Virat Kohli shines as India beats Pakistan in T20 World Cup cliffhanger


Virat Kohli batted an authoritative half-century and Ravichandran Ashwin showed his cool as India secured a four-wicket last-ball win over arch-rivals Pakistan in front of a huge crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday in the T20 World Cup.

Pakistan’s spin bowling all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz had a final to forget as he gifted India two wides and a no-ball before Ashwin coolly fired the winning run over mid-off as India blasted 160 to victory.

Man of the match Kohli was superb, propelling India to the brink of victory with 82 points after edging the team out of trouble in a brilliant partnership with Hardik Pandya (40).

Pakistan were headed for what appeared to be a morale-boosting win, but Kohli went ballistic with the racquet in the final overs to bring India home in front of 90,293 screaming fans and hundreds of millions more viewers around the world.

Kohli in action against Pakistan.

“Well, it’s a surreal atmosphere. I honestly have no words. I have no idea how that happened,” Kohli said.

“Hardik kept telling me just believe we can stay to the end. I’m lost for words.”

Kohli hit consecutive sixes against Haris Rauf in the penultimate game to give India a six-ball victory in 15 runs.

With Kohli out of action, Nawaz had narrowly caught Pandya with a missed shot at a 113-run partnership.

Kohli took the punch back and hit a six from a no-ball as the wheels fell off for Nawaz, who then threw one wide.

Kohli was thrown off the next ball with the free kick, but the ball rattled off the stumps for three byes.

With two balls remaining and two runs required, Nawaz tripped Dinesh Karthik but threw a wide on the last ball of the over.

Ashwin cleared the infield with a quiet finish to complete the win and sent the Indian fans into a frenzy.

Fans show their support during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

It was a gruesome end for Pakistan, who recovered well to make a defendable total of 159 for eight after losing the toss and starting poorly with the bat.

“All credit goes to Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli,” said Pakistan captain Babar Azam.

“They changed the swing and finished the game well… We had a chance and we just asked the lads to believe in themselves, but Virat Kohli again.”