screengrab taken from AccuWeather.com
Screengrab taken from AccuWeather.com

 Screengrab taken from AccuWeather.com
Screengrab taken from AccuWeather.com

Following a shocking loss against USA, Babar had acknowledged that his team had a tendency to underestimate less established ones at major tournaments, adding that his side played well below their standard in Thursday’s match.

The ICC will set up its Official T20 World Cup Fanpark at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium for today’s match, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a post on X.

“So come one and all, enjoy the game on the biggest screens; with a musical concert and fun activities for all ages!” it said while describing the planned event.

VIP Stand tickets can be booked at t20worldcup.bookme.pk while entry for the general enclosures is free.

‘Challenging pitch’

A few unexpected results have also seen concerns being raised about the new pitches used in the T20 World Cup matches played in New York, with the ICC admitting that they have not been up to standard.

The temporary Nassau County International Cricket Stadium has hosted two games so far, both of which were low-scoring encounters due to the nature of the drop-in pitch which has made batting extremely difficult due to the movement and bounce.

While Indian batting coach Vikram Rathour has described it as a “challenging wicket”, boosted by a win over Ireland, he has asserted that his batters had the skills and experience needed to navigate that.

Gary Kirsten, the recently appointed white ball head coach of Pakistan, also remained optimistic, saying he expected a “favourable result”. To a query, he said that all-rounder Imad Wasim had become fully fit and was available to play against India.

“Two days ago is forgotten, we can’t take it back, it’s gone. We move on,” he told the media, referring to the defeat by USA.

Meanwhile, Rohit said his side will take the match ball by ball and over by over. Responding to a query about the pitch, he said regardless of the track behaviour, his team will play according to their plan.

“We are playing with eight batters so we look to bat aggressively to get runs quickly,” the skipper further said, stressing that he was not relying on one or two players.

India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Shivam Dube, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammad Siraj

Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Usman Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Amir

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