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A TALE OF 10 WICKETS | Pakistan vs India

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India vs Pakistan : Amongst everything that casts an exciting effect on cricket-loving nations, nothing has ever come close to a Pakistan vs. India match in over decades of this play. The turmoil, the anticipation, the perturbation, the hysteria, and the horror topped with highly-strung nerves have long existed in this scenario. Pessimism and optimism subsisted in each other’s shadow like a child full of unpromising desires.

Perhaps the best part about faith is seeing the light despite all the neighboring darkness. In spite of getting a ruthless stab at hopes every time this generation wished for a win at a World Cup game against India, they experienced a baffling ray of optimism just this time. So new and raw to rely upon. Beyond belief and far-fetched. I assume that’s exactly what a sore past does to your righteous brain. It makes you believe in the law of averages.

Out of all 12 encounters of Pakistan and India at the World Cup from 1992 to 2019, Pakistan managed to maintain its losing streak. As a Pakistan cricket fan, a Pakistan vs. India cricket conflict would always bring back excruciating years of agony and pain. 24th October 2021 was no different. Another chance of rising? Or a bitter loss to complete its 3 resentful decades? Most of us prepared for the latter.I believe tosses do win you matches. Pakistan opting to field after winning the toss sounded about right as the first step towards an incoming victory. The body language and attitude of the men in green as compared to that from ICC World Cup 2019 was a fine display of confidence in alliance.

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Are you a T20 opener facing Shaheen Shah Afridi? Be afraid. Be very afraid.’

As a die-hard cricket fan, there are infinite sentiments attached to that number ‘10’ on a Pakistan jersey. If I say that to watch Shaheen Shah Afridi carrying the legacy of Shahid Afridi made us ecstatically emotional, I won’t be lying.

As the opening pair of Rohit and KL Rahul came in to bat on a fine evening in Dubai on Sunday, Shaheen Afridi took charge of Pakistan’s bowling side as an opening bowler. The seamer, with a prior record of striking in first over almost once in every 3 matches, was ready to make his T20 World Cup debut. Just the fourth delivery of the first innings and he succeeded in removing Rohit Sharma without letting him score a single run. 8 deliveries later, KL Rahul’s wicket too fell prey to Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Pakistan got rid of the opening pair of danger-men. Hopes gaining entrance felt alien and foreign to Pakistanis.

Dreams do come true. Just in the 19th over, this young lad took his dream wicket of Virat Kohli at the death by sending the skipper back to the dugout after his half-century.

However the total felt below-par, Pakistan’s defeat felt coming in and for all the right psychological reasons. Haven’t we witnessed impactful Indian teams over the past 29 years? 2007 World Cup Final and the 2011 Mohali Semi final? The fear wasn’t leaving anytime soon, that was for sure.

After restricting India to 151 runs including an uncalled overthrow that cost Pakistan 5 extra runs, Pakistan’s two-man army was sent in to defend the total. If you look at the recent Pakistan cricket, Babar and Rizwan go hand in hand like a power couple. The difference is that this power couple carries the hopes of 220 million people. The captain and his run partner, Mohammad Rizwan scored 68* (52) and 79* (55) respectively.

Not only did these two single-handedly chase the target, but also won by 13 balls to spare. Pakistan won by 10 wickets. Did I hear that right? Repeat that, sir. Pakistan did win by 10 wickets and broke the record by winning a World Cup game against India in an ICC World Cup tournament after almost 3 decades. An unbeaten partnership between these two stands the highest amongst opening partnerships in the Men’s T20 World Cup to date. I believe some wounds never heal but in situations like these, it almost feels as if no wound ever existed in the first place.

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Past is history. Our efforts will be to register a victory.” Babar Azam – The man of words.

One almost always feels skeptical for the Pakistan Cricket captain, Babar Azam on his consistency to score lofty runs. A journey from a ball-picker to leading the national cricket team of Pakistan in all formats speaks volumes about his epitome of greatness. The Lahore-born batsman is also ranked as second-best by ICC Men’s T20I batting ranking with a strike rate of 130. Skipper’s name will go down in history books on becoming the first Pakistani captain to beat India in a World Cup game. Surreal!

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Babar’s opening partner Rizwan caught the limelight after years of suppression in international and likewise in domestic. His spiritual and professional journey go side by side as he proves to be the very embodiment of ‘indeed, God is the best of planners.’ Rizwan surprisingly rose to the fourth position in ICC Men’s T20I batting ranking within 2 years of nothing but consistency.

GAME BEFORE THE GAME:

For as long as my mind is capable of taking me back, Pakistan has been through the worst game scenarios. Petrifying episode of 2010 terrorist attack deprived Pakistan of international cricket at home for a decade. Undergoing last-minute squad changes, facing immeasurable media backlash and encountering huge rotations in the cricket board positions right before the World Cup campaign, Pakistan Cricket stood firm.

VICTORY AFTER PAIN:

Sometimes, betrayal does not make you weak. It makes you stronger. Pakistan cricket entered the World Cup campaign after the recent grievous observance of treachery at home by the top two teams, New Zealand and England. It almost felt like we’ve inadequately been dragged to square one of the horrifying past. Right when both the teams haphazardly backed off at the last moment, Pakistan entered the domestic season and came out invincible.

There’s always a predetermined price to pay. Sometimes in the form of unannounced victory.Pakistan adequately won against India like it was the most approachable dish at a table. The intact game of cricket at the Dubai Cricket Stadium will be remembered by generations to come as one of the finest knocks in history.

Also Read : https://cricketholicpk.com/pakistan-goes-full-strength-as-bangladesh-series-kicks-off-tomorrow/

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