Pakistan's long wait for a Men's World Cup win over India came to an end in Dubai as Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan put on a record-breaking stand and Shaheen Afridi took centre stage. We look at the most surprising stats to come from the match.
The first win in World Cups
Pakistan finally broke the shackles and defeated India for the first time in 13 attempts across ICC Men’s Cricket and T20 World Cups. The World Cup rivalry between the arch-rivals started in Sydney in 1992 and in the 29 years since India had won every contest (seven in 50 overs World Cups and five in T20 World Cups) until their 10-wicket defeat at the hands of a Pakistan team led by Babar Azam at Dubai International Stadium.
Babar had a 152-run partnership with Mohammad Rizwan to win the match without losing any wicket. It was Pakistan’s first-ever 10 wicket victory and India’s first 10-wicket defeat in men’s T20 Internationals.
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Babar and Rizwan together are creating history with every new partnership. Their unbeaten 152-run stand against India made them the first pair to stitch three 150-plus stands in the history of men’s T20 Internationals. It is even more incredible that all three of them have come during their last 10 partnerships. The pair scored 150 runs against England in Nottingham and 197 against South Africa in Centurion earlier this year. The only other duo with two 150-plus stands in men’s T20Is is India’s Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma.
One-hundred-and-fifty-two is also the highest opening stand in ICC Men’s T20 World Cups, breaking the 145-run record set by Chris Gayle and Devon Smith for West Indies against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2007 (the first ever match in the T20 World Cup).
Babar and Rizwan were also involved in a 126-run partnership for the second wicket against Zimbabwe in Harare this year. They are only the third pair - Dhawan-Sharma and Martin Guptill-Kane Williamson being the other two - in men’s T20Is with four 100 runs partnerships.
There are 72 batters with 1000 runs in Men’s T20Is. Only two of them have an average in excess of 50. Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan (52.00) and India’s Virat Kohli (52.72). Rizwan became a regular name in Pakistan’s playing XI only a year ago when he opened the batting in the absence of Babar Azam (who was nursing an injury) and scored 89 against New Zealand in Napier. Since then, he has scored 920 runs at an average of 102.22, a strike-rate of 141.32 and hit a century and nine half-centuries in 16 innings.
The 29-year-old keeper-batter also scored 500 runs and captained Multan Sultans to their first title in Pakistan Super League this year and is the captain of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, who have won the last two National T20 tournaments in Pakistan.
Babar unbeaten in UAE
The win against India was Babar Azam’s 12th consecutive victory as a player in T20Is in the UAE, a country where Pakistan hosted most of their international cricket between 2010 and 2018. Babar’s winning streak stretches back to the series against West Indies in 2016 which his side won 3-0. He was also part of the Pakistan team that won two T20Is against Sri Lanka in 2017 and clean-swept Australia and New Zealand (both 3-0) in 2018.
Across twelve T20 innings in UAE, Babar has scored 460 runs at an average of 57.50 and a strike-rate of 118.55.
The Shaheen supremacy
Shaheen Afridi, who was one of the eight Pakistan players making their T20 World Cup debuts, struck two powerful blows at the start of the innings when he removed Rohit Sharma in his first over and KL Rahul in the second. He also accounted for the all-important wicket of India’s captain Virat Kohli and was named player-of-the-match for taking 3 wickets.
Shaheen has 93 wickets across all T20s since the start of 2020, the most by any fast bowler in the world. Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan (113) is the only bowler with more wickets during this period.
It has been a good T20 World Cup for youngsters so far. Shaheen is the second 21 year-old-bowler, after Sri Lanka’s Maheesh Theekshana, to bag a player-of-the-match award.
Kohli’s first dismissal vs Pakistan
The result didn’t go in his favour but India captain Virat Kohli (57 off 49 balls) consolidated his magnificent run against Pakistan in ICC T20 World Cups. It was first time in four innings in the tournament that he was dismissed by Pakistan. He was unbeaten in his previous three innings – 55 not out in Kolkata in 2016, 36 not out in Dhaka in 2014 and 78 not out in Colombo in 2012. That’s an average of 226.00 against Pakistan in T20 World Cups.
Kohli, who was also making his captaincy debut in the T20 World Cup, was dismissed by Shaheen Afridi. Since the Mohali semi-final in 2011, all of his 12 dismissals against Pakistan bowlers in international cricket have come against fast bowlers. No spinner has been able to dismiss him in 18 matches in over 10 years.
Longest serving veterans
Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik are the two survivors from Pakistan’s first ever T20 International – against England in Bristol in 2006. While Hafeez has been a regular in Pakistan’s T20 team lately, Malik made a comeback against India after a year. They are two of the only four players in the world who have a playing career span of more than 15 years in T20Is. West Indies’ duo Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo (15 years and 249 days) have the longest T20I span, with Hafeez and Malik (15 years and 57 days) just behind them.