Virat Kohli has ascended to the level of a “Legend of the Game” with his consistency over the years. But he has been facing heavy criticism for lack of runs and bad form. Virat Kohli took it upon on him to take India home against Pakistan in chasing 160 runs from 20 overs when the team needed him to deliver. Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav failed but Virat Kohli delivered a classic to make ICC T20 World Cup absolutely sensational even in 2022 edition.
India won the toss and elected to field first. Arshdeep Singh sent back Babar Azam for a golden duck after Bhuvaneshwar Kumar delivered a tight over, to begin the proceedings. Virat Kohli, uncharacteristically, missed a runout but Arshdeep again struck by sending Mohammad Rizwan back. Shan Masood (52) and Iftikhar Ahmed (51) came together to put up a partnership of 76 runs. Iftikhar Ahmed got out in the middle of the innings when Pakistan looked like powering themselves to 170-175 range score.
Shadab Khan (5), Haider Ali (2), Mohammad Nawaz (9) fell to Hardik Pandya after Mohammad Shami sent Iftikhar back. Shaheen Shah Afridi (16) joined Shan Masood to put up 31 runs in quick time to take score from 120/7 to 151/8. Haris Rauf (6) finished the innings with Shan Masood who batted through the innings to make 159/8 in 20 overs. Arshdeep Singh (3/32) and Hardik Pandya (3/30) broke the back of Pakistan batting.
KL Rahul (4), Rohit Sharma (4), Suryakumar Yadav (15), Axar Patel (2) fell with 31 runs on board in 6.1 overs. At 31/4, Hardik Pandya joined Virat Kohli and both of them put up 113 runs. Hardik Pandya went after Pakistan bowling in the first 15 balls of his innings and allowed Virat Kohli to play himself in and take the chase deep, just like he loves. Both of them brought the memories of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni classics back to memory.
Special Death/ Finishing innings Batting during Chase:
India stood with a difficult and all odds against them chance with 48 runs to score off from 18 balls. Virat Kohli took it upon himself to score those runs. He went after Shaheen Shah Afridi in the 18th over and his back to back sixes against Haris Rauf in the 19th over brought it down to 16 runs from 6 balls. Mohammad Nawaz got Hardik Pandya (40) in the first ball of 20th over.
Dinesh Karthik gave strike back to Virat Kohli and Virat managed to six out off a no-ball. Next ball, even though Virat got out to a free hit, he ran three runs. Nawaz got Dinesh Karthik (1) in the next ball and Ashwin let the next be a wide. This made sure India will not lose with 1 run to come from 1 ball. Ashwin hit the last ball mid-off and finished a famous win for India. The no-ball call though by the umpire Marais Erasmus, has become crucial for India and controversial for Pakistan. Legends of Pakistan cricket will go after ICC and umpires, for sure.
Virat Kohli classic:
Virat Kohli started off tentatively and looked like he is continuing to struggle due to his bad form. But he made sure that he stayed at the crease and maintained his cool. He ran hard between the wickets in the innings and slowly started to get into the groove to play huge shots as well. He found sixes when India needed and those 3 sixes in the last 2 overs, made this win a possibility from probability. Virat Kohli scored 82 runs from 53 balls and rated this one as his best T20 knock.
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