India skipper Virat Kohli once again showed what it takes to be a big match player as he hit a quality 57 to take India to a respectable 150/7 in their 20 overs against Pakistan in their opening game of the ICC T20 World Cup at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
Put into bat, India got off to the worst start possible as it was once again a left-arm pacer who came in to haunt the Indian top order after Mohammad Amir had rocked the lineup in the 2017 Champions Trophy final. Shaheen Shah Afridi got the better of Rohit Sharma (0) and KL Rahul (3) and the Men in Blue were reduced to 6/2 in the third over. Suryakumar Yadav then joined skipper Virat Kohli in the middle and the hopes were high from them.
Both batters put on a brief 25-run stand for the third wicket, but as soon as the innings started streamlining for India, Hasan Ali dismissed Suryakumar (11), leaving the Men in Blue at 31/3. Rishabh Pant then came together with Virat and at the halfway mark, India's score read 60/3.
Pant changed the tempo of India's innings with two sixes in the 12th over bowled by Hasan Ali and the Men in Blue started to gain some momentum. However, Pant went for a shot too many and he perished off the bowling of Shadab Khan after playing a knock of 39, reducing India to 84/4 in the 13th over.
Kohli brought up his 29th half-century in the 18th over of the innings and he changed his batting gears upon reaching the landmark. Jadeja departed after scoring 13, and Shaheen once again changed the game as he took the key wicket of skipper Kohli (57). In the end, India registered a score of more than the 145-run mark.
Brief Scores: India 150/7 (Virat Kohli 57, Rishabh Pant 39; Shaheen Shah Afridi 3-31) vs Pakistan. (ANI)