For nearly two-third of the game, Pakistan had a foot and half as the winner of this epic rivalry but it was the last one-third that really mattered. Pakistan were in a tricky position, at 15/2, but from thereon, it was a good partnership between Shan Masood and Iftikhar Ahmed, 76 runs really helped the Men in Green to a good position.
Masood remained not-out, on 52, and with some heavy lifting from Shaheen Shah Afridi at the other end, Pakistan got to 159, a score that seemed tricky. It turned out to be tricky before Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya established their dominance, with a 113-run partnership that tilted the game in India’s favour.
Losing skipper Babar Azam joined the others, stating that it was that vital partnership between the two that shifted the momentum in India’s favour.
"A tight game. We started well in our bowling, and then all credit to Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli. They shifted the momentum and finished the game well. It's not easy with the new ball, with a little bit of swing and seam,” Babar said.
However, having said that, Babar reckoned that there were plenty of positives for Pakistan from the loss, including the knock from Iftikhar, who cleared the boundary rope four times in stunning fashion. Pakistan, who began last year's T20 World Cup with a win over India, have now started in the reverse fashion, with a loss. With clashes against South Africa yet to come, things might get tricky for the Men in Green.
“We had a chance, and we just asked the boys to believe in themselves, but again credit to Virat Kohli. We needed a wicket, that's why we utilised our main bowlers [and kept Nawaz for the end]. A lot of positives. The way Iftikhar played, the way Shan played and finished the innings was good for us."