Virat Kohli once again stood between Pakistan and a victory against India when he scored 55 off 37 balls to guide his team home on Saturday at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
After a delayed start due to rain, Pakistan were sent in to bat first by India in an 18-over encounter at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata on Saturday and scored 118-5 in their allotted quota of overs.
Shoaib Malik top-scored for Pakistan with 26 off 16 balls courtesy three boundaries and one six on a track which turned widly.
Ahmed Shehzad contributed 25 top of the order off 28 balls, while Umar Akmal scored 22 off 16 to add to the Pakistani total.
For India, Ashish Nehra, Jasprit Bhumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresha Raina and Hardik Pandya bagged one wicket apiece.
In their chase, Kohli was untouchable once again as he hit seven boundaries and a maximum.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Sami took two wickets for Pakistan.
Pakistan: Sharjeel Khan, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed†, Shahid Afridi*, Mohammad Sami, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Irfan
India: RG Sharma, S Dhawan, V Kohli, SK Raina, MS Dhoni*†, Yuvraj Singh, HH Pandya, RA Jadeja, R Ashwin, JJ Bumrah, A Nehra
The man of the match award went to Virat Kohli for his half-ton.
Shahid Afridi: “First of all I want to congratulate Dhoni for this win. We misread the pitch but that’s no excuse. We were short 30-35 runs. Plus we didn’t bowl well, especially I didn’t bowl well. If I had another opportunity, I would definitely play an additional spinner in the team.”
MS Dhoni: “It’s great to get the win here. I was pleased with how Kohli performed and it’s good to get the winning momentum going. We didn’t expect for the pitch here to turn so much either. If I had known this then I would have no problems playing another spinner. So there are areas of improvement for us as well.”
IND 119-4 (15.5 overs)
FOUR by Kohli and SIX by Dhoni complete the job for India.
IND 106-4 (15 overs)
Single and Kohli gets his FIFTY. Once again a brilliant innings by a brilliant player.
FOUR! Driven through extra cover by Kohli.
Afridi in for his last over.
IND 99-4 (14 overs)
FOUR! Kohli stamping his authority over this match. A great cover drive from the Indian batsman.
Dhoni is quick with the single. Pakistan need to stop these singles just about right now!
Single off the first ball.
Muhammad Amir is back. He is the only hope for them.
IND 91-4 (13 overs)
Slip in place for Dhoni but it will come in play if Afridi allows the ball to spin. He is bowling as full as a spinner possibly can.
FOUR! Afridi bowls fuller and Kohli finds the extra cover fence. Someone needs to tell Afridi that he needs to bowl a little shorter.
Shahid Afridi is back.
IND 84-4 (12 overs)
OUT! Slow and short and Yuvraj (24) hits it into the hands of Umar Akmal at midwicket.
SIX! Yuvraj uses Wahab’s pace and clears midwicket. Pakistan were out of this match as soon as they opted for four pacers on this track.
IND 74-3 (11 overs)
FOUR! Placed superbly towards midwicket by Kohli. He is taking the charge on to Malik.
SIX! Kohli sweeps and clears square leg.
Single taken as Kohli faces.
Two wides and a single off the first two balls. India know they need only run-a-ball to reach this target.
Shoaib Malik continues.
IND 60-3 (10 overs)
Kohli plays a dot to end the over.
Single taken from long-on.
Dot again as Yuvraj defends it towards point.
Yuvraj swings at a short ball and misses it.
Single for Kohli.
FOUR! Kohli starts the over positively for India.
Wahab Riaz is introduced into the attack.
IND 54-3 (9 overs)
Two off the last ball and Malik himself runs towards the ball.
Yuvraj beaten by spin. Dot.
Sweep by Yuvraj earns him two runs.
Single by Kohli from midwicket.
Wide down the leg side.
No slip and Yuvraj survives. The ball kisses his gloves and runs to the short third man.
Single by Kohli to start the over.
Shoaib Malik has been brought in. Can he make a difference here?
IND 46-3 (8 overs)
Six singles off the over. India keeping the scoreboard ticking while Pakistan search for more wickets. They can’t defend this total; they will have to get India all out.
Four runs off the first four balls. Make that five off five.
Shahid Afridi in for his second over.
IND 40-3 (7 overs)
Two for Kohli on the second last ball. Dot to end the over.
FOUR! Yuvraj goes towards extra cover. A nice drive bring confidence back for the Indian.
FOUR! Kohli with an exquisite shot wide off third man. Waits and open the face of the bat at the last moment.
Sami is back.
IND 28-3 (6 overs)
Afridi going across to Yuvraj and he is truning the ball a mile into him. He isn’t able to control the spin and has bowled two wides. Five from the over.
Shahid Afridi comes on to bowl now. Can he exploit the spin that India were getting out of this track?
IND 23-3 (5 overs)
Yuvraj defends the hat-trick ball.
OUT! Another inside edge. Sami gets Raina. India on the back foot and Sami is on hat-trick. Yuvraj Singh walks in to face the hat-trick ball.
OUT! Inside edge and Shikhar’s bails blink red. Sami strikes. Suresh Raina the probable to walk in to join Kohli.
No-ball! Sami living up to his own self. Free-hit goes for only a single.
FOUR! Cut by Dhawan and he bisects two players to find the boundary.
IND 18-1 (4 overs)
Only a single off the next three balls. Last ball to come… and that is a dot too. Only four runs off the last two overs.
Single followed by a dot.
Muhammad Irfan is back. Afridi operating with pacers on a deadly spinning track.
IND 16-1 (3 overs)
Only two runs off the over and a wicket by Amir.
OUT! Rohit Sharma tries to go over mid-off and is caught by Malik. He called Amir a normal bowler and Amir accounts for him once again. This is karma is full action!
Muhammad Amir in for his second over.
IND 14-0 (2 overs)
Single off the last ball.
FOUR! Short and pulled nicely by Rohit Sharma. Irfan feeding him balls in his favoured areas.
FOUR! Welcomed with a boundary square through off side. Rohit accounts for it.
Muhammad Irfan in to share the new ball with Amir.
IND 4-0 (1 over)
Rohit defends with an angled bat and gets a single from third man.
Dhawan flicks towards square leg for a single.
Single taken by Rohit. Its a leg bye.
Two dots and a wide by Amir.
Muhammad Amir opens the bowling for Pakistan. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan open the batting for India.
PAK 116-5 (18 overs)
Sarfraz misses and runs, Dhoni misses the target with his under arm throw.
Another single. Pakistan need two boundaries off the two remaining balls.
Two from midwicket.
Another single by Sarfraz.
Single off the first ball.
Last over… Bhumrah bowls.
PAK 111-5 (17 overs)
Dot. Short ball goes over Sarfraz’s head and he looks at the leg umpire as he says its not a wide.
FOUR! Full-toss and Sarfraz just guides it towards square leg. Smart shot.
OUT! Malik (26) is caugh at fine leg. Top-edges a short ball as the short fine leg fielder sets in and takes a sitter. Muhammad Hafeez joins Sarfraz Ahmed.
Two off the first ball by Malik.
Nehra is back for his last over.
PAK 103-4 (15 overs)
OUT! Umar Akmal caught behind. Tries to cut but the edge sticks into the hands of Dhoni. Sarfraz Ahmed is the new man in. Immediately takes two.
FOUR! Shoaib Malik is on fire. Sweeps it towards square leg.
Jadeja in for his fourth over.
PAK 95-3 (15 overs)
Dot ball to end the over. Two good overs for Pakistan. They need three more of these.
FOUR! Square through leg this time. Malik with his usual self against India.
FOUR! Low full-toss and Malik hit it towards covers, beats Shikhar Dhawan.
Single by Umar.
No-ball and a free hit! Umar defends and runs for a quick single. Malik will play the free-hit… bowled wide off the crease and Malik takes a single from deep point.
Single by Malik.
PAK 82-3 (14 overs)
SIX! Umar joins the party. Receives the same ball but hits it flatter towards midwicket.
SIX! Slow and short. Malik stands and delivers the ball into the midwicket stands. First of the Pakistani innings.
Two singles off the first two balls.
Pandya in for his second over.
PAK 67-3 (13 overs)
One more single of the last three balls. India dominating Pakistan on a turning track. Only five overs remaining for Pakistan to push forward for a decent total.
Only a single off the first three balls.
Nehra is back.
PAK 65-3 (12 overs)
FOUR+ONE! Single taken and the ball ricochets off the stumps towards the boundary. India appeal for a run out and Shoaib Malik is comfortably in.
OUT! Afridi caught at long-on. Pakistan captain will not inspire the team with the bat today but what about his four overs of spin? We will have to wait for that.
FOUR! Short and dispatched beautifully by Umar Akmal towards cow corner.
Single by Afridi.
Hardik Pandya brought on.
PAK 54-2 (11 overs)
Driven past covers fielder for a single.
Dot and a miscommunication nearly got Afridi run out. However, he was back safely.
Dot and a single off the second ball
Jadeja into his third over.
PAK 51-2 (10 overs)
Two dots and Afridi takes a single on the last ball. Pakistan will surely miss Imad Wasim on this track.
Afridi swings and Bhumrah’s off cutter beats him. What a comeback!
FOUR! Afridi swings at a short ball and the top-edge flies towards fine leg. One bounce and it crosses the fence.
OUT! Shehzad’s leading edge flies towards Kohli at point.
FOUR! Flicked over short-fine leg’s head. Shehzad operating smartly for Pakistan right now.
Bhumrah is back.
PAK 42-1 (9 overs)
Leading edge but Afridi survives the last ball. Dot to end the over.
Shehzad takes one from leg side.
Quick single from covers by Afridi.
Afridi beaten twice by spin. Jadeja is extracting some serious spin from the pitch.
Shehzad takes a single.
PAK 39-1 (8 overs)
Shehzad has crossed and faces. Takes a single off the last ball.
OUT! Sharjeel pulls it towards long-on and Pandya takes a stunner. Dives forward and takes doesn’t drop it even after going face-down on the ground. Wait, what? Shahid Afridi is in? Yes, Lala is the new man in at number three.
Single by Shehzad to bring Sharjeel on.
Shehzad takes the aerial root and steals two from extra cover fielder.
Single off the first ball by Sharjeel.
Suresh Raina in. Dhoni resorting to his spinners.
PAK 34-0 (7 overs)
Shehzad plays a dot on the last ball.
FOUR! Edged past short third man towards boundary by Shehzad.
Wild spin from Jadeja. Shehzad beaten by the left-hander’s off spin.
Swept by Sharjeel and single taken.
Sharjeel defends one with the pads and the Dhoni catches it as India appeal for a catch.
Ravindra Jadeja has been called on now. Starts off with a wide.
PAK 28-0 (6 overs)
Sharjeel steals one from deep square leg.
Spin and Sharjeel swings his bat over it.
Another quick single by Shehzad. Smart cricket from Pakistan.
Quick single by Sharjeel. They are not taking Ashwin.
Shehzad defends and then takes a single.
Ashwin into his third over on the trot. Dhoni in search of a wicket here and Pakistan seeing him off.
PAK 24-0 (5 overs)
FOUR! Sharjeel goes square through the off side.
What was that? The ball landed and didn’t jump back up. Sharjeel beaten again.
Sharjeel is still silent. Defends another one.
Swing and a miss by Sharjeel.
Shehzad swings, mis-hits and the ball just falls short of mid-on.
Single to open the over by Shehzad.
Right-arm Jasprit Bhumrah replaces Nehra.
PAK 19-0 (4 overs)
Single to end the over.
Fuller this time and Shehzad defends it nicely.
FOUR! Shehzad comes out and goes over mid-off. Great use of feet.
Single by Sharjeel. Edged towards third man.
Sharjeel plays across the line and the ball flies high but past first slip.
Shehzad takes a single off the first ball.
Ravi Ashwin continues.
PAK 12-0 (3 overs)
FOUR! First of the innings by Sharjeel. Flicked towards square leg.
Single taken by Shehzad from short midwicket.
Slow ball and Shehzad stop midway into the shot. Dot again.
Shehzad defends one towards mid-off for a dot.
Sharjeel goes towards wide mid-on for a single.
Single taken by Shehzad off the first ball.
PAK 5-0 (2 overs)
Shehzad survives! The ball lands and spins wildly into the right-hander. The ball beats the off-stump, the keeper and the fielder at leg-slip. Single taken!
Single by Sharjeel towards mid-on.
Sharjeel defends a wrong one.
Sharjeel beaten again by spin!
The off-spinner spins away from Sharjeel’s bat. Beaten!
On Sharjeel’s legs, he nudges it towards short fine leg. Dot.
Ravi Ashwin has been brought on.
PAK 3-0 (1 overs)
Shehzad stops a slower ball and it becomes airborne for a couple of seconds. Nehra was interested but it didn’t carry to him. Both share a stare and walk away.
Shehzad defends one towards leg side for a dot.
Sharjeel swings for a pull to get a single.
Sharjeel cuts one towards backward point for a dot.
Shehzad steers one away for another single.
Sharjeel takes a single off the first bowl to get off the mark.
Left-hander Sharjeel Khan and right-hander Ahmed Shehzad have come on to open the batting for Pakistan. Left-hand medium-pacer Ashish Nehra to open the bowling for India.
Match parameters: Five overs of powerplay, three bowlers to bowl four overs.
Amitabh Bacchan singing India’s national anthem.
Shafqat Amanat Ali singing Pakistan’s national anthem.
National Anthem of Pakistan to be followed by national anthem of India.
Shaun Pollock: The pitch is better than the one used in the previous matches. It will be a good batting pitch. Bounce will be uneven. Decent surface for a T20I. The outfield has dried nicely.
India have won the toss and elected to bowl first against Pakistan.
Afridi: We are expecting performances from other guys than Hafeez and Shehzad. We are excited for this game.
The toss is delayed and Pakistan and India will play an 18-over match.