During a time when positive news seemed a rarity, the Pakistan Cricket team has filled that void with some tremendous performance by defeating India in Super Four thriller during the ongoing Asia Cup in Dubai. But it did not come without the usual surprises Pakistani team is so good at. There were highs and lows, but they fought their way through. Besides a tremendous victory, the match marks the breaking of a jinx that Pakistan always loses to the arch-rival during the key sports events. Chasing 182 for victory, Pakistan achieved their target with one ball to spare in Dubai thanks to a key 73-run stand between Rizwan and Mohammad Nawaz (42). The strategy of sending batters with left and right hand combination worked well for Pakistan that chased the target thanks to a fielding blunder by India when Arshdeep dropped an easy catch at short third man of Asif, who hit a six and two fours before falling with two balls left, leaving Iftikhar Ahmed to knock off the remaining two runs.
Indeed it was a nail-biting victory scripted by a team effort despite the absence of key fast bowlers including Shaheen Shah Afridi and young Shah Nawaz Dhani. After the loss in the first T20 against India a few days ago due to Pakistan’s inability to post a good score, green shirts made an incredible comeback thanks to the fabulous batting performances by Rizwan and Muhammad Nawaz. It was a thrilling match for a charged audience in Dubai, where both Indian and Pakistan fans came in large numbers to enjoy the game.
Although the performance by the Pakistani cricket was outstanding yet the Indian team also deserved applause for posting such a huge total. Despite the heroics of Virat Kohli, who made 60 on 44 balls, the Indian side failed to restrict Pakistan’s onslaught. The dropping of the catch of Muhammad Asif was the moment, which gave Pakistan the much needed relief. Later, Asif took advantage of the mistake and paved the way towards victory by hitting a six and two fours. There has been a lot of criticism of the playing tactics of Pakistan being too defensive. However, the latest inning of Pakistan has negated that perception and showed the unpredictability of the Pakistani team. Hopefully Pakistan will keep the spirit alive against other opponents during the rest of the event.