DUBAI: Pakistan on Sunday won the nail-biting match against arch-rivals India by five wickets in their first match of the Super Four stage to make it even against the Rohit Sharma-led side.
India had set a mammoth 182-run target for Pakistan to chase in their 20 overs after being asked to bat first.
The Pakistani innings started slow and the team lost skipper Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman within the first 10 overs of the innings. At that stage, Pakistan needed someone to stay with Mohammad Rizwan to bring Pakistan back into the game.
And the surprise decision to promote Mohammad Nawaz up in the order proved exactly that.
A 73-run partnership between Rizwan and Nawaz helped set the centre stage for Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah to finish the game for Pakistan.
By the time Rizwan and Nawaz were dismissed, Pakistan needed 34 runs off 18 balls to finish the game.
It was in the 18th over when Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah smashed Bhuvneshwar Kumar all over the park to make sure Pakistan needed 7 off 6 balls.
A four from the second ball of the last over made it 2 off 4 balls and it looked like the Green Shirts would win the match easily.
However, Arshdeep Singh’s dismissal off Asif made 2 from 2 but Iftikhar Ahmad helped seal the game with one ball to spare and ensure Pakistan win the match by five wickets.
Earlier, India set a 182-run target for Pakistan after being asked to bat first.
Openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul started the Indian innings very strongly and took the Men in Blue past 50 runs in the fifth over.
However, Haris Rauf dismissed the explosive Sharma in the sixth over, while Shadab Khan dismissed Rahul in the seventh over.
Kohli’s partnerships with Suryakumar Yadav and Rishabh Pant, on the other hand, put India in a comfortable position by the end of the 15th over.
It was Deepak Hooda who stayed on with Virat Kohli to push India’s score past 171 before Hooda was dismissed in the 19th over by Naseem Shah.
A tight last over by Rauf put the momentum back in Pakistan’s favour till the fourth ball of the over. However, two misfields by Fakhar Zaman took India past 180 and helped the Men in Blue set a 182-run target for Pakistan.
For India, Kohli was the highest run-getter with 60 runs, and openers Sharma and Rahul were the second best with 28 runs each.
Shadab was the pick of the bowlers, taking two wickets in his four overs, while Hasnain, Naseem, Haris and Nawaz took a wicket each.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain
India: Rohit Sharma (capt), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Deepak Hooda, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal