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Latest Match Report - Pakistan vs India Match 16, Group 2 2022/23

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India 163 (Kohli 82*, Hardik 40) hits for 6 Pakistan 8 to 159 (Masud 52*, Iftikhar 51, Arshdeep 3-32, Hardik 3-30) with four wickets

That forefoot…

Just like the way the ball is thrown…

Even in this game…

Even against these guys…

Virat Kohli is not a man. It’s an emotion. That’s why whenever he goes out and hits, he lifts the whole world with him. Or at least roughly a billion people.

On a day when only the extraordinary were allowed into the MCG, one of India’s greatest played an innings that could be the best ever in T20 cricket. It must have been because they finally beat Pakistan and they had tears in their eyes.

how did it end
India went to the last three extremes needing 48 runs to complete a 160 chase.

They were facing a bowling attack that drew every poison available on a course that offered a terrifying pace and bubbling bounce.

Haris Rauf was more of a flash of light than flesh and bone. It was he who brought Pakistan back to this audacious game. So naturally it had to go.

Kohli shot all night at a level that shouldn’t have been possible. It’s like the 27th letter of the English alphabet. It wasn’t so silly. Just like the two sixes he hit to finish 19th.

The first was a slower ball one length back that climbed above his waist. The only way he can hit him straight on the bowler’s head is if his will really bends the laws of physics.

How can you clear the biggest cricket ground on the planet when the ball has no speed and needs to be big on you? How?!

An equation that read 28 out of eight balls became 16 out of six balls. And still turmoil lurked.

Spin was the price this match paid for being this great. Anyone who couldn’t keep up with the ball was sent out. And Mohammad Nawaz knew that the same fate awaited him when he stepped forward for the final.

It started well enough with Hardik Pandya’s stronghold, but everything changed when he faced the unstoppable force of the day.

Kohli threw Nawaz over the giant square leg border, signaling for the ball not to exist long before the ball hit the ground. Pakistan did not like this. Babar Azam and the referees got into a long, moving and emotional discussion. It was a marginal call, maybe a whole shot Only waist height and at the end, India took the extra ball.

Also Nawaz’s free kick to break Kohli’s logs, but that didn’t matter. You cannot take a wicket from a free kick. And as the ball bounced away, Kohli ran just three runs. Point out the opposition from Pakistan once again. They thought the ball must have been dead when it hit the logs, but the referees again disagreed. Rod Tucker said goodbye.

India needed two-for-one, but Kohli was on the side of the non-strikers. And somewhere in the middle of it all, Dinesh Karthik was stunned.

R Ashwin is on strike. Who is writing these scripts?

Nawaz rushed in… and made a wide kick on the side of his leg. WHO WRITTEN THIS ARTICLE?!

Ashwin, one of the smartest people around, jumped the ball and then when he needed one, he threw the ball indiscriminately, and 90,238 people at the MCG – and countless millions at home – broke the sound barrier. they all roared one by one. Some in exhilaration, some in agony.

Meanwhile, Kohli was on her knees as she was with Mohali in 2016. He punched the field. This was new. And when it arrives, it’s mobbed. He let his teammates spend time with him, but then squirmed away to be alone. Or, alone as can be, with a stadium full of people saying his name. Raising his right hand and raising his index finger, he looked up at the night sky. Was he thanking you? He was like, ‘Oh, so that’s why I went into this form fall? Fair enough. Good deal.’ And then, all of a sudden, his thoughts were interrupted when the captain of the Indian cricket team jumped onto the pitch and lifted him to his feet. When Rohit Sharma came to the presentation, his voice was not heard.

other hero

It seems so long ago now but India had another hero. His name was Arshdeep Singh. At the Asian Cup last month, he made a shot in the final moments of a very tight match against Pakistan and was met with the most vile abuse on social media. 23 years old. All he wants is to help his team win. And today, Babar Azam did just that with his first ball in the T20 World Cup, eliminating the lbw.

Back then, this game was all about swing and hoop and the horrible geometry the white ball can do. Pakistan has been reduced from 2 to 32 in Powerplay. Then Iftikhar Ahmed and Shan Masood formed a partnership. They ousted R Ashwin and Axar Patel. Spin failed to get a timeout in the game, leaking 107 runs with 72 balls, eight sixes and nine fours.

Pakistan rallied to 59 runs in six overs right after the powerplay, encouraging India to restore their quickness, with Hardik and Mohammed Shami three goals in 12 balls. Shaheen Afridi came out at number 9 and took an NSFW deep midfielder the longest limit of the floor to six, bringing the total to 159 for 8. And the game has begun.

best vs best
Defending the 160 is a difficult task even for Pakistan. They’ve only managed three times in 13 games since 2019. This had all the looks of being lucky number four.

Rohit and KL Rahul were given a short time. Suryakumar Yadav bounced. India was 45 out of 4 after 10. If they were going to win, they had to go almost two rounds for half of their strokes.

Talk about inciting a genius. Kohli was then 12 out of 21. After leaving the field, they would pick up with the six-pack Nawaz, a roaring hit. Hardik acted on the other extreme as well. India managed 55 runs across five overs in 11th and 15th, and Pakistan knew they had to bring their big guns back.

Shaheen was asked to balance the game. But he hadn’t played any cricket since July 2022, and all that pass showed itself. A yorker who would be a leg stump turned into a low full shot – it’s not the worst ball for bowling in T20 cricket, yet it still rejects the room where the batter likes to overstep. But Kohli somehow managed. And all it took was a twist of his wrist.

This loft over the extra cover that beat the three fielders – one runs back and two approaches him from a deep guard point and long after – was like a purge. Not so long ago, he admitted to mimicking Kohli intensity. Here he felt her embrace, and it was completely natural. And it was fine. So good that he punched the air despite India still needing 37 in 15 balls.

Yet Hardik was still struggling. The pressure to find these sixes was getting to him and he started looking in all the wrong places – like the wicket square in the MCG. Rauf had a perfect 19th – still the top four balls – to get the equation to 28. Then Kohli started the strike. He knew straight borders were shorter. And it went for them. I found one on the ground. Then another one behind the little door. And puff. That’s right, 12 off 2. To be so precise, so calculating, in this case…

Actually, there is no real word for it.

Kohli said it himself. “I have no words. I have no idea how this happened”.

Alagappan Muthu is sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo.

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