Xtra Time Web Desk: India’s star batter Virat Kohli played one of the best T20 knocks (82 off 53) of his career to script a thrilling 4 wicket win over arch rivals Pakistan in the Super-12 clash of T20 World Cup 2022 at MCG on Sunday night. Chasing 160 runs to win, the Men in Blue romped home in the final ball. Hardik Pandya made an all-round contribution as well, picking 3 wickets and scoring 40 off 37 runs. Kohli and Hardik were involved in a century partnership. Arshdeep Singh too picked 3 wickets.
Chasing 160, India got off to a terrible start as both openers KL Rahul and captain Rohit Sharma were dismissed with just 10 runs on board after 3.2 overs. Suryakumar Yadav (15 off 10) looked good during his brief stay on the wicket before edging Haris Rauf to Mohammad Rizwan. India was 26/3 in 5.3 overs.
Axar Patel was promoted at No 5 but the left hander was run-out. India was in deep trouble at 31/4. It was a controversial dismissal though as Rizwan seemed not hitting the stumps with the ball fully, but he got away with it.
Pandya and Kohli took India safe halfway their innings, though singles continued without any boundaries. India at half-way stage were 45/4, with Virat (12*) and Pandya (7*) at the crease.
The 90000 packed Melbourne Cricket Ground witnessed one of the greatest recoveries by Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya. The duo brought up their 50-run stand in 40 balls. At the end of 15 overs, India was 100/4, with Virat (42*) and Hardik (32*) at the crease.
Haris Rauf swung momentum in favour of Pakistan with an economical 16th over, conceding just six runs. India needed 54 off 24 balls. Six runs came from the next over, reducing the equation to 48 off 18 balls.
India needed 16 in the final over. Pakistan’s left arm spinner gave a huge breakthrough, getting rid of Hardik Pandya off the first ball of the final over. Dinesh Karthik was also stumped with two runs left from the final ball. Ravichandran Ashwin finished the match with a single, helping India clinch a four-wicket win. Virat Kohli remained unbeaten on 82 off 53 balls, with six fours and four sixes.
For Pakistan Haris Rauf (2/36) and Mohammad Nawaz (2/42) were the successful bowlers.
Earlier, Hardik Pandya and Arshdeep Singh bowled brilliantly to restrict Pakistan to 159/8. Arshdeep bagged three wickets while Hardik returned with a stunning figure of 3-30. Shan Masood top-scored for Pakistan with 52 not out while Iftikhar Ahmed played a crucial knock of 51 runs.