ICC World T20: Virat Kohli guides India to comfortable win against Pakistan at Eden Gardens

virat kohli odiKOLKATA: The Rain Gods reduced the much anticipated match between India and Pakistan at Eden Gardens, Kolkata to an 18-over contest. India won the toss and MS Dhoni put Pakistan to bat in this 45 minute delayed match. The pitch was slow and the conditions on field were slightly damp. A low scoring game was anticipated, but a contest as Eden Gardens is never short of drama.

The Pakistan team were high on confidence after a convincing win over Bangaldesh in their previous game. On the other hand, India were fighting to keep their place in the competition after their defeat to New Zealand.

The Pakistan batting never really took off. It took them nearly 10 overs to get 50 runs on the board. The opening partnership managed only 38 runs from 7.4 overs, putting Pakistan on the back foot from the very start. The highest partnership came in the middle of the innings between Umar Akmal and Shoaib Mailk and it was worth 41 runs. The track was slow and the scoring fours and sixes were not easy. Pakistan managed to scrape to 118-5 from 18 overs and it looked like India was up for a tough batting session.

The Pakistan innings included only two sixes and they both came from the same Hardik Pandya over, one from Shoaib Mailk (13.4 overs) and the other from U Akmal (14 overs).

The spinners did relatively better as compared to the pace bowlers for India. It was a surprise to watch Dhoni give Ashwin just 3 overs instead of 4 and while Yuvraj did not get to bowl at all. Ashwin was the most economical Indian bowler at 4.00, while Pandya was expensive at a rate of 12.50

The Indian innings started off with a few shocks, losing three wickets within the first 5 overs with the scorecard just reading 23 runs. Credit goes to the Pakistan team for putting India under pressure early in the innings. To many Indian fans it seemed like they were in for a repeat of what happened in Nagpur against New Zealand. However, Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh stepped up to the occasion. They had a 61-run partnership, which included two sixes and four fours.

The wicket of Yuvraj made way for Dhoni to join the party and help Virat guide India to victory. Virat and Dhoni managed a 35-run partnership from just 21 balls. Dhoni scored the winning run guiding India to victory with 13 balls to spare and six wickets in hand.

Mohammad Amir was the most economical bowler of the day at 3.67. The other Pakistan bowlers were simply disappointing and very expensive.

Virat was the stand out player of the match. He scored 55 runs from 37 balls, which included seven fours and one six, earning him the man of the match. Importantly for India, he kept his cool and managed to gain confidence through this game which will be a boost for the rest of the tournament.

India kept hold of their unbeaten run against Pakistan in the World cup and this victory makes it 11 out of 11. More importantly it throws the competition wide open and it looks like the group of death is going right down to the wire.