Skipper Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan starred for Pakistan as they pummeled India by 10 wickets in their Super 12 opener of the T20 World Cup 2021 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
This was Pakistan’s first-ever win over their arch-rivals in any format of the World Cup.
Opting to field first, player of the match Shaheen Afridi struck twice within the first two overs to get rid of openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, before Suryakumar Yadav managed just 11 runs in eight balls.
Skipper Virat Kohli (57) and Rishabh Pant (39) continued India’s resistance with a 53-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Kohli later formed another crucial 41-run stand with Ravindra Jadeja, that eventually led Team India to 151/7.
In reply, it was a walk in the park for Pakistan’s destructive opening pair of Mohammad Rizwan (79*) and Babar Azam (68*) as they chased down the total with 10 wickets and 13 balls to spare.
Twitterati went abuzz following Pakistan’s dominant display, with one of them even noting them as serious title contenders. Here’s how they reacted.
A thorough victory for Pakistan
— Sudipto Ganguly (@Sudipto_Reuters) October 24, 2021
Clinical Pakistan seals the deal!
Congrats on a fantastic victory #Pakistan. This was a clinical effort from ball one. The initial spell from Afridi to dismiss Rohit and Rahul made all the difference. Deserving winners #DoddaMathu #INDvPAK #T20WorldCup — ದೊಡ್ಡ ಗಣೇಶ್ | Dodda Ganesh (@doddaganesha) October 24, 2021
Tough road ahead for Team India now
Congrats Pakistan! After a turbulent few months and less than ideal preparation – an incredible performance to announce themselves in this tournament. India will be back but a big reality check for sure. #INDvPAK #T20WorldCup
— Isa Guha (@isaguha) October 24, 2021
Another Team India comeback looming?
Don’t be harsh in your criticism of Indian players please. It was a great record to have but someday this had to happen. Well played Pakistan but India will come back. #INDvPAK — R P Singh रुद्र प्रताप सिंह (@rpsingh) October 24, 2021
‘Rawalpindi Express’ is ecstatic!
What a win. Flawless. Kya baat hai. pic.twitter.com/zLPvCvkFn3
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) October 24, 2021
Babar and Rizwan had a walk in the park!
India’s batting was mediocre, but the bowing wasn’t any better. None from the attack looked like taking a wicket, not pace bowler or spinner. Babar and Rizwan didn’t have too much problem reading Chakravarthy which will embolden other teams too — Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) October 24, 2021
Can Pakistan go all the way?
Well played, #Pak Played all-round better cricket and that wasn’t just a win, it was a loud message to all the teams in the #T20WorldCup that they are a serious contenders for the trophy 🏆 in these conditions.
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) October 24, 2021
Former Pakistan captain and the country’s current Prime Minister Imran Khan lauded the team, with special mention to skipper Babar Azam. “Congratulations to the Pakistan Team & esp to Babar Azam who led from the front, as well as to the brilliant performances of Rizwan & Shaheen Afridi. The nation is proud of you all,” he wrote on Twitter.
Congratulations to the Pakistan Team & esp to Babar Azam who led from the front, as well as to the brilliant performances of Rizwan & Shaheen Afridi. The nation is proud of you all. pic.twitter.com/ygoOVTu37l
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 24, 2021
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ramiz Raja tweeted, ” Alhamdolilla…It’s the first one, the most magnificent one but remember journey has just begun.. such a proud moment for all Pakistanis and thank you boys for providing us this moment to cherish.#PakistanZindabad”
Alhamdolilla…It’s the first one, the most magnificent one but remember journey has just begun.. such a proud moment for all Pakistanis and thank you boys for providing us this moment to cherish.#PakistanZindabad
— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) October 24, 2021