T20 World Cup 2024: Naseem Shah ‘in tears’ as India beats Pakistan, Rohit Sharma shows ‘great gesture’ | Watch

Pakistan nearly broke their streak of World Cup losses against India but ultimately succumbed to the expected outcome. The Rohit Sharma-led Indian team secured the top spot in Group A by successfully defending a modest total of 119, clinching a tense six-run victory in a thrilling low-scoring encounter at New York’s Nassau County Stadium, packed with 34,000 spectators on Sunday.

Naseem Shah faced an almost insurmountable challenge, needing 16 runs off the final three balls. He couldn’t pull it off despite putting all his strength into his swings. A boundary and a four off the penultimate delivery brought the equation down to eight runs needed from one ball, favouring India.

When Arshdeep Singh delivered a perfect yorker, sealing Team India’s victory, Naseem was emotionally overwhelmed. Two years ago, he had heroically hit consecutive sixes against Afghanistan but couldn’t replicate that feat this time. Tears of disappointment streamed down his face as he grappled with the loss.

Despite Shaheen Afridi’s comforting embrace and Indian captain Rohit Sharma’s supportive pat on the back, Naseem couldn’t hide his emotions. 

At the midway point, it seemed like Pakistan was on course for a victory as India faltered in their innings, getting bowled out for 119. India was at 89/3 halfway through their innings, with Rishabh Pant (42 off 31 balls) appearing to be in control.

However, Pakistan’s bowlers’ remarkable turnaround sparked a collapse, and India lost seven wickets for just 30 runs. Naseem and Haris Rauf claimed three wickets each, supported by Mohammad Amir’s 2/23. 

Despite a shaky second innings, India successfully defended the lowest target in the history of T20 World Cups, thanks to brilliant bowling by Jasprit Bumrah. Pakistan, chasing 120, struggled against India’s tight bowling.

Earlier, Pakistan had won the toss and elected to bowl first on a two-paced pitch. Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf each picked up three wickets, while Rishabh Pant, with six boundaries, was India’s biggest contributor with a quick knock of 42.

The result keeps India on top of Group A with two wins from their opening two matches, while Pakistan have zero points from two defeats following their upset by the hosts, the United States, in their first game.

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Published: 10 Jun 2024, 08:44 AM IST

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