India Beats Pakistan in Final Ball Thriller, as Virat Kohli Plays One of Career-Best Innings

Virat Kohli, who is often known as the master of the chase

Illustration by Sarvesh Kuppani

Virat Kohli, who is often known as the master of the chase

Sarvesh Kuppani

India and Pakistan faced each other in this year’s T20 Cricket World Cup in Australia on Oct. 23, as Virat Kohli, the Man of the Match, took India to victory in a last-ball thriller by chasing a total of 160. India and Pakistan have already faced each other twice earlier this year in the Asia Cup, in which India claimed victory in the first battle while Pakistan won the second. However, the third clash between India and Pakistan this year has probably been one of the finest battles between the two teams, as the game’s result was narrower than ever. 

The Game began at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. India won the toss and chose to bowl against Pakistan in the first innings and bat later in the second innings. As expected by many experts, Babar Azam and Mohammed Rizwan were the first ones from Pakistan’s batting lineup to face the Indian bowling. According to many experts, Azam and Rizwan were at the highest peaks of their careers during the last couple of months. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the first to deliver with the ball, and he bowled a maiden over. The ball was then handed to Arshdeep Singh, who immediately got rid of Azam, Pakistan’s best batter according to International rankings. Within a matter of minutes, Rizwan also perished against Arshdeep Singh. 

After the dismissal of Azam and Rizwan, Shan Masood and Iftikhar Ahmed had the task of doing the repair work for the Pakistan innings. They did get Pakistan back on track, but Ahmed perished when they needed to keep the runs flowing. After losing Ahmed, Pakistan lost 3 more batsmen and had a panic attack. Masood was still there, but he needed someone to support him on the other side. Despite getting support from Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf, Masood and Pakistan ended their innings with a total of 160 runs, according to commentators, being 10 – 15 runs short of what you would have wanted in the MCG. On the other hand, India was very happy after restricting Pakistan to a low total. 

Shortly after, the Indian batsman Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul came down to face the world’s best bowling attack of Pakistan, according to many experts. Within the span of fifteen minutes, both batsmen lost their wickets, creating huge problems for India. The Indian side needed at least two batsmen to stay until the end. They lost two more wickets and were at a huge disadvantage.  

Hardik Pandya worked along with Virat Kohli to do some much-needed recovery for the team. Kohli was the ultimate star of the repair work, as his shot timings were brilliant. Pandya also accelerated and was very watchful while playing. Thanks to this partnership, India was back in the game, making Pakistan nervous. Kohli smacked two ultimate sixes, leading to a situation of 16 runs needed off the last over.

India almost won comfortably; however, the last over didn’t go as anticipated, as Pandya got out to Mohammad Nawaz on the first ball of the last over. The pressure crept up on India once more. With 16 runs needed, Virat punched a six on the fourth ball of the over. With so much pressure getting to Pakistan, they started providing unnecessary runs for the opposition through extras. 

Eventually, on the last ball, Ravichandran Ashwin smacked the ball to seal victory for India. In the end, Kohli was awarded the Man of the Match Award for finishing the game and staying until the end. Virat Kohli is now remembered for his wonderful innings against Pakistan and ended up as this year’s World Cup’s highest scorer.