Mohammad Rizwan has smashed his second successive half-century and Mohammad Nawaz made an impactful 42 to set up Pakistan’s five-wicket victory over arch-rivals India with one ball left in their Asia Cup Super 4 match.
Rizwan scored 71 off 51 deliveries while Nawaz hit six fours and two sixes in his 20-ball innings on Sunday, as they dominated the middle overs and helped Pakistan reach 5-182 in reply to India’s 7-181.
Iftikhar Ahmed finished off the game with two off the penultimate delivery to make it Pakistan’s highest successful run-chase against India in a T20.
“We needed 10 runs per over when I walked in to bat so I knew I had to attack on every chance I got,” Nawaz said.
“I didn’t try and overplay, which you sometimes can when you’re under pressure.”
Earlier, Virat Kohli’s brilliant 60 off 44 followed a 54-run opening stand between Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, who both made quickfire 28s for India after being put in.
But Pakistan didn’t allow India’s power-hitters to score freely in the second half of the innings, thanks to Shadab Khan (2-31) and the left-arm spin of Nawaz, who grabbed 1-25 off his tidy four overs.
Rizwan and Nawaz switched gears once captain Babar Azam again fell within the batting powerplay for 14 and Fakhar Zaman holed out in the deep for 15 after labouring for 18 deliveries.
The right-and-left combination of Rizwan and Nawaz combined well to smash 73 off 41 balls before India removed both batters in the death overs.
In the 18th over, Arshdeep Singh dropped a sitter at point to give Asif Ali a reprieve against the bowling of legspinner Ravi Bishnoi.
Asif, who had not scored any runs at that stage, went on to hit an eight-ball 16 before Arshdeep claimed his wicket in the last over – but it proved too late.
“I thought it was a good score, but if you don’t pick wickets in the middle, it’s going to be tough,” Rohit said.
“Games like this can bring the best out of players … there’s potential in the players and they’ve done it in the past, but there’s class in the opposition team as well.”
It was India’s first loss in the tournament as Pakistan avenged a five-wicket defeat against their neighbours in the opening match last Sunday.