Bumrah shines as India pip Pakistan in low-scoring T20 WC thriller

The latest chapter of the "greatest rivalry" wasn't high on quality but still provided edge of the seat action as a gritty India, guided by the redoubtable Jasprit Bumrah, went past an imploding Pakistan by six runs in a low-scoring T20 World Cup contest here
T20 World Cup 2024 - India vs Pakistan
T20 World Cup 2024 - India vs Pakistan

New York | The latest chapter of the "greatest rivalry" wasn't high on quality but still provided edge of the seat action as a gritty India, guided by the redoubtable Jasprit Bumrah, went past an imploding Pakistan by six runs in a low-scoring T20 World Cup contest here on Sunday.

The Rohit Sharma-led side suffered a mid-innings collapse on a two-paced track to be all out for an underwhelming 119 in 19 overs despite a gutsy effort from Rishabh Pant (42 off 31 balls) after being put in to bat under overcast conditions.

Pakistan, who can oscillate between the sublime and ridiculous, seemed to have the game in the bag needing 48 runs off as many balls with eight wickets in hand.

However, the pace combination of the ever-effective Bumrah (3/14) and Hardik Pandya (2/24) brought India back from the dead with incisive spells that saw Pakistan lose wickets in a heap to end at 113 for seven in 20 overs.

The equation came down to 18 off the last six balls and Arshdeep Singh held his nerve to defend it and ensure another famous win for India over Pakistan on the world stage.

While Hardik used the short ball well, Bumrah got rid of a well-set Rizwan in the 15th over before dismissing Iftikhar Ahmed in the 19th over that went for just three runs.

Having said that, India made plenty of errors in the game including the dropped catches of Rizwan (31 off 34) and Babar Azam (13 off 10) early in the Pakistan chase.

It was India's second win in as many games while Pakistan succumbed to another loss after a shock defeat against the USA in their opener.

Earlier, India's new number three Pant rode his luck en route a chancy knock but other batters in the star-studded line-up could not apply themselves on a challenging surface.

Pakistan dismissed India with an over to spare courtesy an all-round bowling effort with Naseem Shah (3/21) and Mohammed Amir (2/23) being the most impressive.

India lost seven wickets for just 28 runs after being 89 for three in the 12th over.

Intermittent rain delayed the toss and subsequently the start of the game by 50 minutes. Under overcast skies, Babar expectedly put the opposition India in to bat.

After the opening over from Shaheen Afrdi, in which Rohit played a sublime pick up shot for six over deep square leg, rain returned to halt the game gain by roughly 30 minutes.

Virat Kohli (4 off 3), who has an exemplary record against Pakistan, hit a glorious cover drive off Naseem Shah on the first ball of his innings post the resumption before getting caught at point off a wide and short ball two balls later.

Pakistan had India under the pump when Rohit (13 off 12) departed in the following over by Afridi. The India captain went for another pick up shot but this time mistimed it to be holed out at deep square leg.

The drop-in pitch, which made headlines for the wrong reasons prior to the game, had enough for pacers as well as the spinners but there was not as much uneven bounce as seen in the previous games.

With India feeling the heat at 19 for two, they decided to promote Axar Patel (20 off 18) to number four to shield Suryakumar Yadav, a surprising move considering India bat deep.

However, to Axar's credit, the southpaw did play some bold strokes, including a six over third man off Afridi, in his brief stay.

New number three Pant and Axar shared a 39-run stand off 30 balls to ensure the runs kept coming after the loss of openers.

Pant, who got two streaky fours off Mohammad Amir at the start of his innings, rode his luck to a play pivotal knock.

The gutsy left-hander was also dropped on eight before he gained in confidence to come up with a series of fearless fours. Three of them came in the opening over from Haris Rauf before he unleashed the reverse slap off spinner Imad Wasim.

A 31-run stand with Suryakumar Yadav (7 off 8) took India to a promising 81 for three in the 10 overs.

However, Pakistan fought back between overs 11-15 with as many as four wickets while conceding only 15 runs to leave India struggling at 96 for seven.

Dube's was a rather soft dismissal as he hit one straight back to Shah while Suryakumar tried to dispatch Rauf through the line but was caught at mid-off.

Seeing the wickets fall at the other end, Pant did not hold back and went for a straight aerial drive to give Amir his first wicket.

He got rid of Ravindra Jadeja the next ball through a regulation catch at cover.

Hardik (7 off 12) had to bat around the tail but he did not last long.

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