Who won yesterday's match: IND vs PAK T20 World Cup 2022 Match 16

India v Pakistan - ICC Men
Ravichandran Ashwin (left) and Virat Kohli after India’s win over Pakistan. Pic: Getty Images

India beat Pakistan by four wickets in yesterday’s (October 23) ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 Super 12 match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

In a game that ebbed and flowed from start to finish, Pakistan recovered from 98/5 to post a competitive 159/8 after being asked to bat by the Men in Blue. Buoyed by the fightback by their batters, Pakistan reduced India to 31/4 at the start of the seventh over. However, a Virat Kohli (82* off 53 balls) masterclass lifted Team India to an unlikely victory from the depths of despair.

Chasing 160, Team India were jolted early as KL Rahul (four) dragged a delivery outside off from Naseem Shah back onto his stumps. The pace of Haris Rauf then undid Indian captain Rohit Sharma (four) and Suryakumar Yadav (15). While Rohit nicked one to slip, Suryakumar was caught behind. Things got worse for India as Axar Patel (two) was run-out following a horrible mix-up with Kohli.

Kohli finally found a partner in Hardik Pandya (40 off 37). The duo added 113 for the fifth wicket. They were, however, forced to take their time early on due to a flurry of wickets. As a result, India fell way behind the asking rate. Kohli, however, took on Shaheen Afridi, Rauf and Mohammad Nawaz in the last three overs of the match and came out on top.

He struck three fours off Afridi in the 18th over, two sixes off Rauf in the penultimate over and a crucial six off Nawaz in the last over. The winning run came off Ravichandran Ashwin’s bat, who lofted Nawaz over the infield with one needed off the last ball.

Earlier, Arshdeep Singh (3/32) and Pandya (3/30) came up with excellent bowling performances to put Pakistan on the backfoot. The left-arm seamer trapped Pakistan skipper Babar Azam (0) lbw with his first ball and bounced out Mohammad Rizwan (four). Pandya hit the hard lengths and was rewarded with the scalps of Shadab Khan (five), Haider Ali (two) and Nawaz (nine).

Contrasting half-centuries from Iftikhar Ahmed (51 off 34) and Shan Masood (52* off 42) aided by a cameo from Shaheen Afridi (16 off eight) enabled Pakistan to set India a challenging 160. It seemed enough for the most part, until Kohli stole Pakistan’s thunder.

A match marred by umpiring controversies

While the on-field action produced a thrilling battle, the game was marred by a number of debatable umpiring decisions. Opinions were divided on Axar’s run-out as Pakistan keeper Rizwan hadn’t gathered the ball cleanly.

The last over produced two moments that became major talking points of the match. After Kohli hit a high full-toss from Nawaz for six, he turned towards the umpires and suggested the ball was too high.

The delivery was called a no-ball. Surprisingly, the on-field umpires did not cross-check the decision with the third umpire. Replays indicated it was a very tight call.

Umpire bhaiyo, food for thought aaj raat k liye 😉

Next, Kohli was bowled off the free-hit delivery. However, the ball deflected away from the Pakistan fielders after striking the stumps and the Indian batters crossed over for three. The fielding side urged the umpires that the ball should be declared “dead”. Instead, the chasing team were granted three byes.

While India won the cliffhanger off the last ball, the general sentiment among Pakistan fans on social media was that their team had been “robbed” of a victory.

Who won Man of the Match in IND vs PAK T20 World Cup 2022 match?

There were numerous impressive performances in the game. Arshdeep started off with a brilliant spell that saw him take out Pakistan’s two most prolific batters cheaply. After a fightback from the batting side, Pandya put India ahead again with three big strikes. He also contributed a vital 40 with the willow.

As he has often done in T20Is, Kohli guided the chase. To be fair, despite his presence, getting 60 off the last five overs seemed over-optimistic. But Kohli had belief and he pulled it off in the end. It was a knock Rohit termed as Kohli’s best. That’s a massive compliment.

For Pakistan, Masood and Iftikhar fifties stood out amid a sea of low scores. Rauf gave the team genuine hope of a victory, dismissing Rohit and Suryakumar.

Kohli was the easy choice for Player of the Match for his game-defining knock and one that Indian fans will find difficult to forget very soon.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert
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