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Team India Succeeds in Defending Lowest Total in T20 World Cup

In an intense, nail-biting match, Team India made history by defending the lowest total ever in ICC T20 World Cup history. Their thrilling six-run victory over Pakistan highlighted their strategic brilliance and ability to perform under immense pressure.

India successfully defended a modest target of 120 runs, restricting Pakistan to 113/7 in their 20 overs. This feat ties them with Sri Lanka, who defended 120 runs against New Zealand by bowling them out for 60 runs in the 2014 T20 World Cup. Additionally, India set a new benchmark for themselves, surpassing their previous record of defending the lowest total in T20Is, which was 139 runs against Zimbabwe in 2016.

The match began with Pakistan winning the toss and opting to field. India’s innings struggled on a challenging pitch, with star openers Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma falling cheaply, scoring 4 and 13 runs respectively. Despite the early setbacks, Rishabh Pant stood out with a counter-attacking knock of 42 off 31 balls, which included six boundaries. Pant’s partnerships with Axar Patel (20 off 18) and Suryakumar Yadav (7 off 8) provided some stability, but the lower middle order faltered under pressure, leading to India posting a total of 119 in 19 overs.

Pakistan’s bowlers, particularly Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah, were instrumental in containing India’s batting lineup, both claiming three wickets each and conceding only 21 runs apiece. Mohammad Amir and Shaheen Shah Afridi also contributed with crucial wickets, ensuring India couldn’t build a significant total.

In response, Pakistan adopted a cautious approach. Mohammad Rizwan held one end steady with a composed 31 off 44 balls. However, India’s bowlers, led by Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya, kept the pressure on with timely breakthroughs. Bumrah’s exceptional spell of 3/14 and Pandya’s 2/24 dismantled Pakistan’s top and middle order, including crucial wickets of skipper Babar Azam (13) and Fakhar Zaman (13).

With 18 runs needed off the final over, the match was on a knife-edge. Arshdeep Singh, tasked with defending the target, held his nerve, conceding only 11 runs and taking the wicket of Imad Wasim. Naseem Shah’s valiant effort remained unbeaten at 10, but Pakistan ultimately fell short by six runs.

Jasprit Bumrah was deservedly named the ‘Player of the Match’ for his outstanding bowling performance. His ability to deliver under pressure and his precise execution were pivotal in India’s historic win.

With this victory, India sits atop Group A with two wins from two matches, accumulating four points. Their dominant performance not only boosts their confidence but also strengthens their position as strong contenders for the knockout stages. On the other hand, Pakistan finds themselves in a precarious position, placed fourth in the group with two losses. Their chances of advancing appear slim, and they will need to regroup and strategize effectively for their remaining matches.

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