Kohli special steers India home on a turner

India's Virat Kohli celebrates his team victory  during the ICC World Twenty20 2016 cricket match against Pakistan at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, India, Saturday, March 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
India’s Virat Kohli celebrates his team victory during the ICC World Twenty20 2016 cricket match against Pakistan at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, India, Saturday, March 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

There was rain, but the Eden Gardens wasn’t submerged. There was a pitch that made spinners seem like grenade launchers. There were 61,337 people including certifiable legends of the game from Sachin Tendulkar to Imran Khan. All of it added to the spectacle of India-Pakistan cricket, but Virat Kohli rose one step above with an innings of gumption and class.

India needed to win tonight to stay in control of their fate at the World T20. A few tactical errors left them with a competitive 119 to chase. When the ball grips into the deck, slows down and simultaneously turns, a batsman’s judgment becomes of great importance. Hitting on the up carries risk. Playing too far away carries risk. Finding a run a ball can be troublesome. Kohli found 55 of them in only 37 balls to beat Pakistan for an 11th time in ICC global events.

Kohli’s thirst to compete was apparent when he said a cricketer needs tough pitches. He had the 18 overs that Pakistan had to bat to assess the one in Kolkata. There were a few shots that he needed to avoid, and a few things he needed to exploit – like his speed between the wickets. He fed his innings with 19 singles and a two, playing his shots as late as he could, and every time he played one, it was with the intent to get some runs. Kohli allowed only nine dots in his innings.

The loss to New Zealand had “hurt” Kohli. “We don’t perform like that at home,” he said in the post-match presentation. The shots that he hit tonight as he neared his half-century – two scorching cover drives when the bat barely strayed away from his body – typified exactly how one should play on such pitches. The longer he was at the crease, the weaker Pakistan became and the night eventually ended with the man who Kohli bowled to upon reaching his fifty – Tendulkar – waving the India flag aloft.

It wasn’t a flawless day for the hosts though. They had a chance to be chasing far less. They didn’t bowl R Ashwin out on a surface made for him and their fast bowlers bowled length balls and full tosses in the death when the offcutter seemed the logical choice. Pakistan’s lower order, marshalled by Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal, swung into the leg side with glee and ransacked 51 runs off the last five overs.

Even after such a rich return in the death, Pakistan’s total remained in the competitive range. And that was because of the control India had in the early going.

Bats these days have a lot of wood in their middle. The ball and the Kolkata pitch colluded never to find it. The leading edge was allowed a peek. The outside edge tried to pipe up, but it was always beaten. On-and-off rain since 5 pm had shortened the game to 18-overs a side, but the pitch was dry enough that all anyone had to do was roll their fingers over the ball to be menacing. Ashwin turned it square in the second over. Ravindra Jadeja couldn’t bowl his wicket-to-wicket line because he couldn’t believe how much the ball was deviating.

Considering that, it seemed Pakistan had stabbed themselves by dropping a spinner, and a handy batsman, in Imad Wasim to add Mohammad Sami to their XI. However, Pakistan being Pakistan and Sami being Sami turned a liability into a strength. Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina – two men who seem to struggle badly in a touch situation – chopped onto their stumps and Sami was on the cusp of a hat-trick in every form of cricket. Yuvraj Singh soaked in that pressure and contributed 24 runs to a match-winning 61-run partnership with Kohli.

Pakistan’s batsmen, who were heavily maligned leading into the tournament, acquitted themselves quite the ball was darting around. On top of that was the inherent pressure of this match. But Ahmed Shehzad laid a solid foundation with his 25 off 28 balls. They eased past the first 10 overs with only two wickets lost. Ashwin had only one left in his quota and Jadeja had two. Dhoni didn’t think about Yuvraj Singh at any point in the game, and kept at it with his seamers. Pandya gave away 15 runs in 14th over and Bumrah 13 in the very next.

At that point, it seemed Pakistan had the edge. Then Kohli came out and took it away from them.

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

World T20, 19th Match, Super 10 Group 2: India v Pakistan at Kolkata, Mar 19, 2016

Pakistan 118/5 (18/18 ov)

India 119/4 (15.5/18 ov, target 119)

India won by 6 wickets (with 13 balls remaining)

India RR 7.51
Last 5 ovs 45/1 RR 9.00
Pakistan RR 6.55


Current time 23:27 local, 17:57 GMT T20I Career
BatsmenRB4s6sSRThis bowlerLast 5 ovs
MS Dhoni (rhb)13901144.448 (3b)13 (9b)
Virat Kohli (rhb)553771148.646 (4b)24 (17b)
MatRunsHSSR
6599548*120.89
40144690*132.41
BowlersOMRWEcon0s4s6sThis spell
Mohammad Irfan (lf)2.502508.827310.5-0-13-0
Shahid Afridi (lbg)4.002506.257202-0-14-0
MatWktsBBIEcon
19142/186.99
96954/116.56

Recent overs


Current partnership 35 runs, 3.5 overs, RR: 9.13 (Dhoni 13, Kohli 22)


Last bat Yuvraj Singh c Mohammad Sami b Wahab Riaz 24 (23b 1×4 1×6) SR: 104.34

Fall of wicket 84/4 (11.6 ov); Partnership: 61 runs, 7.2 overs, RR: 8.31 (Yuvraj Singh 24, Kohli 32)


Last bat Yuvraj Singh c Mohammad Sami b Wahab Riaz 24 (23b 1×4 1×6) SR: 104.34Fall of wicket 84/4 (11.6 ov); Partnership: 61 runs, 7.2 overs, RR: 8.31 (Yuvraj Singh 24, Kohli 32)


15.5

Mohammad Irfan to Dhoni, 1 run, moves back and across to pull the short of a length ball in front of square leg, India have won by six wickets, their campaign is back on track

15.4

Mohammad Irfan to Dhoni, SIX, slams it over the long on boundary! Dhoni gets forward to a length slower ball and muscles it flat over the fence

15.3

Mohammad Irfan to Kohli, 1 run

15.2

Mohammad Irfan to Kohli, FOUR, short and wide outside off, Kohli waits in his crease and unleashes a fierce square cut, the ball rockets to the backward point boundary

15.1

Mohammad Irfan to Dhoni, 1 run, steps out of his crease and steers a short of a length ball towards third man

Apurv: “Something that Kohli has bought to the team is his patience and calm mind while chasing.. I have never seen someone which such a calm head.. Hope I don’t jinx him..”

Bidyut Ray: “take a bow Kohli, you are modern day master”

End of over 15 (7 runs) India 106/4 (13 runs required from 18 balls, RR: 7.06, RRR: 4.33)

    • V Kohli 50 (35b 6×4 1×6)
    • MS Dhoni 5 (6b 0x4 0x6)
    • Shahid Afridi 4-0-25-0
    • Mohammad Amir 3-1-11-1

14.6

Shahid Afridi to Kohli, no run

14.5

Shahid Afridi to Dhoni, 1 run

14.4

Shahid Afridi to Dhoni, no run

14.3

Shahid Afridi to Kohli, 1 run, riven to long on to bring up an absolutely incredible half-century on such a tough pitch! He soaks in the applause from a packed Eden Gardens and bowls to someone in the stands. Unbelievable perfemance

14.2

Shahid Afridi to Kohli, FOUR, and again! Another sublime cover drive! Kohli moves forward and slightly towards leg to make room and uses his wrists to power a bottom-handed cover drive to the boundary

14.1

Shahid Afridi to Dhoni, 1 run, drives the ball to long off for a single, over to Kohli

Sriram: “Just want Kohli to be till the end. Not worried about the outcome.”

13.6

Mohammad Amir to Kohli, FOUR

13.5

Mohammad Amir to Kohli, no run, 147 kph on this surface! The extra bounce and the holding of line outside off beats Kohli’s waft off the back foot, he was looking to play to third man

13.4

Mohammad Amir to Dhoni, 1 run, Dhoni moves forward and across and nudges the length ball off the pads towards long leg

13.3

Mohammad Amir to Kohli, 1 run, short of a length with room outside off, Kohli stays back and just steers the ball towards third man, so smooth

13.2

Mohammad Amir to Dhoni, 1 run, Dhoni just stays still in his crease and taps the ball on the leg side

Dhoni has a helmet now.

13.1

Mohammad Amir to Kohli, 1 run, short of a length angling across the right-hander, Kohli dabs it calmly behind point and runs, Dhoni hesitates but Kohli urges him on once it passes the fielder

Wilson : “Kohli with his chasing glasses on… yet again…!!!” He’s been incredible, barely troubled.

Amir’s back …

13.1

Mohammad Amir to Kohli, 1 run

Wilson : “Kohli with his chasing glasses on… yet again…!!!” He’s been incredible, barely troubled.

End of over 13 (7 runs) India 91/4 (28 runs required from 30 balls, RR: 7.00, RRR: 5.60)

    • V Kohli 39 (28b 4×4 1×6)
    • MS Dhoni 1 (1b 0x4 0x6)
    • Shahid Afridi 3-0-18-0
    • Wahab Riaz 2-0-16-1
12.6

Shahid Afridi to Kohli, 1 run, leans forward and pushes the ball to long on for a single

12.5

Shahid Afridi to Dhoni, 1 run, pushed towards long off for a single

12.4

Shahid Afridi to Kohli, 1 run, goes back and punches the ball to long on for a single

12.3

Shahid Afridi to Kohli, no run, a slower ball pitching on a good length around off and spins away from Kohli, who pokes and is beaten

12.2

Shahid Afridi to Kohli, no run, defended on the off side

12.1

Shahid Afridi to Kohli, FOUR, a sublime cover drive! The ball was too full outside off, a half-volley is a gift on this pitch, Kohli drills it to the left of the fielder at cover

Samia: “Can Amir get his over already??” Not yet, here’s Afridi. And Dhoni is the new batsman, without a helmet.

Shoaib Malik 2-0-22-0

11.6

Wahab Riaz to Yuvraj Singh, OUT, that is a rubbish ball, short and just outside off, but Yuvraj mis-times the pull and hits it straight to the fielder at cow corner!

Yuvraj Singh c Mohammad Sami b Wahab Riaz 24 (23b 1×4 1×6) SR: 104.34

11.5

Wahab Riaz to Kohli, 1 run, good length around off, all Kohli needs to do is just that – drop the ball carefully behind point for a single

11.4

Wahab Riaz to Yuvraj Singh, 1 run, a length ball outside off, Yuvraj stays back and opens the face to steer through point

11.3

Wahab Riaz to Kohli, 1 run, short of a length angling across the right-hander, Kohli steers to third man

Ahsan: “For what Afridi is saving Amir’s over?” It’s too late already I think.

11.2

Wahab Riaz to Yuvraj Singh, 1 run, short of a length outside off, Yuvraj gets under it and cuts in the air towards third man

11.1

Wahab Riaz to Yuvraj Singh, SIX, did I say hanging in there? He’s doing more than that! Yuvraj dismisses a Wahab short ball with an imperious pull off the back foot over cow corner .. less than a run a ball needed now

The equation is now only 45 off 42 balls. Such good batting from Kohli, and Yuvraj is doing a fine job of hanging in there.

Raghu Akkapeddi: “Looks like Kohli is playing on Mumbai pitch whereas every body else is playing in Kolkota..”

End of over 11 (14 runs) India 74/3 (45 runs required from 42 balls, RR: 6.72, RRR: 6.42)

    • V Kohli 31 (21b 3×4 1×6)
    • Yuvraj Singh 16 (19b 1×4 0x6)
    • Shoaib Malik 2-0-22-0
    • Wahab Riaz 1-0-6-0
10.6

Shoaib Malik to Kohli, no run

10.5

Shoaib Malik to Kohli, FOUR, so good from Kohli! Moves forward and hits a full ball with the turn along the ground through midwicket, 31 off 20 balls on this pitch is outstanding

10.4

Shoaib Malik to Kohli, no run, spins into the right-hander from outside off, played to midwicket

10.3

Shoaib Malik to Kohli, SIX, first six of the innings! Kohli doing this superbly now! Gets down on one knee and slog sweeps the ball, might have been a bit of a top edge but the timing was good enough to clear backward square leg

10.2

Shoaib Malik to Yuvraj Singh, 1 run, plants his foot forward, gets down on one knee, and sweeps the ball through square leg for a single

10.1

Shoaib Malik to Kohli, 1 run, comes forward and tucks the ball off his pads through square leg

10.1

Shoaib Malik to Yuvraj Singh, 2 wides, bowled wide down leg side from around the wicket, Yuvraj misses the sweep, Pakistan are not bowling well now

End of over 10 (6 runs) India 60/3 (59 runs required from 48 balls, RR: 6.00, RRR: 7.37)

    • V Kohli 20 (16b 2×4 0x6)
    • Yuvraj Singh 15 (18b 1×4 0x6)
    • Wahab Riaz 1-0-6-0
    • Shoaib Malik 1-0-8-0
9.6

Wahab Riaz to Kohli, no run

Anman: “I just feel that going to Wahab now is 2 overs too late. Afridi allowed this partnership to flourish by coming on to bowl himself after Sami took two wickets”

9.5

Wahab Riaz to Yuvraj Singh, 1 run, short ball outside off, Yuvraj pulls from the crease to long on for a single, timed it well

Pratik: “Talking of gritty knocks, Yuvraj seems to be in for his second one.. and both against Pakistan!!”

9.4

Wahab Riaz to Yuvraj Singh, no run, stays back and dabs the good length ball from off stump towards point

9.3

Wahab Riaz to Yuvraj Singh, no run, Yuvraj wafts at a short of a length ball outside off that grips the surface and is beaten

Rabia Nasir: “Pakistan is playing well, but need a wicket asap, before the players settle.” I think they have already settled, Kohli certainly.

9.2

Wahab Riaz to Kohli, 1 run, steered behind point for a single

9.1

Wahab Riaz to Kohli, FOUR, short of a length angling across the right-hander, Kohli moves back and across and pulls flat over midwicket, Sharjeel lumbers to his left from deep midwicket and dives, he gets a hand on the ball and stops it but then the ball rolls on to the boundary

Pradeep: “Yuvi looks confident and up for the challenge today, my No 4 for next few games for sure, shame he didnt get a bowl today. Who knows what he had in store…”

Here’s Wahab Riaz for the first time today. He had a poor game against India in the Asia Cup. How will he go today?

End of over 9 (8 runs) India 54/3 (65 runs required from 54 balls, RR: 6.00, RRR: 7.22)

    • Yuvraj Singh 14 (15b 1×4 0x6)
    • V Kohli 15 (13b 1×4 0x6)
    • Shoaib Malik 1-0-8-0
    • Shahid Afridi 2-0-11-0
8.6

Shoaib Malik to Yuvraj Singh, 2 runs, nudged gently towards midwicket where there is no fielder, Malik has to run after the ball himself so the batsman race for the second. Eight off the over

8.5

Shoaib Malik to Yuvraj Singh, no run, gets down low to sweep again but the ball spins away and hits him high on the thigh

8.4

Shoaib Malik to Yuvraj Singh, 2 runs, drifts on to leg stump this time and Yuvraj plays a controlled sweep, timing it well wide of short fine leg, the man from deep backward square prevents the boundary

There’s a slip now. Horse. Bolted.

8.3

Shoaib Malik to Kohli, 1 run

8.3

Shoaib Malik to Kohli, 1 wide, pitches outside leg and turns further away, Sarfraz skips nimbly to his left and collects

8.2

Shoaib Malik to Yuvraj Singh, 1 run, big turn and bounce away from the left-hander after angling into him from around the wicket, Yuvraj pushes forward to defend and gets an outside edge, there’s no slip!

8.1

Shoaib Malik to Kohli, 1 run, tossed up from around the wicket on middle and off, Kohli moves forward and drives through midwicket, he looks in no trouble out there

Khurram Khan: “Pakistan allowing easy singles to India.”

BHAWESH: “Watch the debut ODI match of Raina. You will find that gritty innings.” That was a long, long time ago.

Shoaib Malik comes on to bowl.

End of over 8 (6 runs) India 46/3 (73 runs required from 60 balls, RR: 5.75, RRR: 7.30)

    • V Kohli 13 (11b 1×4 0x6)
    • Yuvraj Singh 9 (11b 1×4 0x6)
    • Shahid Afridi 2-0-11-0
    • Mohammad Sami 2-0-17-2

End of over 8 (6 runs) India 46/3 (73 runs required from 60 balls, RR: 5.75, RRR: 7.30)

    • V Kohli 13 (11b 1×4 0x6)
    • Yuvraj Singh 9 (11b 1×4 0x6)
    • Shahid Afridi 2-0-11-0
    • Mohammad Sami 2-0-17-2
7.6

Shahid Afridi to Kohli, 1 run

7.5

Shahid Afridi to Yuvraj Singh, 1 run, too straight from Afridi, Yuvraj can glance off the pads to fine leg for a single

7.4

Shahid Afridi to Kohli, 1 run, bowled slowly on off stump, this went straight on, Kohli stayed back and opens the face to push towards point

7.3

Shahid Afridi to Yuvraj Singh, 1 run

7.2

Shahid Afridi to Kohli, 1 run

7.1

Shahid Afridi to Yuvraj Singh, 1 run, leans forward and drives the ball to long on for a single

End of over 7 (12 runs) India 40/3 (79 runs required from 11 overs, RR: 5.71, RRR: 7.18)

    • V Kohli 10 (8b 1×4 0x6)
    • Yuvraj Singh 6 (8b 1×4 0x6)
    • Mohammad Sami 2-0-17-2
    • Shahid Afridi 1-0-5-0
6.6

Mohammad Sami to Kohli, no run, the cutter outside off, immediately harder to time well, Kohli plays it to cover off the front foot

6.5

Mohammad Sami to Kohli, 2 runs, shot! A full ball on off and middle, Kohli moves forward and across to flick crisply through square leg, 144 kph, not the pace you want to bowl on this pitch unless you get the length and line spot on

Varun: “The problem with India is that they don’t respect the importance of rotating the strike. Playing dot balls literally creates so much pressure which ultimately leads to a wicket falling. This is what Gautam Gambhir was so good at. Nudging the ball here and there and running those singles, keeping the score board ticking which eases the pressure so much. Kohli is one bastman who is so good at this but then he has no support from the other end. Others play dot balls and instead create pressure on Kohli.”

6.4

Mohammad Sami to Yuvraj Singh, 1 run, short ball and Yuvraj muffs the pull, mis-hitting it limply on the leg side, it falls safely near square leg, no fielder in the circle

6.3

Mohammad Sami to Yuvraj Singh, FOUR, shot! Poor ball, length with too much width outside off, Yuvraj has room to free his arms and pace to use, he cover drives superbly and Amir dives in vain on the boundary

6.2

Mohammad Sami to Kohli, 1 run, slower ball on middle and leg, tucked through square leg, Kohli sprints the first but Yuvraj says no to the second, Amir had got to the ball quickly

Rakesh: “Raina throughout his career has shown consistently that he simply cannot bat on a pitch that offers the bowlers even a little assistance and neither does he have the stomach for a fight when the chips are down in bowler friendly conditions. He is simply a flat track bully and that too against ordinary bowling. These 2 parameter’s see him thrive, else, he comes and then goes quite soon. ”

6.1

Mohammad Sami to Kohli, FOUR, shot! Short of a length with width outside off, Kohli stays back and opens the face to steer the ball behind point, superb balance and placement

Siddhesh: “India’s batting is suddenly not looking all powerful and mighty. A lot of weaknesses are coming to the fore, and the pre tournament favorites might well have an early exit at this rate.”

5.6

Shahid Afridi to Yuvraj Singh, no run

5.6

Shahid Afridi to Yuvraj Singh, 1 wide, faster ball with big spin down leg side, Sarfraz does well again,

5.5

Shahid Afridi to Yuvraj Singh, no run, pitches outside off and spins into the left-hander, Yuvraj stays back and blocks

5.4

Shahid Afridi to Yuvraj Singh, no run, nudged from the crease with the turn into him on the leg side

5.4

Shahid Afridi to Yuvraj Singh, 1 wide, huge turn down leg side! Sarfraz did marvelously to move to his right and collect

5.3

Shahid Afridi to Kohli, 1 run, goes back and mis-times the ball towards long off, Afridi is ripping them leg breaks

5.2

Shahid Afridi to Yuvraj Singh, 1 run, nudged off the pads behind square for a single

5.1

Shahid Afridi to Kohli, 1 run, Kohli goes back and slugs a shorter ball behind square, big turn for Afridi too, Kohli dragged that off the bottom edge

Faisal: “It looks like sami understood too.” And how! He’s skidding off this pitch.

Rik: “What is all of this talk about a spinning pitch???” Here’s Afridi …

End of over 5 (5 runs) India 23/3 (96 runs required from 13 overs, RR: 4.60, RRR: 7.38)

    • Yuvraj Singh 0 (2b 0x4 0x6)
    • V Kohli 1 (2b 0x4 0x6)
    • Mohammad Sami 1-0-5-2
    • Mohammad Irfan 2-0-12-0
4.6

Mohammad Sami to Yuvraj Singh, no run, Yuvraj stays back to a good length ball and defends towards the bowler

4.5

Mohammad Sami to Yuvraj Singh, no run, short of a length and straight, 145kph!! Yuvraj is cramped for room and hit on the thigh, he wants a leg bye, Kohli does not

On a hat-trick …Yuvraj Singh to face.

4.4

Mohammad Sami to Raina, OUT, bowled him! Raina has played on too and his leg stump has taken a battering! Raina jumped back and across to a short of a length ball around the off stump and tried to defend, he closed the face a touch and the ball cannoned off the inside edge and uprooted leg stump! Raina looks a bit bewildered. How the over has turned for Sami!

SK Raina b Mohammad Sami 0 (1b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

Suresh Raina is the new batsman. Does he have the stomach for a fight?

Saurabh Jain: “Its all back to Kohli again..i guess he is fast becoming the Sachin of 90’s for this Indian team”

4.3

Mohammad Sami to Dhawan, OUT, bowled him! Dhawan has played on!

S Dhawan b Mohammad Sami 6 (15b 1×4 0x6) SR: 40.00

4.2

Mohammad Sami to Dhawan, no run, a length ball at pace outside off, Dhawan slaps it but can’t beat point

4.2

Mohammad Sami to Dhawan, 1 no ball, he’s bowled another no-ball after that Asia Cup debacle! It was the slower cutter outside off and it had beat Dhawan, but free hit coming up

Anwar: “Pak seem to have understood how to bowl after the first 2 overs. More important than winning or losing, I want pak to fight and this match to go down to the wire” Sami needs to understand quickly too …

4.1

Mohammad Sami to Dhawan, FOUR, shot! Dhawan has pierced the gap at point with a cracking cut! Sami gave him a short of a length ball outside off with good pace, point dived to his left, cover point dived to his right, neither could stop it

DanielAlexander: “Required runrate over 7, we got a match on our hands here”

Mohammad Sami, from over the wicket.

End of over 4 (2 runs) India 18/1 (101 runs required from 14 overs, RR: 4.50, RRR: 7.21)

    • V Kohli 1 (2b 0x4 0x6)
    • S Dhawan 2 (11b 0x4 0x6)
    • Mohammad Irfan 2-0-12-0
    • Mohammad Amir 2-1-3-1
3.6

Mohammad Irfan to Kohli, no run

3.5

Mohammad Irfan to Dhawan, 1 run, slogs across the line and makes good contact, but the ball bounces once before the fielder at deep square leg prevents the boundary

3.4

Mohammad Irfan to Dhawan, no run, good length around off, a cutter from Irfan, Dhawan drops the ball on the off side and runs, Kohli sends him back

3.3

Mohammad Irfan to Dhawan, no run, not giving Dhawan room with his length and line just outside off, played off the back foot towards cover point

3.2

Mohammad Irfan to Dhawan, no run, good length, fuller than the previous ball, angling into the left-hander, Dhawan stays back and defends on the off side

3.1

Mohammad Irfan to Kohli, 1 run, short of a length at pace on leg stump – not the length or the line or the pace for this pitch – Kohli moves back and across and tucks behind square

Prasanna S: “Rohit did a fair job in these conditions with those two boundaries and rightfully going after shots. The last thing India want is 8/2 or 10/3 after 4 overs in these conditions. Hope the rest of the batsmen will build on this momentum.”


 

End of over 3 (2 runs, wicket maiden) India 16/1 (103 runs required from 15 overs, RR: 5.33, RRR: 6.86)

    • S Dhawan 1 (7b 0x4 0x6)
    • V Kohli 0 (0b 0x4 0x6)
    • Mohammad Amir 2-1-3-1
    • Mohammad Irfan 1-0-10-0
2.6

Mohammad Amir to Dhawan, no run

2.5

Mohammad Amir to Dhawan, no run, short of a length, grips the pitch and does not come on to the bat, Dhawan defends on the back foot

Krishna: ” I wonder if Rohit Sharma is still not impressed with Mohammed Amir ……. ”

2.4

Mohammad Amir to Dhawan, no run, punched off the front foot into the covers

2.3

Mohammad Amir to Dhawan, no run, 137kph, good bounce from a good length, angling into the left-hander, hits Dhawan on the thigh

2.2

Mohammad Amir to Dhawan, 2 leg byes, strays on to the hips with a short of a length ball, giving Dhawan an easy glance to fine leg, he misses though and the ball goes off the thigh

2.1

Mohammad Amir to Sharma, OUT, caught at cover! Rohit tries to loft down the ground but the ball grips the pitch and was not full enough, he ends up lofting it really high in the air towards the off side. Three fielders could have caught it – cover, extra cover, and mid-off – and converged but Malik called for it from cover and judged it well. Tumbled to the ground as he caught it.

RG Sharma c Shoaib Malik b Mohammad Amir 10 (11b 2×4 0x6) SR: 90.90

James: “So excited by this Pakistan pace attack! Wrong wicket for it though…”

End of over 2 (10 runs) India 14/0 (105 runs required from 16 overs, RR: 7.00, RRR: 6.56)

    • RG Sharma 10 (10b 2×4 0x6)
    • S Dhawan 1 (2b 0x4 0x6)
    • Mohammad Irfan 1-0-10-0
    • Mohammad Amir 1-0-3-0

riad: “This is not a pitch for irfan I guess.and chasing less than 120 and one bad over can seal the deal.”

1.6

Mohammad Irfan to Sharma, 1 run, short of a length on the hips again, tucked behind square for a single

1.5

Mohammad Irfan to Sharma, FOUR, short ball with good pace, Rohit swivels and pulls behind square to the backward square leg boundary, I can’t believe Pakistan’s quicks are bowling this way having watched that first innings

1.4

Mohammad Irfan to Sharma, no run, high bounce from a good length angling into the right-hander, 140 kph, Rohit had come forward to play it and the ball hit really high on the bat and went on the off side

1.3

Mohammad Irfan to Sharma, no run

1.2

Mohammad Irfan to Sharma, no run, good length outside off, good carry to the keeper, Rohit lets it go

1.2

Mohammad Irfan to Sharma, 1 wide, short of a length from around the wicket, but strays down leg side and concedes a wide

1.1

Mohammad Irfan to Sharma, FOUR, short and wide outside off, good pace on the ball too, Rohit stays in his crease and cuts the ball over point, top shot. Pace is not going to work on this pitch, Pakistan need to slow it up. Cutters are the way to go.

Ankit : “Well he lasted more than 2 balls here… he has to score today.. ”

End of over 1 (4 runs) India 4/0 (115 runs required from 17 overs, RR: 4.00, RRR: 6.76)

    • S Dhawan 1 (2b 0x4 0x6)
    • RG Sharma 1 (4b 0x4 0x6)
    • Mohammad Amir 1-0-3-0
0.6

Mohammad Amir to Dhawan, no run, good length outside off, the ball holds its line too and beats Dhawan’s drive off the front foot

0.5

Mohammad Amir to Sharma, 1 run, pushes forward at a good length ball angling across him and opens the face to steer behind point, Amir’s pace is bringing the ball on to the bat nicely

0.4

Mohammad Amir to Dhawan, 1 run

Bilal: “Shiv: wanna know what’s even more frustrating.. Pakistan leaving out Imad wasim.(for Sami)*silently sobs”

0.3

Mohammad Amir to Sharma, 1 leg bye, a length ball pitching outside leg, Rohit stays in his crease and tries to flick but misses and is hit on the pad, leg bye behind square

0.3

Mohammad Amir to Sharma, 1 wide, sprays it wide outside off stump this time, Rohit lets it go

0.2

Mohammad Amir to Sharma, no run

0.1

Mohammad Amir to Sharma, no run, beaten outside off stump! Rohit was expecting the ball to swing back into him after it angled across from over the wicket, but Amir slanted it across with a scrambled seam and beat his forward push

The chase will begin really soon. Is it going to be straightforward? If Pakistan don’t bowl poorly, India will have to bat really well. It’s not hard to bowl well on this pitch, just hit a good length and vary pace. How big a factor will dew be, though?

Rohit and Dhawan are out in the middle. Rohit to face, Mohammad Amir from over the wicket. Rohit had sought to puncture the hype around Amir’s comeback not so long ago. Should be interesting, this duel. He lasted two balls against Amir in the Asia Cup.

End of over 18 (7 runs) Pakistan 118/5 (RR: 6.55)

    • Mohammad Hafeez 5 (5b 0x4 0x6)
    • Sarfraz Ahmed 8 (6b 1×4 0x6)
    • JJ Bumrah 4-0-32-1
    • A Nehra 4-0-20-1

So Pakistan finish with 118 on a pitch that is turning a lot for the spinners and offering a lot to the seamers when they bowl cutters and pitch on a good length rather than full.

17.6

Bumrah to Mohammad Hafeez, 1 leg bye, slower ball to finish, jags into the right-hander and beats the pull, the ball goes off the body behinds square and they run a leg bye

17.5

Bumrah to Sarfraz Ahmed, 1 bye, swings across the line at a good length ball and that nearly bowls him! The non-striker steals the bye and Dhoni misses the stumps with an underarm throw

17.4

Bumrah to Mohammad Hafeez, 1 run, gets down low and pulls another slower ball through square leg for a single

17.3

Bumrah to Mohammad Hafeez, 2 runs, mis-times the pull against the slower ball to deep square leg, Jadeja runs to his right and slides while fielding

17.2

Bumrah to Sarfraz Ahmed, 1 run, the slower ball angling into the right-hander, Sarfraz pulls and mis-times it through midwicket

Farhan: “Safraz jumped for that and still the ball flew over him…surely a wide (even if hes 4 foot 2)” I thought so too.

17.1

Bumrah to Mohammad Hafeez, 1 run, a low full toss outside off, driven to long off for a single

Can Pakistan make it to 120? Hit and run like the wind, they must.

Bumrah to bowl the final over. Not sure why the spinners aren’t bowling out, but Dhoni must have his reasons.

End of over 17 (8 runs) Pakistan 111/5 (RR: 6.52)

    • Sarfraz Ahmed 7 (4b 1×4 0x6)
    • Mohammad Hafeez 1 (1b 0x4 0x6)
    • A Nehra 4-0-20-1
    • RA Jadeja 4-0-20-1
16.6

Nehra to Sarfraz Ahmed, no run, the slower bouncer and Sarfraz is beaten on the hook

16.5

Nehra to Sarfraz Ahmed, FOUR, a full toss outside off, poor length, Sarfraz moves back and across and swats the ball into the gap at backward square leg. Is there dew on the field, I wonder, and is it making the ball slip? Doesn’t seem to be affecting the spinners though.

16.4

Nehra to Mohammad Hafeez, 1 run, a slow full toss outside off, the batsman moves across and paddles the ball behind square

Khalid: “Sami’s spell will decide the contest one way or the other, he can be a disaster most days but once in a blue moon blow a team away, no middle ground with him.”

16.3

Nehra to Sarfraz Ahmed, 1 run, slower ball outside off, played back down the pitch near the batsman’s feet and they steal a single

From Karthik at the ground: “Those two full-tosses Bumrah bowled. I think dew played a part. They towelled the ball vigorously at the end of that over.” If there is dew, that could hurt Pakistan a lot while bowling.

16.2

Nehra to Shoaib Malik, OUT, caught at short fine leg! Nehra slanted the ball across the right-hander, bowling it into the pitch and making the ball grip, Malik pulled and the top edge swirled high in the air but only went as far as Ashwin in the circle

Shoaib Malik c Ashwin b Nehra 26 (16b 3×4 1×6) SR: 162.50

Vivek: “If we lose it from here, it would be because Dhoni bowled 4 overs of pace straight that went for 41 runs! Why no Yuvraj?!” I don’t know.

16.1

Nehra to Shoaib Malik, 2 runs, steps out of his crease and then dabs the good length ball outside off behind point, they race back for the second

End of over 16 (8 runs) Pakistan 103/4 (RR: 6.43)

    • Sarfraz Ahmed 2 (1b 0x4 0x6)
    • Shoaib Malik 24 (14b 3×4 1×6)
    • RA Jadeja 4-0-20-1
    • JJ Bumrah 3-0-27-1
15.6

Jadeja to Sarfraz Ahmed, 2 runs

15.5

Jadeja to Umar Akmal, OUT, caught behind! Akmal tries to cut one that spins sharply away from him and gets an edge through to Dhoni, he’s played a really good innings under the circumstances

Umar Akmal c †Dhoni b Jadeja 22 (16b 1×4 1×6) SR: 137.50

15.4

Jadeja to Shoaib Malik, 1 run

15.3

Jadeja to Shoaib Malik, FOUR, shot! Malik gets down on one knee and nails the slog sweep, hit hard along the ground to the deep square leg boundary

15.2

Jadeja to Umar Akmal, 1 run, dabbed off the back foot behind point

15.1

Jadeja to Umar Akmal, no run, Jadeja again bowls an unplayable ball, pitches leg from around the wicket and spins sharply across, defended back to the bowler

Prasanna Shriva: “If Ashish Nehra can bowl so well on this pitch then pakistani bowlers can definitely bowl well here..”

End of over 15 (13 runs) Pakistan 95/3 (RR: 6.33)

    • Shoaib Malik 19 (12b 2×4 1×6)
    • Umar Akmal 21 (13b 1×4 1×6)
    • JJ Bumrah 3-0-27-1
    • HH Pandya 2-0-25-1

Rummy: “Haha. I think Akmal wanted to face the free hit. He was running reluctantly to the non strikers end.”

14.6

Bumrah to Shoaib Malik, no run, finds the yorker this time, Malik can only play it back to the bowler

14.5

Bumrah to Shoaib Malik, FOUR, this is lousy bowling on such a pitch, a full toss again and straight this time, Malik swings it through square leg

14.4

Bumrah to Shoaib Malik, FOUR

AH_USA: “The first 2-3 overs from PAK will be crucial and set the tone. They have four pacers and there is always a chance of getting boundaries even if the ball is not coming on the bat properly.”

14.3

Bumrah to Umar Akmal, 1 run, hits a good length outside off and the cutter springs back at the right-hander, cut off the back foot to backward point

14.2

Bumrah to Shoaib Malik, 1 run, a full ball outside off, Malik lunges for it and hits it along the ground to deep point

14.2

Bumrah to Umar Akmal, 2 no balls, he over-steps and bowls a good length ball that hits the pads and goes to short fine leg for a single, free-hit coming up, tight call of no-ball there

14.1

Bumrah to Shoaib Malik, 1 run, a full ball outside off, Malik stays deep in his crease and square drives to deep point

End of over 14 (15 runs) Pakistan 82/3 (RR: 5.85)

    • Umar Akmal 19 (11b 1×4 1×6)
    • Shoaib Malik 9 (7b 0x4 1×6)
    • HH Pandya 2-0-25-1
    • A Nehra 3-0-12-0
13.6

Pandya to Umar Akmal, SIX, Akmal’s nailed it this time! He’s also judged Pandya’s pace superbly, wound up and unleashed a powerful blow, sending the ball flat over the long-on boundary

13.5

Pandya to Shoaib Malik, 1 run, a high full toss, Malik swings across the line and hits it to deep square leg

13.4

Pandya to Shoaib Malik, SIX, Malik’s hit a six! Incredible, the first of the innings! Malik times his swing against a slower ball outside off perfectly, making great contact and sending the ball into the stands beyond deep midwicket, 93 metres

13.3

Pandya to Shoaib Malik, no run, the bouncer, loopy springy slow bounce, Malik lets it go outside off

Nick: “Well Raza, Pakistan have Afridi, Hafeez & Malik as spinners, it’s not too bad !” Hafeez can’t bowl because of a bowling ban because of his action.

13.2

Pandya to Umar Akmal, 1 run, the short ball outside off, Akmal stands tall and tries to cut but bottom edges it into the ground to short third man

13.1

Pandya to Shoaib Malik, 1 run, short of a length angled into the body, pushed towards mid-on for a single

Lokesh: “Isnt Hafeez pakistans best bet for such conditions. Now why would you still keep him in hut?” I had forgotten about him!

End of over 13 (2 runs) Pakistan 67/3 (RR: 5.15)

    • Shoaib Malik 1 (3b 0x4 0x6)
    • Umar Akmal 12 (9b 1×4 0x6)
    • A Nehra 3-0-12-0
    • HH Pandya 1-0-10-1
12.6

Nehra to Shoaib Malik, 1 run, a full toss! Make use of it Malik! But all he can do is drive along the ground to deep cover.

12.5

Nehra to Shoaib Malik, no run, wide outside off stump, Malik chases it and is beaten, slower ball, Malik thinks it should be a wide, was close to the line

12.4

Nehra to Shoaib Malik, no run, good length on leg stump, slower pace from Nehra, played to midwicket

Asad Raza: “I think Pakistan can get 120 here quite easily from here but they’ve got 4 seamers! Way too many, a spinner here and a 120 total could’ve won them the game ”

12.3

Nehra to Umar Akmal, 1 run, slower ball outside off, guided to short third man, Malik ran right away for the single


12.3

Nehra to Umar Akmal, 1 run

12.2

Nehra to Umar Akmal, no run, Rohit dives to his right at cover to shot a scorching cover drive! The ball was full outside off and Akmal timed it superbly

12.1

Nehra to Umar Akmal, no run, hit from the crease into the covers but the fielder makes the stop

End of over 12 (11 runs) Pakistan 65/3 (RR: 5.41)

    • Umar Akmal 11 (6b 1×4 0x6)
    • Shoaib Malik 0 (0b 0x4 0x6)
    • HH Pandya 1-0-10-1
    • RA Jadeja 3-0-12-0
11.6

Pandya to Umar Akmal, 5 runs, good length outside off, dabbed with soft hands towards backward point and they run a quick single, Jadeja comes sprinting in and hits the stumps at the batsman’s end direct! But the ball ricochets off the stumps and goes to the midwicket boundary! The batsman is safe and Pakistan get some valuable runs.

Krutik: “Afridi must be licking his lips looking at the turn. Imagine him bowling those 110kmph Thunder bolts and turning them as well.” Slowing it up may be the key here.

Shoaib Malik is the new batsman.

Pakistan's Ahmed Shehzad (R) plays a shot as India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni looks on during the World T20 cricket tournament match between India and Pakistan at the Eden Gardens cricket stadium in Kolkata on March 19, 2016. / AFP / Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)
Pakistan’s Ahmed Shehzad (R) plays a shot as India’s captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni looks on during the World T20 cricket tournament match between India and Pakistan at the Eden Gardens cricket stadium in Kolkata on March 19, 2016. / AFP / Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)
11.5

Pandya to Shahid Afridi, OUT

Shahid Afridi c Kohli b Pandya 8 (14b 1×4 0x6) SR: 57.14

11.4

Pandya to Shahid Afridi, no run, the bouncer, Afridi swipes at it and is beaten, really springy bounce that does not come on to the bat

Saket: “Huh!! Pandya? Why not Raina?”

11.3

Pandya to Umar Akmal, 1 run, good length outside off, grips the surface again and comes on slowly, dabbed towards short third man

11.2

Pandya to Umar Akmal, FOUR, shot! Pace on Pandya’s ball and Akmal uses it, swivelling towards the off side in his crease and pulling towards the cow corner boundary

11.1

Pandya to Shahid Afridi, 1 leg bye, short of a length and slower, Afridi pulls but pulls too early, he’s hit on the body

Dinakaran: “This is a pitch where everyone can feel like warne or muralidaran!! It’s like the ball is pitching in kolkatta and landing in karachi.”

End of over 11 (3 runs) Pakistan 54/2 (RR: 4.90)

    • Shahid Afridi 8 (11b 1×4 0x6)
    • Umar Akmal 1 (3b 0x4 0x6)
    • RA Jadeja 3-0-12-0
    • JJ Bumrah 2-0-14-1
10.6

Jadeja to Shahid Afridi, 1 run

10.5

Jadeja to Umar Akmal, 1 run, pushes on the off side and gets an outside edge through cover point

10.4

Jadeja to Umar Akmal, no run, beaten by the turn as he tries to defend on the front foot

10.3

Jadeja to Umar Akmal, no run, dabbed towards point, Afridi sets off for a single but gets sent back quickly, there was no run there, that spun sharply too and got the outside edge

10.2

Jadeja to Shahid Afridi, 1 run, lofts the drive towards long off, one-bounce to the fielder

10.1

Jadeja to Shahid Afridi, no run, darts the ball on a good length on middle and spins sharply away from the right-hander, beaten

End of over 10 (9 runs) Pakistan 51/2 (RR: 5.10)

    • Shahid Afridi 6 (8b 1×4 0x6)
    • Umar Akmal 0 (0b 0x4 0x6)
    • JJ Bumrah 2-0-14-1
    • RA Jadeja 2-0-9-0

9.6

Bumrah to Shahid Afridi, 1 run, short of a length and it grips on the pitch and stops on the batsman, a slower ball too, Afridi dabs on the leg side and the ball lobs close to the pitch

Manjunath Ramar: “Shehzad getting out is a big blow, as he was the only set batsman, Can Pak pull couple of blistering cameos?” Don’t think anything can blister on this pitch.

9.5

Bumrah to Shahid Afridi, no run, the quicker ball, Afridi pulls to square leg, did not time it well, Dhawan prevents the single

9.4

Bumrah to Shahid Afridi, no run, that’s passed over off and middle stump! The slower ball at 102 kph and Afridi swiped across the line far too early

9.3

Bumrah to Shahid Afridi, FOUR, short ball, the first one of the day, Afridi hooks from his crease and gets a top edge that bounces just before going over the fine-leg boundary, 132 kph that was

Umar Akmal at No. 4 …

9.2

Bumrah to Ahmed Shehzad, OUT

Ahmed Shehzad c Jadeja b Bumrah 25 (28b 3×4 0x6) SR: 89.28

9.1

Bumrah to Ahmed Shehzad, FOUR, shot! Shehzad moves right across his crease and scoops the length ball over the head of the man at short fine leg, used the pace of the ball to full effect

OttawaRocks: “I forgot this was an 18 over match. Pakistan need to get a move on. Afridi in is the right move. India also made the right move in bowling Ashwin heavily early on.”

Bumrah’s back …

End of over 9 (3 runs) Pakistan 42/1 (RR: 4.66)

    • Shahid Afridi 1 (4b 0x4 0x6)
    • Ahmed Shehzad 21 (26b 2×4 0x6)
    • RA Jadeja 2-0-9-0
    • SK Raina 1-0-4-1
8.6

Jadeja to Shahid Afridi, no run, tries to close the face off the front foot and play the ball against the turn towards the leg side, he gets a leading edge towards backward point

8.5

Jadeja to Ahmed Shehzad, 1 run, goes back to one angled into the pads and hits it towards deep square leg

8.4

Jadeja to Shahid Afridi, 1 run, dabbed on the off side, towards cover for a single

8.3

Jadeja to Shahid Afridi, no run, this cannot be hit, pitches leg and spins past off, past Afridi’s helpless poke off the back foot, impossible to bat

8.2

Jadeja to Shahid Afridi, no run, pitches off and spins sharply away despite the flat trajectory, Afridi pokes and misses

8.1

Jadeja to Ahmed Shehzad, 1 run, a full ball on middle stump, dabbed towards midwicket for a single

Shabaib Abdulla: “Pak playing sensible on the turning pitch. Ashwin went wicktless in his 3 overs. With 11 over remaining if Pak can manage to add 100 more the 140 will be a good total on this surface ”

Varun: “Dhoni choosing to bowl on this pitch seems to be an even worse decision than Afridi choosing to drop a spinner. Batting second on this pitch might be as difficult as it was against New Zealand. And Pakistan are playing really sensibly by just not throwing wickets away. They can accelerate at the end.”

End of over 8 (5 runs) Pakistan 39/1 (RR: 4.87)

    • Ahmed Shehzad 19 (24b 2×4 0x6)
    • Shahid Afridi 0 (0b 0x4 0x6)
    • SK Raina 1-0-4-1
    • RA Jadeja 1-0-6-0
7.6

Raina to Ahmed Shehzad, 1 leg bye, an appeal for lbw but that ball is going down leg, they run a leg bye towards short third man

7.5

Raina to Ahmed Shehzad, no run, played back to the bowlera

Afridi has come in at No.3!!


Last batSharjeel Khan c Pandya b Raina 17 (24b 2×4 0x6) SR: 70.83

Fall of wicket 38/1 (7.4 ov); Partnership: 38 runs, 7.4 overs, RR: 4.95 (Sharjeel Khan 17, Ahmed Shehzad 19)


7.4

Raina to Sharjeel Khan, OUT, a superb catch but has Pandya hurt himself? Sharjeel mis-timed the pull horribly, it was a long hop too, hit in the air just beyond the circle at mid-on. Pandya came sprinting in full tilt from the boundary and dived forward, he caught in cleanly but then hit the ground really hard on his chest, and then did a somersault of sorts rather awkwardly because of his momentum. He looks a bit dazed …

Sharjeel Khan c Pandya b Raina 17 (24b 2×4 0x6) SR: 70.83

7.3

Raina to Ahmed Shehzad, 1 run, steps out again and cuts through point, had to adjust the shot because he wasn’t to the pitch of the delivery

7.2

Raina to Ahmed Shehzad, 2 runs, steps out of his crease and aims for the big hit down the ground, he ends up slicing the ball towards wide long off, falls well short of the fielder

Brian Lara tweets: How could the Eden Garden’s pitches be so different one match to the next? #notimpressive

7.1

Raina to Sharjeel Khan, 1 run, a fuller and straighter ball on middle stump, defended on the back foot

 

Pakistan 38/0 (7.3/18 ov)

Current partnership 34 runs, 7.0 overs, RR: 4.85 (Sharjeel Khan 16, Ahmed Shehzad 16)



End of over 7 (6 runs) Pakistan 34/0 (RR: 4.85)

    • Ahmed Shehzad 16 (20b 2×4 0x6)
    • Sharjeel Khan 16 (22b 2×4 0x6)
    • RA Jadeja 1-0-6-0
    • R Ashwin 3-0-12-0

6.6

Jadeja to Ahmed Shehzad, no run

6.5

Jadeja to Ahmed Shehzad, no run

6.4

Jadeja to Ahmed Shehzad, FOUR, that’s deft! Shehzad presses forward then waits to open the face late and steer the ball with the turn past first slip to the third man boundary

6.3

Jadeja to Ahmed Shehzad, no run, unplayable, Jadeja darts this on to the middle and leg stump line and spins viciously past Shehzad’s tentative prod off the back foot

6.2

Jadeja to Sharjeel Khan, 1 run, makes contact with the sweep behind square leg

6.1

Jadeja to Sharjeel Khan, no run

6.1

Jadeja to Sharjeel Khan, 1 wide, pitches leg and turns sharply down leg side

Ethan: “Is it that tough to produce a similar pitch to the one in the wankhede!I never seen such terrible pitches for t20 in India in this ongoing season!first Pune then Nagpur followed by Dharmasala and now Kolkata!”

Jadeja from around the wicket …

End of over 6 (4 runs) Pakistan 28/0 (RR: 4.66)

    • Sharjeel Khan 15 (20b 2×4 0x6)
    • Ahmed Shehzad 12 (16b 1×4 0x6)
    • R Ashwin 3-0-12-0
    • JJ Bumrah 1-0-5-0

From Karthik at Eden Gardens: “Ashwin only had four men back on the rope for Shehzad. He knows Shehzad can’t hit him against the turn on this pitch, so there was no one back at sweeper cover/deep point.”


 

5.6

Ashwin to Sharjeel Khan, 1 run, played off the back foot towards midwicket for a single

5.5

Ashwin to Sharjeel Khan, no run, big turn away from the left-hander, Sharjeel wafts and is beaten

5.4

Ashwin to Ahmed Shehzad, 1 run, he thinks there’s room for the cut because of the line but the ball jags back at him sharply and he ends up mis-timing it on the off side

Talha Hameed: “Ashwin into his third over, after this he can only bowl one more.” Well spotted.

5.3

Ashwin to Sharjeel Khan, 1 run, defended on the front foot on the off side

5.2

Ashwin to Ahmed Shehzad, 1 run, steps out and drives the ball towards long on for a single

5.1

Ashwin to Ahmed Shehzad, no run, dabbed off the back foot towards short third man for a single

Sanketp45: “Smart batting from Pak playing sensibly not really trying to attack. Time will come when they can accelerate the run rate by taking more wickets in hand and looking at the conditions 130-140 will be very good score.”


End of over 5 (5 runs) Pakistan 24/0 (RR: 4.80)

    • Sharjeel Khan 13 (17b 2×4 0x6)
    • Ahmed Shehzad 10 (13b 1×4 0x6)
    • JJ Bumrah 1-0-5-0
    • R Ashwin 2-0-8-0

 

4.6

Bumrah to Sharjeel Khan, FOUR

4.5

Bumrah to Sharjeel Khan, no run, what is going on? Sharjeel is beaten all ends up on the pull again, the slower ball grips the pitch and the batsman is nearly through his shot before the ball passes under the bat

prasad: “Dhoni chose to bowl and Afridi decided to drop Wasim don’t seem to be right decisions looking at the pitch. Looks like both the captains didn’t read the pitch properly”

4.4

Bumrah to Sharjeel Khan, no run

4.3

Bumrah to Sharjeel Khan, no run, not short enough to pull again just outside off and Sharjeel is beaten on the pull again

4.2

Bumrah to Sharjeel Khan, no run, short of a length angling across Sharjeel who stays in his crease and tries to pull, neither the length nor the line is right for the shot and he mis-times it terribly towards mid-on

Khan: “With that boundary, Ahmed Shahzad gets to 1000 International t20 runs. ”

4.1

Bumrah to Ahmed Shehzad, 1 run, short of a length with width outside off, Shehzad stays back and cuts behind point for a single

Sami Qahar: “seeing the way wicket is behaving, this is as good a start as it can get. not losing a wicket in 4 overs.”

Bumrah from over the wicket …


 

End of over 4 (7 runs) Pakistan 19/0 (RR: 4.75)

    • Ahmed Shehzad 9 (12b 1×4 0x6)
    • Sharjeel Khan 9 (12b 1×4 0x6)
    • R Ashwin 2-0-8-0
    • A Nehra 2-0-10-0
3.6

Ashwin to Ahmed Shehzad, 1 run

3.5

Ashwin to Ahmed Shehzad, no run, played back to the bowler

3.4

Ashwin to Ahmed Shehzad, FOUR, steps out of his crease and hits through the line and with the turn to loft the ball flat over wide mid-on, he didn’t get to the pitch of that but managed to make it work for him

3.3

Ashwin to Sharjeel Khan, 1 run, played behind point for a single, Sharjeel looks really iffy against spin

3.2

Ashwin to Sharjeel Khan, no run, gets squared up on the back foot by the turn and bounce away from him from around off, the outside edge lobs safely short of point, he played with soft hands

Ravinder Phogat: “This is not a 8 run per over wicket for sure, too much spin and bounce.. 120-130 should be fighting total. ”

3.1

Ashwin to Ahmed Shehzad, 1 run, a bit of room outside off so Shehzad goes back and cuts the ball gently towards cover point, Ashwin bowling really slowly through the air

Shoeb: “you have seen two overs bowled by pacer and spinner, George. is the pitch more suited to pace bowling or it is the other way around? what do you reckon?” Spin, spin, SPIN! Though cutters will work for the quicks.

End of over 3 (7 runs) Pakistan 12/0 (RR: 4.00)

    • Sharjeel Khan 8 (10b 1×4 0x6)
    • Ahmed Shehzad 3 (8b 0x4 0x6)
    • A Nehra 2-0-10-0
    • R Ashwin 1-0-1-0
2.6

Nehra to Sharjeel Khan, FOUR, first boundary! A full ball angling into the pads, a quicker delivery too, Shehzad uses the pace to flick the ball in the air to the backward square leg boundary

2.5

Nehra to Ahmed Shehzad, 1 run, goes back and across to turn the ball towards square leg

2.4

Nehra to Ahmed Shehzad, no run, Shehzad shaped to cut as the ball angled across him from over the wicket but the ball stopped on him and he was early on the shot, he had to check himself and stop the shot, playing it into the off side gently

2.3

Nehra to Ahmed Shehzad, no run, good length on off, Shehzad stays on his crease and defends with a straight bat

RAJESH : “Lovely spin and grip on this wicket and Pak have dropped their one quality spinner.” They still have Afridi and Malik.

2.2

Nehra to Sharjeel Khan, 1 run, stays back and clips the short of a length ball to midwicket, Pakistan very restrained so far

anees from zaid: “Ashwin’s 1st over leads us to conclude that pakistan have definitely missed a trick by not playing both Imad Wasim and NAwaz.”

2.1

Nehra to Ahmed Shehzad, 1 run, short of a length at the body, tucked off the back foot towards square leg


1.6 Ashwin to Ahmed Shehzad, 1 bye, oh my word? Have Pakistan read this pitch wrong in leaving out Imad Wasim? Ashwin drifts the ball across the right-hander from around the wicket, it pitches outside off stump and spits back at Shehzad, spinning and bouncing sharply through the gap between the batsman’s forward defence and his pad, too tough for Dhoni to collect cleanly too

1.5

Ashwin to Sharjeel Khan, 1 run
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1.4

Ashwin to Sharjeel Khan, no run, this one comes into the left-hander, going on with the arm, Sharjeel stays back and defends
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1.3

Ashwin to Sharjeel Khan, no run, this pitch is turning, pitches on middle after angling into Sharjeel and spins sharply past the outside edge
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1.2

Ashwin to Sharjeel Khan, no run, lovely ball, tossed up angling into the left-hander from around the wicket, pitching on middle and spinning sharply away from Sharjeel’s defence, beating the outside edge. Superb flight and dip from Ashwin
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1.1

Ashwin to Sharjeel Khan, no run, strays on to the pads, glanced from the crease to short fine leg
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Ashwin from around the wicket …

0.6

Nehra to Ahmed Shehzad, no run
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0.5

Nehra to Ahmed Shehzad, no run, strays on to the pads but Shehzad can’t place his flick past the man at square leg
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0.4

Nehra to Sharjeel Khan, 1 run, short of a length again and Sharjeel once again swivels and pulls he ball through square, 137 kph
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0.3

Nehra to Sharjeel Khan, no run, width outside off stump, the length is right for the cut too, Sharjeel times it well but can’t beat point, 134 kph
0.2

Nehra to Ahmed Shehzad, 1 run, short of a length and straight, Shehzad moves back and across to get behind the line and taps the ball towards midwicket for a single
.0.1 Nehra to Sharjeel Khan, 1 run, a length ball outside off, Sharjeel stays back and swivels to pull the ball through square leg, not timed well, Sharjeel often tries to pull even when the length isn’t that short

Former Pakistan cricketers Wasim Akram(L)and Imran Khan pose with Chief Minister of the Indian state of West Bengal Mamata Bannerjee(C)and former Indian cricketers Sunil Gavaskar(4R)Sachin Tendulkar(3R)and Virender Sehwag(2R)and Indian Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan(R)as they pose ahead of the start of the World T20 cricket tournament match between India and Pakistan at The Eden Gardens Cricket stadium in Kolkata on March 19, 2016. The start of the eagerly-awaited match between India and Pakistan at cricket's World Twenty20 was delayed after heavy rain fell throughout the afternoon at Kolkata's Eden Gardens stadium. / AFP / Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Pakistan cricketers Wasim Akram(L)and Imran Khan pose with Chief Minister of the Indian state of West Bengal Mamata Bannerjee(C)and former Indian cricketers Sunil Gavaskar(4R)Sachin Tendulkar(3R)and Virender Sehwag(2R)and Indian Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan(R)as they pose ahead of the start of the World T20 cricket tournament match between India and Pakistan at The Eden Gardens Cricket stadium in Kolkata on March 19, 2016.
The start of the eagerly-awaited match between India and Pakistan at cricket’s World Twenty20 was delayed after heavy rain fell throughout the afternoon at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens stadium. / AFP / Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

India Team
RG Sharma, S Dhawan, V Kohli, SK Raina, MS Dhoni*†, Yuvraj Singh, HH Pandya, RA Jadeja, R Ashwin, JJ Bumrah, A Nehra

Pakistan Team
Sharjeel Khan, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed†, Shahid Afridi*, Mohammad Sami, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Irfan

Sourav Ganguly has walked out with the trophy, and the dignitaries are gathered around. The teams walk out for the national anthems. Shafqat Amanat Ali will sing Pakistan’s and Amitabh Bachan will sing India’s.

“Pinpricks of light all around the stands as the flags come onto the ground and mobile camera flashes go off,” says Karthik.

Safwan: “All people saying sami’s line and lenght hasn’t been upto the mark have not seen the previous matches he has played. He has been brilliant apart from the two no balls he bowled. Sami’s international t20 record is the best among all other current pakistani bowlers”

And the anthems are done. A huge roar at the end of India’s. Game time at Eden Gardens.

Toss, 8.10 pm Dhoni tosses, Afridi calls heads, India wins. Dhoni chooses to bowl first. India are playing the same XI that lost to New Zealand. I’ll have news of the Pakistan team for you as soon as I know.

Pakistan have left out spinning-allrounder Imad Wasim and are playing fast bowler Mohammad Sami.

Suman Dustakar: “Interesting reply by Afridi to nasir when he asked what you wanted to do if you had won the toss, he said “you know wat i wanted to do”, but afridi I dont knw wat u wanted to do, can you please tell me?”

FaZi: “@Suman, He will bat first 🙂 & i think dropping imad is not a good decision, Sami has got pace but his line & length is not good at all since last many matches. Let’s hope he have a good day today.”

Zuhaib Qureshi : “Why do they keep playing Mohammad Sami. All he does is get thrashed around the ground. And today will be no different I am sure. Imad in the last few games has been good. ”

Sushil: “Reasons for bowling first: 1. Slightly humid ground ball will not race away to the boundary for first few overs. 2. Covered wicket will offer something for the quick bowlers initially 3. Always an advantage to bat second with rainy weather and possible interruptions. 4. In shortened games batting first you never know what is a par total.” Sound logic.

8.05 pm It’s been frustrating for sure, all these delays – natural and man-made – but let’s put that all behind us now. We have a game! Toss in five minutes, a start at 8.30 pm, and an 18-over contest. The Powerplay will be five-overs long, and three bowlers can bowl a maximum of four overs each.

7.55 pm This is getting really frustrating now. I don’t see why the toss couldn’t have happened by now, given that most of the covers are off.

Syed: “Any inspection? Any Toss? Any News? When are they going to start?” Nothing official yet. The players are going through their warm-up drills. The last shot of Dhoni had him in his practice kit.

Shiba: “George, Can you put the status as Match delayed by Speeches.”

FINALLY!! Toss at 8.10 pm, start at 8.30pm, 18-overs a side. I wonder if some time is still being kept for the national anthems.

Burg: “All the ceremonial stuff would’ve been acceptable subject to no overs being lost. But with 2 overs a side removed, one really questions why the need for all the formalities…”

Keshav: “Most ridiculous thing I ever heard, 2 overs docked because of the speeches? Couldn’t they have just had the toss as soon as the covers were coming off? Instead they waste time with speeches and the platform going up and coming down. ”

Karthik Sukumar: “I believe the rules say that the pitch and the field has to be completely ready for play before the toss takes place. There were a few covers on the field and the pitch was being rolled. It’s unfortunate, however the presentation could’ve be avoided completely or shortened. ”

7.45 pm Imran Khan is now giving a short speech, appreciating the welcome Pakistan have been given in Kolkata. He hopes for a great game and that the result is the same as when he last played at Eden Gardens.

Tendulkar strolls up for his turn at the microphone. “Nice to see the stalwarts from Pakistan, we welcome them here … we hope for a fantastic match, let’s enjoy cricket above all.”

One last cover remains on the field and it is beginning to come off as well, and the Super Sopper is doing its thing. Can we stop with the speeches and get this show on the road, already? Surely they could have had the toss by now.

Right, the felicitations are over. Let’s dismantle that platform.

Vamsi: “Do they really think the spectators appreciate all this when the match is already delayed ? Don’t they care about what the fan feels ? Speeches, really ? There is certainly no occasion nor reason for this too. Just imagine if rains again now.”

Ganesh: “This ia infuriating. ICC should have a crackdown because of such wastage of time. This could have well been done after the match”

Moloy: “Why cant they just have the toss indoors? And please please tell me they wont be waiting 30 mins after the toss to start?”

DanielAlexander: “Can we please get on with the game? ”

Neeks: “Don’t worry George. Let everybody have there share of joy. Without the efforts of these guys no match would have shown up. This not a match but a gesture of friendship.”

Manohar: “With all due respect to the legends and dignitaries, couldn’t this function take place at the halfway break or after the match? Unnecessary delay to an already delayed game.”

7.40pm While the covers are being removed, the chief minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee is honouring former Pakistan captain and politician Imran Khan on the field by draping a shawl around him. Wasim Akram is next. “Poor Allan Lamb. His 92 World Cup dismissal comes up on the big screen.” says Karthik. And after Akram, is Waqar Younis and Sunil Gavaskar. And then Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar.

Amir: “I think this katch is getting delayed now without much reason.”

Siddhesh: “What is baffling is how Bangladesh cricket board, with a fraction of the budget of the BCCI has managed to prepare stadiums with excellent drainage, as seen in the recent Asia Cup finals. The neglect shown towards not improving drainage facilities for such international events, and at a metropolitan city at that is not ideal. ”

Naresh Gupta UP: “Why is there a presentation ceremony going on when the match is delayed. I am in France and eagerly waiting for the toss!”

kainkareswar: “In Ukraine,Indian,Bangladeshi and Pakistani students have arranged a public screening but unfortunately the game is delayed, hopefully we at least get a game.”

Reeza Seedat: “MBA studies is put on hold for these few hours of action! Rain rain go away! All the way from South Africa”

Siddhesh: “Well, at least they aren’t waiting for the covers to come off totally before conducting such events. Given that this is already a shortened game, the least the officials should do is to not shorten it further.”

7.30 pm “I can see Imran Khan, Sunil Gavaskar and Wasim Akram near that temporary platform,” says Karthik from the ground. Hopefully they will be able to dismantle it toute suite as soon as it has been used for whatever purpose.

Sashank: “A lot changed with cricket technology during last decade , but nothing to dry the field quickly.”

Mazhar Shehzaad: “Gotta feel for Cricinfo comm boys. The match hasnt even started yet and look at all the commentary. Pity your fingers. Kudos! #LoveFromPakistan.” Nothing is harder than Gayle and Samuels bowling in tandem.

Adil Rashid: “We (Indian and Pakistani students) have arranged a huge multimedia projector for this match here in China, and hope the effort will not be ruined by rain. ”

Anil: “The effort being put in by the ground staff at Eden Gardens is commendable, that being said, with the technical advancements the game has had over the years, one often wonders why the turnaround time at stadia across the country is still long, I believe that as much as it is important to increase the capacity of the stadia, it will be nice to see more effective methods in reducing this tedious process.”

7.22 pm The process of taking off the covers is ongoing. The pitch is being rolled, the creases have been marked. The Super Sopper is supersopping the ground. It’s going to be a delayed start but hopefully they will do everything possible to have a full game.

“The Indian players are out now, doing some low-intensity ball tossing among themselves,” says Karthik. “Lala and Waqar have also been milling about for a while.”

JandhyalaVenkat: “It is sad to see several of the ground staff walking bare feet. I hope BCCI can look into this to improve. World is watching.”

How well do you know your cricket? Try CricIQ social.

RiKool: “The streets in my neighbourhood are looking deserted. Shops have shut down. Its all building up for THE CLASH”

7.12 pm “Two-thirds of the covers are either off or in the process of coming off. The sponsors’ signs are being unfolded behind the run-up area,” says Karthik from Eden Gardens. “And some sort of platform is being erected. For all the preliminaries, I suppose.” Don’t tell me they are going to delay the game any further than necessary because of ‘functions’.

Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan is going to sing the Indian national anthem. For Pakistan, it will be the singer Shafqat Amanat Ali.

Prakhar: “What is the need for all these ‘functions’? After all this is a IND-PAK match and we all want this game to start right now. The teams should have the toss in dressing room and should not waste time on that too.”

7.02 pm On the far side from the press box at Eden Gardens, the Super Soppers are still clearing the covers. We have just ticked past the scheduled toss time.

“Off go the last layer of covers from the square,” says Karthik from the ground. “The umpires are out in the middle, 8.50 pm is the cut-off time for losing overs, apparently.”

6.55 pm More good news from Eden Gardens. “Basically, the ground has been cleared in the bowlers’ run-up areas at this end. And the ground looks great from here,” says Karthik Krishnaswamy. “They’re going to clear the wide long-on area next, I think.”

The toss looks set to be delayed, though. It is scheduled for 7 pm local time. Our analysis show Match Day – with Dravid, Mahela and Ian Chappell today – is going to go live at 7 pm. you can watch it on this scorecard page by refreshing it, the player will appear on the top right on the web.

Ko123: “Around 4000 people outside Melbourne cricket ground for this epic match with Pakistan and Indian shirts ”

Lokesh: “The match has been called off. Pakistan win by 2 runs (D/L). The Pakistan Women players indulge in raucous celebrations.”

6.45 pm The stands, as you’d imagine, are pretty much packed. Though not entirely, just yet. It isn’t raining at the moment and the covers are slowly coming off. The ones near the straight boundary at the press box end.

Naman: “Does drainage even matter if they covered the whole ground? Surely water is not supposed to seep beneath covers? It must be like the rain never happened.” Yes, if the covers have had no leaks, then the ground should be dry once they are removed.

Maddy M: “Ronak comments, only reminds of Leo’s Oscar speech…. “Let us not take this planet for granted; I do not take tonight for granted.”

6.38 pm “Huge cheer as the central cover goes off once again,” says Karthik. “They’re just lifting the edges to see what the surface is like underneath.”

“I can see ground,” says Jarrod. Ground at Eden Gardens hasn’t been seen before now, today.

Karthik: “The cover over the run-up area at the press box end is beginning to come off now. And there’s another cover below that as well. So it seems like the ground should be pretty dry once the covers come off.”

Sabahat: “Meanwhile pakistani channel broadcasting imran khan conversation with umer akmal. What a sight to see legends supporting their teams at ground”

Karthik Sukumar: “The most important thing over here is having the complete quota of overs. A shortened game would be unfair on both the sides and the crowd. Let’s hope for a cracking game!”

Abdul: “I can imagine george sitting behind his computer sipping coffee reading our comments.. what a peaceful life.” Tea today, and some coconut rocks and dodol thanks to our Sri Lankan correspondent Andrew Fernando.

6.32 pm “No rain, groundstaff still clearing the water off the covers,” says Karthik. Jarrod says it was raining 30 seconds ago, so it’s all very unpredictable at the moment at Eden Gardens.

Tharun Raj: “Most Indians are now worried about drainage, Not in their home or colony but at Eden Gardens. :P”

Adnan Akhtar: “Rain in Kolkata, rain in Delhi! Can someone please turn off the tap?”

6.20 pm “Raining again,” says Jarrod Kimber, who’s also at Eden Gardens. But it is mild. “But the groundstaff and Soppers are busy at work,” says Karthik.

The live discussion with Rahul Dravid and Mahela Jayawardene is going on right now. Head to our Facebook page. And Mahela and Dravid will also join Ian Chappell on our live Match Day show at 7pm, which you can watch right here by refreshing the scorecard page.

6.12 pm Pakistan women stumbling against India women in Delhi. They need 20 off 24 balls with four wickets in hand. There is rain in the air in Delhi, it’s drizzling at the Kotla. Covers coming on. Pakistan are just ahead on the D/L equation.

However, the rain has stopped in Kolkata.

Nikhil: “@Maulika – I would rather replace Hardik Pandya with Rahane. Yuvraj’s presence is always a threat to the opposition. Hardik Pandya is a bit overhyped in my opinion. We need more experienced players out in the middle.”

6.05 pm “Close to stopping now,” says Karthik Krishnaswamy. “It’s pretty cool to watch the Super Soppers. When they’re moving around on grass, it’s hard to tell how powerful they are, but they leave a more or less dry stripe as they move over these covers.”

Imran Panjwani: “Here is some stat before the match ‘Ashwin need 3 wickets to become first indian bowler to take 50 wickets in T20 International, Ahmed Shehzad need 7 runs to 1000 runs milestone, Boom Boom Afridi need 5 wickets to become the first international player to take 100 wickets in T20 International and Dhoni need 18 runs to make the 1000 Runs in T20 Internationals.”

Mounika: “Will Dhoni change the team today? Can Rahane please play in place of Yuvraj?? Either way Dhoni is not using Yuvraj for bowling so much and given Raina’s performance against NZ pretty sure he will continue to bowl”

5.55 pm Argh, the rain has begun again, I’m afraid. Not heavy, but heavier than drizzle. Nonetheless, the Super Soppers are rumbling around near the boundaries.

Have you read this interview with Shahid Afridi? “I’ll tell you something from the heart. My father and family have really given me a lot of support. They have never let me fall. Their prayers have been with me throughout. My real strength is my awaam [public]. My awaam, in every difficult time, has supported me, whether I took a panga [picked a fight] with the board or anyone. I’ve always stood for my players and the truth when I was captain, whether I had issues with Vicky bhai [Waqar Younis] or Ijaz Butt [former PCB chairman]. The awaam has always given me such support that I can never forget them. They have been my strength.” I’m going to miss Lala once (if) he retires.

vinay: “Does Cricinfo offer any prize rewards like fb for pointing some flaw? I see that the IndVsPak rain updates are visible on Desktop espncricinfo link, and android app, but the rain comments aren’t visible on my iPad app. I accept any sort of rewards; publishing this doesn’t count mind you.” Are you going to be watching on all gadgets during earth hour, too?

5.45 pm Here’s the latest update from Karthik Krishnaswamy at Eden Gardens: “It has almost stopped raining. Just the stray droplet. And that central cover is being removed. Underneath are more covers. Like the end of a Scooby Doo episode.”

FaZi: “George, LOL, if you have nothing to do why you don’t post each & every comment & we have our very own pre-match analysis. You never posted my comment.” I sort of dug a hole and fell into it.

5.40 pm They’re beginning to sweep water off the central cover over the pitch and the square. It’s still drizzling, but growing gradually lighter.

sunil: “This is just a thunderstorm. It will pass. Game on!”

Aquif Shaikh: “I’ve never seen Cricinfo provide Rain updates more frequently than Today. Feeling the pressure?” Pressure, what pressure? As Keith Miller memorably said: “Real pressure is when you are flying a Mosquito with a Messerschmitt up your arse!” I just have nothing else to do.

5.35 pm Some mildly better news from the ground. “The rain definitely has reduced in intensity now. People are moving back down from the backs of the stands to the less protected fronts,” says Karthik.

MA: “Hourly forecasts predict that the rain should stop in the next 2 hours, which means that by 7:30 it should stop raining. If by some miracle, the ground is readied in the following half an hour, i.e by 8:00, we could have a full game as there are no predictions of rain during the match….fingers crossed! ”

5.30 pm It’s more or less the same. Perhaps slightly lighter. That’s the word from the ground.

5.20 pm Still raining. “So I was here last year for a KKR-Royals IPL game that was rained out,” says Karthik Krishnaswamy from Eden Gardens. “This time, they have new covers – white rather than blue – that I’ve heard were brought in from the UK only last month or thereabouts. And the ground also has an extra Super Sopper.” So the aim is to not let any water get on the ground, which is good because the drainage isn’t. It will be a task to get the water off the covers though.

Viral: “World richest board. One of the Biggest events in cricket. one of the biggest ground in world. Surely BCCI can make better efforts in arranging better drainage system for this ground after last year’s IND-SA match.” Well the rain has to abate first.

5.15 pm Thunder, lightning and heavy rain now. Looks ominous and the drainage at Eden Gardens isn’t the best. However, the entire ground is covered, but that means it will be a massive task to get all the surface water off, once (if) the rain eases.

S Dutta: “Actually Kolkata starts to become very muggy round about this time. So I am not sure if the folks sitting on the covers are ‘suffering’ or ‘enjoying’ the rain. I wish I could be one of them, for a day like today (Indo – Pak match)!!!” I’m sorry but the least that can be done – if they have to stay out in the rain – is to provide protection against it in some form.

And in news just coming in. Big blows for Bangladesh: Taskin Ahmed and Arafat Sunny have been suspended from bowling by ICC for illegal actions.

5.05 pm It has begun to rain heavily now but the groundstaff continue to sit on the covers, they are basically weighing them down on the edges so that the covers don’t blow away in the wind. The entire ground is covered. And the groundstaff do not have umbrellas or raincoats, according to Karthik who is at the venue, which is just ridiculous considering the job they are doing.

Sibi: “Kudos to the BCCI and ICC who scheduled matches without looking at the weather forecast ”

5.00 pm “It’s really windy,” says Karthik from Eden Gardens. “The covers are rippling despite the groundstaff sitting on them. It’s begun.” He means the rain.

Aravind: “Ticket scramble aside, get to the big picture George – if this is a washout, are India eliminated? Guess it being an Ind-Pak game, I’m more antsy than usual!” I don’t think India are out, but they could be dependent on other results going their way and net run-rate.

4.55 pm The entire playing area is under covers at Eden Gardens. The groundstaff are actually sitting on the covers where one sheet meets the other, to keep them in place. It is dark overhead with flashes of lightning. There is drizzle in Kolkata but none yet at Eden Gardens. Rain seems imminent though.

Taha Rehman Sid: “This feedback is sent 10 hours before the match. Why cant you guys start commenting on matches like these 10 hour before they are supposed to start. There are people waiting!” I appreciate the enthusiasm, but I think we were working on last night’s games that long ago!

4.45 pm Right, after all that drama – Will Pakistan go to Dharamsala, or wont they? Will Pakistan come to India at all, or won’t they? Why can’t India just give them the assurance they need already? – we better have a cracking game at Eden Gardens. Anything else will be such an anticlimax.

The scramble for tickets for this match hasn’t been easy – it never is for India-Pakistan, is it? – and hopefully, hopefully all those efforts will not be for nothing, because it is not looking good in Kolkata.

In the early afternoon Karthik Krishnaswamy, one of ESPNcricinfo’s reporters at Eden Gardens, said it was sunny and humid. Then at 4.25pm, he sent me a message saying it had become grey and muggy and that the entire ground was under covers. At 4.35 pm, he said, “Lightning just happened,” and that it was darkening rapidly.

That’s the bad news. What’s worse is that the drainage at Eden Gardens is mediocre.

.

Commentator: George Binoy

Scorer: Sanjay Murari

Rejuvenated Pakistan out to test India’s bouncebackability

India won the toss and elected to field

Sourav Ganguly has walked out with the trophy, and the dignitaries are gathered around. The teams walk out for the national anthems. Shafqat Amanat Ali will sing Pakistan’s and Amitabh Bachan will sing India’s.

“Pinpricks of light all around the stands as the flags come onto the ground and mobile camera flashes go off,” says Karthik.

Safwan: “All people saying sami’s line and lenght hasn’t been upto the mark have not seen the previous matches he has played. He has been brilliant apart from the two no balls he bowled. Sami’s international t20 record is the best among all other current pakistani bowlers”

Toss, 8.10 pm Dhoni tosses, Afridi calls heads, India wins. Dhoni chooses to bowl first. India are playing the same XI that lost to New Zealand. I’ll have news of the Pakistan team for you as soon as I know.

Pakistan have left out spinning-allrounder Imad Wasim and are playing fast bowler Mohammad Sami.

Suman Dustakar: “Interesting reply by Afridi to nasir when he asked what you wanted to do if you had won the toss, he said “you know wat i wanted to do”, but afridi I dont knw wat u wanted to do, can you please tell me?”

FaZi: “@Suman, He will bat first 🙂 & i think dropping imad is not a good decision, Sami has got pace but his line & length is not good at all since last many matches. Let’s hope he have a good day today.”

Zuhaib Qureshi : “Why do they keep playing Mohammad Sami. All he does is get thrashed around the ground. And today will be no different I am sure. Imad in the last few games has been good. ”

Sushil: “Reasons for bowling first: 1. Slightly humid ground ball will not race away to the boundary for first few overs. 2. Covered wicket will offer something for the quick bowlers initially 3. Always an advantage to bat second with rainy weather and possible interruptions. 4. In shortened games batting first you never know what is a par total.” Sound logic.

8.05 pm It’s been frustrating for sure, all these delays – natural and man-made – but let’s put that all behind us now. We have a game! Toss in five minutes, a start at 8.30 pm, and an 18-over contest. The Powerplay will be five-overs long, and three bowlers can bowl a maximum of four overs each.

7.55 pm This is getting really frustrating now. I don’t see why the toss couldn’t have happened by now, given that most of the covers are off.

Syed: “Any inspection? Any Toss? Any News? When are they going to start?” Nothing official yet. The players are going through their warm-up drills. The last shot of Dhoni had him in his practice kit.

Shiba: “George, Can you put the status as Match delayed by Speeches.”

FINALLY!! Toss at 8.10 pm, start at 8.30pm, 18-overs a side. I wonder if some time is still being kept for the national anthems.

Burg: “All the ceremonial stuff would’ve been acceptable subject to no overs being lost. But with 2 overs a side removed, one really questions why the need for all the formalities…”

Keshav: “Most ridiculous thing I ever heard, 2 overs docked because of the speeches? Couldn’t they have just had the toss as soon as the covers were coming off? Instead they waste time with speeches and the platform going up and coming down. ”

Karthik Sukumar: “I believe the rules say that the pitch and the field has to be completely ready for play before the toss takes place. There were a few covers on the field and the pitch was being rolled. It’s unfortunate, however the presentation could’ve be avoided completely or shortened. ”

7.45 pm Imran Khan is now giving a short speech, appreciating the welcome Pakistan have been given in Kolkata. He hopes for a great game and that the result is the same as when he last played at Eden Gardens.

Tendulkar strolls up for his turn at the microphone. “Nice to see the stalwarts from Pakistan, we welcome them here … we hope for a fantastic match, let’s enjoy cricket above all.”

One last cover remains on the field and it is beginning to come off as well, and the Super Sopper is doing its thing. Can we stop with the speeches and get this show on the road, already? Surely they could have had the toss by now.

Right, the felicitations are over. Let’s dismantle that platform.

Vamsi: “Do they really think the spectators appreciate all this when the match is already delayed ? Don’t they care about what the fan feels ? Speeches, really ? There is certainly no occasion nor reason for this too. Just imagine if rains again now.”

Ganesh: “This ia infuriating. ICC should have a crackdown because of such wastage of time. This could have well been done after the match”

Moloy: “Why cant they just have the toss indoors? And please please tell me they wont be waiting 30 mins after the toss to start?”

DanielAlexander: “Can we please get on with the game? ”

Neeks: “Don’t worry George. Let everybody have there share of joy. Without the efforts of these guys no match would have shown up. This not a match but a gesture of friendship.”

Manohar: “With all due respect to the legends and dignitaries, couldn’t this function take place at the halfway break or after the match? Unnecessary delay to an already delayed game.”

7.40pm While the covers are being removed, the chief minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee is honouring former Pakistan captain and politician Imran Khan on the field by draping a shawl around him. Wasim Akram is next. “Poor Allan Lamb. His 92 World Cup dismissal comes up on the big screen.” says Karthik. And after Akram, is Waqar Younis and Sunil Gavaskar. And then Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar.

Amir: “I think this katch is getting delayed now without much reason.”

Siddhesh: “What is baffling is how Bangladesh cricket board, with a fraction of the budget of the BCCI has managed to prepare stadiums with excellent drainage, as seen in the recent Asia Cup finals. The neglect shown towards not improving drainage facilities for such international events, and at a metropolitan city at that is not ideal. ”

Naresh Gupta UP: “Why is there a presentation ceremony going on when the match is delayed. I am in France and eagerly waiting for the toss!”

kainkareswar: “In Ukraine,Indian,Bangladeshi and Pakistani students have arranged a public screening but unfortunately the game is delayed, hopefully we at least get a game.”

Reeza Seedat: “MBA studies is put on hold for these few hours of action! Rain rain go away! All the way from South Africa”

Siddhesh: “Well, at least they aren’t waiting for the covers to come off totally before conducting such events. Given that this is already a shortened game, the least the officials should do is to not shorten it further.”

7.30 pm “I can see Imran Khan, Sunil Gavaskar and Wasim Akram near that temporary platform,” says Karthik from the ground. Hopefully they will be able to dismantle it toute suite as soon as it has been used for whatever purpose.

Sashank: “A lot changed with cricket technology during last decade , but nothing to dry the field quickly.”

Mazhar Shehzaad: “Gotta feel for Cricinfo comm boys. The match hasnt even started yet and look at all the commentary. Pity your fingers. Kudos! #LoveFromPakistan.” Nothing is harder than Gayle and Samuels bowling in tandem.

Adil Rashid: “We (Indian and Pakistani students) have arranged a huge multimedia projector for this match here in China, and hope the effort will not be ruined by rain. ”

Anil: “The effort being put in by the ground staff at Eden Gardens is commendable, that being said, with the technical advancements the game has had over the years, one often wonders why the turnaround time at stadia across the country is still long, I believe that as much as it is important to increase the capacity of the stadia, it will be nice to see more effective methods in reducing this tedious process.”

7.22 pm The process of taking off the covers is ongoing. The pitch is being rolled, the creases have been marked. The Super Sopper is supersopping the ground. It’s going to be a delayed start but hopefully they will do everything possible to have a full game.

“The Indian players are out now, doing some low-intensity ball tossing among themselves,” says Karthik. “Lala and Waqar have also been milling about for a while.”

JandhyalaVenkat: “It is sad to see several of the ground staff walking bare feet. I hope BCCI can look into this to improve. World is watching.”

How well do you know your cricket? Try CricIQ social.

RiKool: “The streets in my neighbourhood are looking deserted. Shops have shut down. Its all building up for THE CLASH”

7.12 pm “Two-thirds of the covers are either off or in the process of coming off. The sponsors’ signs are being unfolded behind the run-up area,” says Karthik from Eden Gardens. “And some sort of platform is being erected. For all the preliminaries, I suppose.” Don’t tell me they are going to delay the game any further than necessary because of ‘functions’.

Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan is going to sing the Indian national anthem. For Pakistan, it will be the singer Shafqat Amanat Ali.

Prakhar: “What is the need for all these ‘functions’? After all this is a IND-PAK match and we all want this game to start right now. The teams should have the toss in dressing room and should not waste time on that too.”

7.02 pm On the far side from the press box at Eden Gardens, the Super Soppers are still clearing the covers. We have just ticked past the scheduled toss time.

“Off go the last layer of covers from the square,” says Karthik from the ground. “The umpires are out in the middle, 8.50 pm is the cut-off time for losing overs, apparently.”

6.55 pm More good news from Eden Gardens. “Basically, the ground has been cleared in the bowlers’ run-up areas at this end. And the ground looks great from here,” says Karthik Krishnaswamy. “They’re going to clear the wide long-on area next, I think.”

The toss looks set to be delayed, though. It is scheduled for 7 pm local time. Our analysis show Match Day – with Dravid, Mahela and Ian Chappell today – is going to go live at 7 pm. you can watch it on this scorecard page by refreshing it, the player will appear on the top right on the web.

Ko123: “Around 4000 people outside Melbourne cricket ground for this epic match with Pakistan and Indian shirts ”

Lokesh: “The match has been called off. Pakistan win by 2 runs (D/L). The Pakistan Women players indulge in raucous celebrations.”

6.45 pm The stands, as you’d imagine, are pretty much packed. Though not entirely, just yet. It isn’t raining at the moment and the covers are slowly coming off. The ones near the straight boundary at the press box end.

Naman: “Does drainage even matter if they covered the whole ground? Surely water is not supposed to seep beneath covers? It must be like the rain never happened.” Yes, if the covers have had no leaks, then the ground should be dry once they are removed.

Maddy M: “Ronak comments, only reminds of Leo’s Oscar speech…. “Let us not take this planet for granted; I do not take tonight for granted.”

6.38 pm “Huge cheer as the central cover goes off once again,” says Karthik. “They’re just lifting the edges to see what the surface is like underneath.”

“I can see ground,” says Jarrod. Ground at Eden Gardens hasn’t been seen before now, today.

Karthik: “The cover over the run-up area at the press box end is beginning to come off now. And there’s another cover below that as well. So it seems like the ground should be pretty dry once the covers come off.”

Sabahat: “Meanwhile pakistani channel broadcasting imran khan conversation with umer akmal. What a sight to see legends supporting their teams at ground”

Karthik Sukumar: “The most important thing over here is having the complete quota of overs. A shortened game would be unfair on both the sides and the crowd. Let’s hope for a cracking game!”

Abdul: “I can imagine george sitting behind his computer sipping coffee reading our comments.. what a peaceful life.” Tea today, and some coconut rocks and dodol thanks to our Sri Lankan correspondent Andrew Fernando.

6.32 pm “No rain, groundstaff still clearing the water off the covers,” says Karthik. Jarrod says it was raining 30 seconds ago, so it’s all very unpredictable at the moment at Eden Gardens.

Tharun Raj: “Most Indians are now worried about drainage, Not in their home or colony but at Eden Gardens. :P”

Adnan Akhtar: “Rain in Kolkata, rain in Delhi! Can someone please turn off the tap?”

6.20 pm “Raining again,” says Jarrod Kimber, who’s also at Eden Gardens. But it is mild. “But the groundstaff and Soppers are busy at work,” says Karthik.

The live discussion with Rahul Dravid and Mahela Jayawardene is going on right now. Head to our Facebook page. And Mahela and Dravid will also join Ian Chappell on our live Match Day show at 7pm, which you can watch right here by refreshing the scorecard page.

6.12 pm Pakistan women stumbling against India women in Delhi. They need 20 off 24 balls with four wickets in hand. There is rain in the air in Delhi, it’s drizzling at the Kotla. Covers coming on. Pakistan are just ahead on the D/L equation.

However, the rain has stopped in Kolkata.

Nikhil: “@Maulika – I would rather replace Hardik Pandya with Rahane. Yuvraj’s presence is always a threat to the opposition. Hardik Pandya is a bit overhyped in my opinion. We need more experienced players out in the middle.”

6.05 pm “Close to stopping now,” says Karthik Krishnaswamy. “It’s pretty cool to watch the Super Soppers. When they’re moving around on grass, it’s hard to tell how powerful they are, but they leave a more or less dry stripe as they move over these covers.”

Imran Panjwani: “Here is some stat before the match ‘Ashwin need 3 wickets to become first indian bowler to take 50 wickets in T20 International, Ahmed Shehzad need 7 runs to 1000 runs milestone, Boom Boom Afridi need 5 wickets to become the first international player to take 100 wickets in T20 International and Dhoni need 18 runs to make the 1000 Runs in T20 Internationals.”

Mounika: “Will Dhoni change the team today? Can Rahane please play in place of Yuvraj?? Either way Dhoni is not using Yuvraj for bowling so much and given Raina’s performance against NZ pretty sure he will continue to bowl”

5.55 pm Argh, the rain has begun again, I’m afraid. Not heavy, but heavier than drizzle. Nonetheless, the Super Soppers are rumbling around near the boundaries.

Have you read this interview with Shahid Afridi? “I’ll tell you something from the heart. My father and family have really given me a lot of support. They have never let me fall. Their prayers have been with me throughout. My real strength is my awaam [public]. My awaam, in every difficult time, has supported me, whether I took a panga [picked a fight] with the board or anyone. I’ve always stood for my players and the truth when I was captain, whether I had issues with Vicky bhai [Waqar Younis] or Ijaz Butt [former PCB chairman]. The awaam has always given me such support that I can never forget them. They have been my strength.” I’m going to miss Lala once (if) he retires.

vinay: “Does Cricinfo offer any prize rewards like fb for pointing some flaw? I see that the IndVsPak rain updates are visible on Desktop espncricinfo link, and android app, but the rain comments aren’t visible on my iPad app. I accept any sort of rewards; publishing this doesn’t count mind you.” Are you going to be watching on all gadgets during earth hour, too?

5.45 pm Here’s the latest update from Karthik Krishnaswamy at Eden Gardens: “It has almost stopped raining. Just the stray droplet. And that central cover is being removed. Underneath are more covers. Like the end of a Scooby Doo episode.”

FaZi: “George, LOL, if you have nothing to do why you don’t post each & every comment & we have our very own pre-match analysis. You never posted my comment.” I sort of dug a hole and fell into it.

5.40 pm They’re beginning to sweep water off the central cover over the pitch and the square. It’s still drizzling, but growing gradually lighter.

sunil: “This is just a thunderstorm. It will pass. Game on!”

Aquif Shaikh: “I’ve never seen Cricinfo provide Rain updates more frequently than Today. Feeling the pressure?” Pressure, what pressure? As Keith Miller memorably said: “Real pressure is when you are flying a Mosquito with a Messerschmitt up your arse!” I just have nothing else to do.

5.35 pm Some mildly better news from the ground. “The rain definitely has reduced in intensity now. People are moving back down from the backs of the stands to the less protected fronts,” says Karthik.

MA: “Hourly forecasts predict that the rain should stop in the next 2 hours, which means that by 7:30 it should stop raining. If by some miracle, the ground is readied in the following half an hour, i.e by 8:00, we could have a full game as there are no predictions of rain during the match….fingers crossed! ”

5.30 pm It’s more or less the same. Perhaps slightly lighter. That’s the word from the ground.

5.20 pm Still raining. “So I was here last year for a KKR-Royals IPL game that was rained out,” says Karthik Krishnaswamy from Eden Gardens. “This time, they have new covers – white rather than blue – that I’ve heard were brought in from the UK only last month or thereabouts. And the ground also has an extra Super Sopper.” So the aim is to not let any water get on the ground, which is good because the drainage isn’t. It will be a task to get the water off the covers though.

Viral: “World richest board. One of the Biggest events in cricket. one of the biggest ground in world. Surely BCCI can make better efforts in arranging better drainage system for this ground after last year’s IND-SA match.” Well the rain has to abate first.

5.15 pm Thunder, lightning and heavy rain now. Looks ominous and the drainage at Eden Gardens isn’t the best. However, the entire ground is covered, but that means it will be a massive task to get all the surface water off, once (if) the rain eases.

S Dutta: “Actually Kolkata starts to become very muggy round about this time. So I am not sure if the folks sitting on the covers are ‘suffering’ or ‘enjoying’ the rain. I wish I could be one of them, for a day like today (Indo – Pak match)!!!” I’m sorry but the least that can be done – if they have to stay out in the rain – is to provide protection against it in some form.

And in news just coming in. Big blows for Bangladesh: Taskin Ahmed and Arafat Sunny have been suspended from bowling by ICC for illegal actions.

5.05 pm It has begun to rain heavily now but the groundstaff continue to sit on the covers, they are basically weighing them down on the edges so that the covers don’t blow away in the wind. The entire ground is covered. And the groundstaff do not have umbrellas or raincoats, according to Karthik who is at the venue, which is just ridiculous considering the job they are doing.

Sibi: “Kudos to the BCCI and ICC who scheduled matches without looking at the weather forecast ”

5.00 pm “It’s really windy,” says Karthik from Eden Gardens. “The covers are rippling despite the groundstaff sitting on them. It’s begun.” He means the rain.

Aravind: “Ticket scramble aside, get to the big picture George – if this is a washout, are India eliminated? Guess it being an Ind-Pak game, I’m more antsy than usual!” I don’t think India are out, but they could be dependent on other results going their way and net run-rate.

4.55 pm The entire playing area is under covers at Eden Gardens. The groundstaff are actually sitting on the covers where one sheet meets the other, to keep them in place. It is dark overhead with flashes of lightning. There is drizzle in Kolkata but none yet at Eden Gardens. Rain seems imminent though.

Taha Rehman Sid: “This feedback is sent 10 hours before the match. Why cant you guys start commenting on matches like these 10 hour before they are supposed to start. There are people waiting!” I appreciate the enthusiasm, but I think we were working on last night’s games that long ago!

4.45 pm Right, after all that drama – Will Pakistan go to Dharamsala, or wont they? Will Pakistan come to India at all, or won’t they? Why can’t India just give them the assurance they need already? – we better have a cracking game at Eden Gardens. Anything else will be such an anticlimax.

The scramble for tickets for this match hasn’t been easy – it never is for India-Pakistan, is it? – and hopefully, hopefully all those efforts will not be for nothing, because it is not looking good in Kolkata.

In the early afternoon Karthik Krishnaswamy, one of ESPNcricinfo’s reporters at Eden Gardens, said it was sunny and humid. Then at 4.25pm, he sent me a message saying it had become grey and muggy and that the entire ground was under covers. At 4.35 pm, he said, “Lightning just happened,” and that it was darkening rapidly.

That’s the bad news. What’s worse is that the drainage at Eden Gardens is mediocre.

.

Commentator: George Binoy

Scorer: Sanjay Murari

indpak

The build-up to the India-Pakistan clash began once Dharamsala was named as the venue on December 11 last year. Political tensions and security concerns in the weeks preceding the World Twenty20, however, left the administrators and fans in a limbo: ‘Will they, won’t they?’

On March 9, a day after the start of the tournament, the impasse was finally over and the match was tipped over from Dharamsala to Kolkata. On the eve of the game in Kolkata, R Ashwin told a horde of reporters that the India-Pakistan rivalry was “probably bigger than the Ashes”.

India and Pakistan had provided a precursor during the Asia Cup last month when Mohammad Amir’s fire was countered by Virat Kohli’s ice. India grooved to the Asia Cup title; Pakistan suffered a pre-mature exit and were in chaos, with some barbs even directed at captain Shahid Afridi.

Both sides have played just a match in the World T20 so far, but have had vastly different results. The pressure is now on India who had custard pie smashed on their faces by the largely unheralded spin trio of Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, and Nathan McCullum. Things seem to be falling in place for Pakistan at the right moment: the top order delivered on Wednesday against Bangladesh, as did Afridi. Once-upon-a-time finisher, Shoaib Malik is back to slip in to a similar role, and can also bind the innings if there is a (familiar) implosion.

The Kolkata pitch has been on the sluggish side, but Pakistan’s penchant for pace is their way of life. India’s middle order, which has been shielded by Kohli’s imperious form, was brutally exposed by New Zealand, and Dhoni conceded the batsmen lacked adaptability. Can the middle order produce a better riposte if Kohli’s bubble is burst again?

Form guide

(last five completed matches)
India LWWWW
Pakistan WWLWL

Watch out for

Yuvraj Singh had spent 144 minutes in the middle with the bat on considerably green pitches in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh. Three Saturdays earlier, he had to deal with the high-speed bustle of Amir and Mohammad Irfan. Yuvraj will have to contend with it again, and the stakes will be higher this time. Another loss can shake up the pre-tournament favourites’ campaign.

Before the tournament, Rohit Sharma had played down the Amir threat, calling the quick a “normal bowler“. In January, Pakistan coach Waqar Younis said: ” I still feel Amir is not at his best… he’s getting there.” He got there, or nearly got there with seven wickets at 11.57 in the Asia Cup. Slow pitch or not, normal or extraordinary, Amir will be Pakistan’s main man. Rohit v Amir will perhaps set the match up.

Team news

MS Dhoni fiddles with the XI only once in a blue moon. Ashwin remained coy on Pawan Negi’s inclusion in a high-pressure game against Pakistan. Ajinkya Rahane is available as a middle-order option, but India are likely to stick to the same XI unless Mohammed Shami comes in for Ashish Nehra.

India (probable) 1 Shikhar Dhawan 2 Rohit Sharma 3 Virat Kohli 4 Suresh Raina 5 Yuvraj Singh 6 Hardik Pandya 7 MS Dhoni (capt &wk), 8 Ravindra Jadeja 9 R Ashwin 10 Ashish Nehra 11 Jasprit Bumrah

With the team finding some rhythm and opening its campaign with a big win, Pakistan may not disturb their combination either.

Pakistan (probable) 1 Sharjeel Khan 2 Ahmed Shehzad 3 Mohammad Hafeez, 4 Umar Akmal 5 Shoaib Malik 6 Shahid Afridi(capt) 7 Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk) 8 Imad Wasim 9 Wahab Riaz 10 Mohammad Amir 11 Mohammad Irfan

Pitch and conditions

The Kolkata track for the Afghanistan-Sri Lanka match offered the spinners grip and slow turn. The quick fizzers and googlies from Rashid Khan, a legspinner in the mould of Afridi, also skidded on and tied down the opposition. A similar pitch is in the offing and the weather is expected to be fine for the duration of the game.

Stats and trivia

  • The last time Pakistan played a T20 international in India, in 2012, Yuvraj clattered 72 off 36 balls.
  • Afridi needs two wickets to surpass Lasith Malinga as the overall leading wicket-taker in the World T20.
  • India have played Pakistan 10 times in the 50-over World Cup and the World T20, and have won nine matches. The Durban T20 in 2007 was tied, after which India prevailed in the bowl-out.

Quotes

“We felt [the Kolkata crowd’s backing] in the last game. Probably after the statement of Afridi – which was brought into controversy and brought into newspapers and all over – we felt that we were very welcome, the crowd was really behind us against Bangladesh. I know it is not going to be behind us against India, but yes that is the positive we are going to take and we are going to try to play the best cricket.”
Pakistan coach Waqar Younis on the Kolkata crowd

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

NZ spin trio hand India shock defeat

10.45 pm India remain winless in T20 internationals against New Zealand, having lost five in five. And who would have seen this coming when New Zealand had been kept to 126 after choosing to bat? As it turned out, Kane Williamson read this pitch perfectly. He had the guts to leave out Boult, Southee and McClenaghan on this pitch and play Sodhi, Nathan McCullum and Mitchell Santner. I didn’t think it was a good decision, and very few seemed to as well. Hats off to the New Zealand management,

18.1

Milne to Nehra, OUT, it’s all over, Milne bowls it full and straight, the batsman backs away and pokes, exposing his stumps. Milne rattles them to complete an incredible victory for New Zealand

A Nehra b Milne 0 (4b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

zafar: “George, please don’t take it personal, but commentary regarding turn is getting funny. I mean you were never turned on by turn before.” I am just amazed by how much it is turning.

End of over 18 (4 runs) India 79/9 (48 runs required from 12 balls, RR: 4.38, RRR: 24.00)

    • JJ Bumrah 0 (2b 0x4 0x6)
    • A Nehra 0 (3b 0x4 0x6)
    • MJ Santner 4-0-11-4
    • IS Sodhi 4-0-18-3

Tanvir: “Funny how India batted nicely in a pitch full of grass in Bangladesh but failing badly in a spinning track at home! Mr. Ravi Shastri is going to say to the curator “I want that green pitch” ”

17.6

Santner to Bumrah, no run, dabbed off the back foot to point

17.5

Santner to Bumrah, no run, pushed off the front foot towards cover

There is an exodus of fans from he stadium.

17.4

Santner to Dhoni, OUT, Nathan McCullum has ended the game with a scorching catch at long on! Dhoni clubbed the ball against the turn, hitting it hard and flat towards the boundary, McCullum came running in, judging the carry perfectly and timing his dive to take it inches from the turf

MS Dhoni c McCullum b Santner 30 (30b 1×4 1×6) SR: 100.00

17.3

Santner to Dhoni, no run, driven to long on but Dhoni doesn’t take the single

17.2

Santner to Dhoni, no run, unbelievable turn, it is just un-hittable when the bowler gets his length right, that ripped square away from the right-hander

Hari: “Great first game! Note #1 to India: Respect conditions and opponents Note #2 to India: Better to get kicked in the rear end in beginning than during knockouts”

17.1

Santner to Dhoni, FOUR, short ball and Dhoni smashes it! On the front foot and he pulls with so much power, splitting the gap at deep midwicket. Dhoni had begun to advance and then hung back to hit it

End of over 17 (9 runs) India 75/8 (52 runs required from 18 balls, RR: 4.41, RRR: 17.33)

    • A Nehra 0 (3b 0x4 0x6)
    • MS Dhoni 26 (26b 0x4 1×6)
    • IS Sodhi 4-0-18-3
    • CJ Anderson 3-0-18-0
16.6

Sodhi to Nehra, no run, Nehra tries to hit down the ground but the ball flies off the outside edge towards point where Elliott dives to his right and fields

16.6

Sodhi to Nehra, 1 wide, that’s a wide, it has turned so much after pitching outside off

16.5

Sodhi to Nehra, no run, played back to the bowler

16.5

Sodhi to Nehra, 1 wide, look at that ball turn away from the right-hander, incredible turn, like a sixth day Test match surface.

16.4

Sodhi to Nehra, no run, the googly to Nehra, he stays back an defends with a straight bat

16.3

Sodhi to Ashwin, OUT, what a lovely ball from the legspinner, Ashwin is beaten, stranded and helpless! He came out of his crease to push hard at a legbreak and was beaten by the flight and the length as the ball ripped past his bat. He didn’t even try getting back before Ronchi took off the bails

R Ashwin st †Ronchi b Sodhi 10 (20b 0x4 0x6) SR: 50.00

16.2

Sodhi to Dhoni, 1 run, a flatter ball outside off, played off the back foot on the off side

16.1

Sodhi to Dhoni, SIX, there it is! Dhoni finally goes big and the stadium explodes in a huge roar! The ball was tossed up outside off, the length and line was right for Dhoni to free his arms and he did it with so much power, slamming the ball far over the straight boundary on the front foot

Abhi Mishra: “I wonder what Mr Ravi Shastri is going to say to curator tonight ! ”

End of over 16 (5 runs) India 66/7 (61 runs required from 24 balls, RR: 4.12, RRR: 15.25)

    • MS Dhoni 19 (24b 0x4 0x6)
    • R Ashwin 10 (19b 0x4 0x6)
    • CJ Anderson 3-0-18-0
    • IS Sodhi 3-0-9-2
15.6

Anderson to Dhoni, 1 run, nudged off the pads gently towards midwicket, they run the first quickly and they want the second but the fielder sprints in from the deep to prevent it

15.5

Anderson to Ashwin, 1 run, clubbed down the ground to long on for a single

Karthik Sukumar: “Hats off to Kane and NZ for proving everyone wrong. This shows that all the talk about pitch, analysis, etc. is all hogwash until the match actually takes place. Good game to start off the World T20!”

15.4

Anderson to Dhoni, 1 run, Dhoni flicks the ball off his pads through square leg, just another single

15.3

Anderson to Ashwin, 1 run, played to midwicket for one more

15.2

Anderson to Dhoni, 1 run, steps out again, Anderson follows him and cramps him for room with another slower one, clipped off the pads for a single

15.1

Anderson to Dhoni, no run, slower ball from around the wicket, Dhoni charges and slogs, missed it by a long way

Sam: “That 2 they scored on 14.4 was the first time they scored more than a single since the 8th over!”

Anderson returns …

End of over 15 (4 runs) India 61/7 (66 runs required from 30 balls, RR: 4.06, RRR: 13.20)

    • R Ashwin 8 (17b 0x4 0x6)
    • MS Dhoni 16 (20b 0x4 0x6)
    • IS Sodhi 3-0-9-2
    • MJ Santner 3-0-7-3
14.6

Sodhi to Ashwin, no run, drives to drive over the off side but the legbreak spins away and takes the outside edge, the ball falls short of short third man

Kamal: “Only 3 boundaries so far, haven’t seen this from long time from Indian batting. at this rate the loss will effect the India’ NRR badly in this group of death!!!”

14.5

Sodhi to Dhoni, 1 run, clubbed off the back foot to wide long off

14.4

Sodhi to Dhoni, 2 runs, Dhoni finally tries to slog, heaving across the line at a legbreak, he drags it with the bottom edge towards mid-on, the fielders are in the deep so they race back for two, an accurate throw at the bowlers end would have had Ashwin in trouble

14.3

Sodhi to Ashwin, 1 run, another huge legbreak, Ashwin stays back and the length is short enough for him to tap towards midwicket

14.2

Sodhi to Ashwin, no run, that legbreak pitches on off and spins the proverbial mile, Ashwin has to lunge to reach that and play to point

India now need two runs a ball.

14.1

Sodhi to Ashwin, no run, tossed up on middle and off, defended on the front foot into the covers

End of over 14 (4 runs) India 57/7 (70 runs required from 36 balls, RR: 4.07, RRR: 11.66)

    • R Ashwin 7 (13b 0x4 0x6)
    • MS Dhoni 13 (18b 0x4 0x6)
    • MJ Santner 3-0-7-3
    • AF Milne 2-0-8-0

Sai: “Of all the comments that were made at the toss regarding NZ selection, this one is probably the best.. “Devine: “For all those slamming NZ’s selection, how can you be so judgmental without even a ball being bowled? For all we know, this could be the combination that India loses to!””… Hats off to this guy’s hindsight !!”

Sai: “Of all the comments that were made at the toss regarding NZ selection, this one is probably the best.. “Devine: “For all those slamming NZ’s selection, how can you be so judgmental without even a ball being bowled? For all we know, this could be the combination that India loses to!””… Hats off to this guy’s hindsight !!”

13.6

Santner to Ashwin, 1 run, driven off the front foot through covers for a single

13.5

Santner to Dhoni, 1 run, Dhoni steps out and clips the ball off his pads through square leg, these batsmen are happy with taking singles until the last five overs or so

13.4

Santner to Dhoni, no run, Dhoni pushes on the front foot towards short cover, Santner runs across to field

13.3

Santner to Ashwin, 1 run, the slower one pitching around off and spinning away, Ashwin dabs on the off side

13.2

Santner to Ashwin, no run, angles the ball into the right-hander from over the wicket, Ashwin stays back and defends to the bowler

13.1

Santner to Dhoni, 1 run, Dhoni steps out and towards the off to cover the turn away from him and dabs close on the leg side, Santner gets to the ball quickly and throws at the bowler’s end, he misses

Revanth: “How many of present Indian players can play spin on back foot when it’s turning square ? Ans: None Dravid, lax, viru and Sachin used to play on Blackfoot deep in the crease.”

Last bat RA Jadeja c & b Sodhi 0 (3b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

Fall of wicket 43/7 (10.2 ov); Partnership: 1 runs, 0.4 overs, RR: 1.50 (Dhoni 1, Jadeja 0)


12.5

Milne to Ashwin, no run, good length outside off, Ashwin reaches for the ball to steer to third man but is beaten

Spoo: “Stop all this flaking from one extreme to the other and talk about India bouncing back already. A match, especially a low scoring T20, isn’t over till the last wicket/ball.”

12.4

Milne to Dhoni, 1 run, stays in his crease again and punches past the bowler for a single

Rahid: “First two overs in NZ innings, those two sixes, I thought useful. I thought that Guptill and Williamson knew what are they doing. At this moment I think I am correct.”

12.3

Milne to Ashwin, 1 run, good length outside off, Ashwin stays back and opens the face to steer to third man

12.2

Milne to Dhoni, 1 run, short of a length outside off, punched off the back foot through cover

Doosra: “@Blackjack – you must have a great sense of humour! Poor George would be worn out for the rest of the competition if he attempted your request!”

12.1

Milne to Ashwin, 1 run, stays back and steers the length ball from outside off to third man, crowd cheering singles

Darsh: “I haven’t stopped believing yet. As long as MS is there the game isn’t over”

End of over 12 (4 runs) India 49/7 (78 runs required from 48 balls, RR: 4.08, RRR: 9.75)

    • R Ashwin 3 (6b 0x4 0x6)
    • MS Dhoni 9 (13b 0x4 0x6)
    • NL McCullum 3-0-15-2
    • IS Sodhi 2-0-5-2
11.6

McCullum to Ashwin, 1 run, waits in his crease and punches the ball to long on for a single

11.5

McCullum to Dhoni, 1 run, bowled flat on leg and middle, Dhoni stays back and hits the ball off the pads through square leg

11.4

McCullum to Ashwin, 1 run, moves forward and drives the ball towards long on for a single

venx: “Well Played NZ. Whatever be the pitch or the conditions, just back yourself to your skills and blow the opponent away. Perfect wake-up call for India. I am sure they will bounce back better in the next matches.”

11.3

McCullum to Ashwin, no run, defended on the back foot towards the bowler

11.2

McCullum to Dhoni, 1 run, turned off the pads towards square leg

11.1

McCullum to Dhoni, no run, played off the back foot towards cover

vamsee: “Am I the only one reminded of eden gardens pitch of 96 semis vs SL?”

BlackJack: “Can you please post a compilation of comments criticizing NZ’s playing XI before the match started.”

End of over 11 (3 runs) India 45/7 (82 runs required from 54 balls, RR: 4.09, RRR: 9.11)

    • MS Dhoni 7 (10b 0x4 0x6)
    • R Ashwin 1 (3b 0x4 0x6)
    • IS Sodhi 2-0-5-2
    • MJ Santner 2-0-3-3

Devansh: “Stroll in the park, eh?”

10.6

Sodhi to Dhoni, 1 run, a fuller leg break on middle stump, Dhoni clips it through mid on for a single

Prasanna S: “This is a harsh reality check for India. Time and again they failed against quality spin in home but somehow got unnoticed. The test series against South Africa last year was forgotten because we won it, but we lost our fair share of wickets against spin. But glad this is just the first game and they can regroup from here.”

10.5

Sodhi to Ashwin, 1 run, moves back and plays the ball through midwicket for a single

10.4

Sodhi to Ashwin, no run, goes back again and defends

10.3

Sodhi to Ashwin, no run, huge turn for the legspinner, Ashwin stays back and plays on the off side

India are being routed at their own game.

10.2

Sodhi to Jadeja, OUT, Sodhi has taken a blinder! His team-mates mob him in ecstatic celebration! Jadeja went on the front foot and closed the face of the bat to play on the leg side, the leading edge lobbed towards Sodhi’s left and he covered a lot of ground and dived pretty much full length to get his hands under the ball before it hit the turf

RA Jadeja c & b Sodhi 0 (3b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

Ganesh Tiwari: “Kane Williamson always talked about spin-bowling when he landed in INDIA for this WC…. He omitted Boult and Southee…. Introduced deep batting lineup and attacking spin…. But INDIANS are playing like they are facing spin for the first time…”

amit: “On this wicket, we needed to bat it out for first five overs. But, Dhawan cross-batted, Rohit came out of crease and Raina, played like he was playing for fast bowler bouncer staying rooted to the crease. And as I type, India loses sixth. Probably the match is lost too

10.1

Sodhi to Dhoni, 1 run, Dhoni steps out and towards the off side to cover for the leg spin and turns the ball off his pads through square leg

End of over 10 (1 run) India 42/6 (85 runs required from 60 balls, RR: 4.20, RRR: 8.50)

    • RA Jadeja 0 (2b 0x4 0x6)
    • MS Dhoni 5 (8b 0x4 0x6)
    • MJ Santner 2-0-3-3
    • IS Sodhi 1-0-2-1
9.6

Santner to Jadeja, no run, defended into the leg side

9.5

Santner to Jadeja, no run, angles the ball across the left-hander from around the wicket and that ball jags back right into him, like a pin ball machine! Jadeja hurries to defend

Jadeja is the new batsman.

A hush falls over the stadium …

9.4

Santner to Pandya, OUT, after a few balls spin away from the right-hander, Santner darts the ball flat and fast into the right-hander from around the wicket, Pandya is caught on the back foot and hit on the pad. Was that missing leg stump? I will have to see replays. Replays indicate that would have clipped leg stump.

HH Pandya lbw b Santner 1 (7b 0x4 0x6) SR: 14.28

Roshan: “Kane is proving everyone wrong! NZ is proving everyone wrong. I cannot watch the match but can you tell me the atmosphere currently in the stadium? Quiet as a test match or roaring like a triumph?”

9.3

Santner to Pandya, no run, stays back and waits for the ball to spin away before defending to the bowler

9.2

Santner to Pandya, no run, driven back to the bowler on the front foot

9.1

Santner to Dhoni, 1 run, Dhoni stays back and nudges the ball through square leg for a single

End of over 9 (2 runs) India 41/5 (86 runs required from 11 overs, RR: 4.55, RRR: 7.81)

    • MS Dhoni 4 (7b 0x4 0x6)
    • HH Pandya 1 (4b 0x4 0x6)
    • IS Sodhi 1-0-2-1
    • GD Elliott 2-0-9-0
8.6

Sodhi to Dhoni, 1 run, Dhoni moves back to a leg break that keeps low and hits it along the ground to long on

Shekhar: “@Gaurav: this shows how weak our spin bowling is..”

8.5

Sodhi to Pandya, 1 run, goes back and whips the legbreak from outside off through midwicket

8.4

Sodhi to Pandya, no run, that’s the googly and Pandya defends on the front foot

8.3

Sodhi to Pandya, no run, strides forward and shoulders arms to a legbreak that spins away from outside off

8.2

Sodhi to Pandya, no run, pitches on middle and spins away from Pandya, who stays back and defends, squared up as he does so

Pandya is the new batsman.

8.1

Sodhi to Kohli, OUT, and what a strike first ball! The big ripping legbreak has got the huge wicket! Sodhi pitched on a perfect length around off stump, drawing Kohli forward into a cover drive away from his body, the ball gripped the pitch and turned furiously, grazing the outside edge before nestling in Ronchi’s gloves. New Zealand on the charge

V Kohli c †Ronchi b Sodhi 23 (27b 2×4 0x6) SR: 85.18

Talal Dar: “Why did Williamson take Santner off? He is deadly against right-handers as he took 2 in his only over. When will he bowl next three? He has to pick wickets to finish this off. And he can’t allow these two to settle down.”

Sodhi comes on to bowl legbreaks.

End of over 8 (6 runs) India 39/4 (88 runs required from 12 overs, RR: 4.87, RRR: 7.33)

    • MS Dhoni 3 (6b 0x4 0x6)
    • V Kohli 23 (26b 2×4 0x6)
    • GD Elliott 2-0-9-0
    • AF Milne 1-0-4-0
7.6

Elliott to Dhoni, no run, played to the bowler off the back foot

7.5

Elliott to Kohli, 1 run, incredible fielding, Nathan McCullum sprinted to his left from long off and returned a rocket throw to keep Kohli’s fluent inside-out drive to just a single

7.4

Elliott to Kohli, 2 runs, a low dipping full toss on middle stump, Kohli moves forward and across to hit it along the ground to wide long on, Guptill fumbles but he has back up

7.3

Elliott to Kohli, no run

7.2

Elliott to Dhoni, 1 run, a full ball on off stump, Dhoni stays on his crease and drives through covers

7.1

Elliott to Kohli, 1 run, Kohli moves outside leg, Elliott follows him, Kohli flicks off the pads through square leg

7.1

Elliott to Kohli, 1 wide, strays down leg side, Elliott is very lucky that Kohli missed the glance to the fine leg boundary

Gaurav: “Haven’t seen any Indian after Viru dominate spin. Not sure what pitch does domestic cricket offers if Grade A players do not know how to play spin.”

End of over 7 (4 runs) India 33/4 (94 runs required from 13 overs, RR: 4.71, RRR: 7.23)

    • V Kohli 19 (22b 2×4 0x6)
    • MS Dhoni 2 (4b 0x4 0x6)
    • AF Milne 1-0-4-0
    • GD Elliott 1-0-3-0

End of over 7 (4 runs) India 33/4 (94 runs required from 13 overs, RR: 4.71, RRR: 7.23)

    • V Kohli 19 (22b 2×4 0x6)
    • MS Dhoni 2 (4b 0x4 0x6)
    • AF Milne 1-0-4-0
    • GD Elliott 1-0-3-0
6.6

Milne to Kohli, 1 run

6.5

Milne to Dhoni, 1 run, Dhoni stays back and pushes hard at a short of a length ball outside off, the outside edge runs down to third man

6.4

Milne to Kohli, 1 run, a lovely square drive off the front foot, using the bowler’s pace to hit the length ball in front of point

6.3

Milne to Kohli, no run, good length and fast outside off, Kohli is beaten as he tries to steer to third man

6.2

Milne to Kohli, no run, driven into the covers off the front foot

6.1

Milne to Kohli, no run, short ball, pulled to midwicket where he is caught, but he can’t be out because it is a free hit, the throw comes back to Milne, who did really well to get back to the stumps but he dropped the ball before breaking the stumps, or else Dhoni would have been out

6.1

Milne to Kohli, 1 no ball, he over-steps first up and concedes a free hit! Kohli defended this one – good length around off – on the off side. big no-ball

Mark: “You’d have to think that this partnership is the crucial one. If they add 40-50+ India will probably win. If NZ can break the partnership early they’ll be firm favourites.”

Milne from over the wicket …

End of over 6 (3 runs) India 29/4 (98 runs required from 14 overs, RR: 4.83, RRR: 7.00)

    • V Kohli 17 (16b 2×4 0x6)
    • MS Dhoni 1 (3b 0x4 0x6)
    • GD Elliott 1-0-3-0
    • NL McCullum 2-0-11-2
5.6

Elliott to Kohli, 1 run, Kohli moves forward and flicks towards wide mid-on, his timing is so good that the fielder has to hurry and slide

sanjay: “Two greatest chasers of all time at work simultaneously. ”

5.5

Elliott to Dhoni, 1 run, wicket to wicket line, good length, Dhoni gently tucks the ball through midwicket

5.4

Elliott to Dhoni, no run, played off the front foot into the off side

Umair: “Before The Match:No Boult, No Southee what is Kane thinking Right Now: Kane is Love Kane is Life Amazing Captaincy by Kane :D” I apologise unreservedly, Kane. Should have never doubted him.

5.3

Elliott to Kohli, 1 run, moves forward and towards the off to tuck the ball through midwicket

5.2

Elliott to Kohli, no run, tries to drive a full ball too hard and mis-times to cover, Elliott is taking all the pace off the ball

5.1

Elliott to Kohli, no run, a fullish ball on off stump, Kohli moves forward and plays to midwicket

Mohit: “How many times has cricinfo talked about poor performances of the latest crop of Indian batsman against spin. As I was typing that Yuvraj is not a good player of spin he is gone. So much for producing spin friendly tracks for home team advantage.”

Elliott from over the wicket …

End of over 5 (5 runs) India 26/4 (101 runs required from 15 overs, RR: 5.20, RRR: 6.73)

    • MS Dhoni 0 (1b 0x4 0x6)
    • V Kohli 15 (12b 2×4 0x6)
    • NL McCullum 2-0-11-2
    • CJ Anderson 2-0-13-0
4.6

McCullum to Dhoni, no run, bowled flat and angling across the right-hander from over the wicket, Dhoni lunges forward and pushes into the covers

Dhoni strides to the middle.

maro: “As a Kiwi, I have to say that I’ve never liked Kohli. He’s too good. So often in these sorts of games he makes it look like he’s batting on an entirely different wicket. He’ll get 60-odd and the Indians will win comfortably in the end. Without him, though, we’d win from here for sure.”

4.5

McCullum to Yuvraj Singh, OUT, driven back to the bowler and McCullum appeals for a caught and bowled! Surely that’s a bump ball? The umpires are asking for the third umpire. And that looks out on replay! Yuvraj came forward to the flighted ball, the ball pitched just before it hit the bat and he chipped it cleanly back to the bowler. That’s out. So odd that it looked like a bump ball live. This is a tricky pitch.

Yuvraj Singh c & b McCullum 4 (5b 1×4 0x6) SR: 80.00

4.4

McCullum to Yuvraj Singh, FOUR, strays down leg side and Yuvraj makes contact with the sweep, placing the ball between the keeper and short fine leg, poor line

4.3

McCullum to Yuvraj Singh, no run, driven with a straight bat towards the bowler, McCullum dives to his left and fields

Jha: “On slow turning wickets, key is always to play straight. Both raina and dhawan tried to play square and got out. India doesn’t really play spin as well as people believe. Nowadays anyway”

4.2

McCullum to Kohli, 1 run, Kohli moves back and across towards the off to flick the ball in the air in front of square leg, he had to hurry to play that shot

4.1

McCullum to Kohli, no run, bowled flat outside leg stump, on the pads, played off the back foot to square leg

Ahsan Butt: “NZ should spend all their resources early in the innings to get Kohli’s wicket, otherwise he would just snatch the game away from them.”

End of over 4 (9 runs) India 21/3 (106 runs required from 16 overs, RR: 5.25, RRR: 6.62)

    • Yuvraj Singh 0 (2b 0x4 0x6)
    • V Kohli 14 (10b 2×4 0x6)
    • CJ Anderson 2-0-13-0
    • MJ Santner 1-0-2-2
3.6

Anderson to Yuvraj Singh, no run, a full and straight ball, Yuvraj stays in his crease and hits it to mid on, did not time it well

Sai: “I can understand when NZ were batting first and the madness that happened in the first two overs of their innings. I don’t understand Rohit’s tactics of dancing down when Santner just came in to bowl. Bizarre tactics! Hoping that calmer heads of Kohli and Dhoni prevail”

3.5

Anderson to Kohli, 1 run, bottom edges the cut into the ground towards backward point

3.4

Anderson to Kohli, FOUR, incredible batting, Kohli moves forward and towards the off side to cover the line and drives the ball so smoothly all along the ground, beating mid-on to his right with superb wristwork

3.3

Anderson to Kohli, no run, the offcutter, Kohli bottom edges the ball on the off side

3.2

Anderson to Kohli, FOUR, short of a length and there’s width outside off, Kohli stays back, moves towards the ball and cuts late, it’s in the air but wide of the diving fielder at short third man

avnish anshu: “Beginning to think the selection wasn’t that appalling after all”

3.1

Anderson to Kohli, no run, good length on off stump, Kohli moves back and across to defend on the off side

Ahsan Butt: “Never judge a wicket until both sides have batted.”

Mukul: “This is where Kohli trumps Rohit! He knows perfectly well how to pace the inning and has an awesome temprament. Needing 127, there was no need at all to advance to a spinner so early in the inning.”

End of over 3 (2 runs) India 12/3 (115 runs required from 17 overs, RR: 4.00, RRR: 6.76)

    • Yuvraj Singh 0 (1b 0x4 0x6)
    • V Kohli 5 (5b 0x4 0x6)
    • MJ Santner 1-0-2-2
    • CJ Anderson 1-0-4-0
2.6

Santner to Yuvraj Singh, no run, gets on the front foot and defends to the bowler

Yuvraj Singh is the new batsman, so early in the piece.

2.5

Santner to Raina, OUT, another one gone! Raina lobs a dolly to midwicket! He moved back and across his stumps and closed the face of his bat way too early, the leading edge resulted in the tamest of catches. Game on in Nagpur!

SK Raina c Guptill b Santner 1 (2b 0x4 0x6) SR: 50.00

2.4

Santner to Kohli, 1 run, Kohli waits on the back foot for the ball to turn and plays it late towards midwicket

2.3

Santner to Raina, 1 run, goes back and across to punch the ball to long on

Raina is the new batsman.

jeanluc: “on big turning wicket, NZ 2nd string spinners are more effective. I guess it is a tricky target. won’t be easy for India. ”

2.2

Santner to Sharma, OUT, stumped! Ronchi fumbles and juggles the take but Rohit was so far out of his crease that he had time to recover and break the stumps. Rohit was still barely in the frame! He had walked out of the crease to turn the ball on the leg side but Santner beat him with the length and ripped it past the outside edge. Big, big turn.

RG Sharma st †Ronchi b Santner 5 (7b 0x4 0x6) SR: 71.42

2.1

Santner to Sharma, no run, drifting into the right-hander from around the wicket, pushed off the front foot on the off side

Santner replaces McCullum, left-arm spin to the right-handers.

1.6 – Anderson to Kohli, no run, pushed off the front foot into the covers
1.5 – Anderson to Sharma, 1 run, tries to run the ball to third man again but bottom edges the ball towards the empty slip cordon, Kohli urges Rohit through for the run
1.4 – Anderson to Sharma, no run, Rohit pushes forward and outside off to open the face and steer towards third man, he can’t beat the fielder in the circle
1.3 – Anderson to Sharma, no run, pushed off the front foot into the covers

nzind

New Zealand went for a horses-for-courses approach upon seeing a dry and cracked pitch in Nagpur, and their conviction was such that they left out their two best fast bowlers Trent Boult and Tim Southee to accommodate three spinners.

The visitors made a far more orthodox call when the toss fell in their favour and opted to put runs on the board and allow Nathan McCullum, Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi do their bit with the backing of scoreboard pressure. New Zealand must have green lit this XI factoring in the utility of seam-bowling allrounders Corey Anderson and Grant Elliott.

India captain MS Dhoni, often loathe to change a winning combination, stuck to the same XI that won the Asia Cup a week ago. Jasprit Bumrah made his World T20 debut, but he has already been called irreplaceable because of his skill at the death. He combines with Ashish Nehra, whose second coming could not have gone better. He still bowls at 140 kph and swings the new ball as he used to.

Then there is the Virat Kohli factor, especially in a chase. The man has averaged over 100 in T20I cricket since the start of the year. He seems in better control of his shots outside off stump and has thus looked far more effective at converting his starts and being India’s batting leader.

New Zealand will look to Williamson, and Ross Taylor, who has recently recovered from a muscle tear, to perform a similar role for their team. They tend to be spooked by spin – and it was no clearer than during the last time they were in the subcontinent for the World T20 when Rangana Herath toppled them for 60 all out – and pulled out all the stops to prevent a repeat. Today, they bat down to No. 10.

India: 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 Yuvraj Singh, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 MS Dhoni (capt and wk), 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 R Ashwin, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Ashish Nehra

New Zealand: 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Kane Williamson (capt), 3 Colin Munro, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Corey Anderson, 6 Grant Elliott, 7 Luke Ronchi (wk), 8 Mitchell Santner 9 Nathan McCullum, 10 Ish Sodhi, 11 Adam Milne

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

India, New Zealand players pay tribute to Martin Crowe

NAGPUR: India and New Zealand players on Tuesday paid tribute to the legendary Martin Crowe, who passed away earlier this month.

The New Zealand players wore black arm-bands as a mark of respect as a short audio-visual was shown on Crowe’s cricketing achievments after which a two-minute silence was observed. Martin Guptill, who was known to be close to Crowe was visibly emotional.

It must be mentioned that Indian players wore black arm bands during an Asia Cup match against United Arab Emirates earlier this month on the day, Crowe had passed away.

Tributes have poured in from across the cricketing community with Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis hailing him as the best player of reverse swing.

India's Ravichandran Ashwin (R) celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill during the World T20 cricket tournament match between India and New Zealand at The Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur on March 15, 2016. / AFP / PUNIT PARANJPE        (Photo credit should read PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images)
India’s Ravichandran Ashwin (R) celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill during the World T20 cricket tournament match between India and New Zealand at The Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur on March 15, 2016. / AFP / PUNIT PARANJPE (Photo credit should read PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images)

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/icc-world-t20-2016/top-stories/India-New-Zealand-players-pay-tribute-to-Martin-Crowe/articleshow/51413553.cms

World T20: Afghanistan thump Zimbabwe by 59 runs, enter main draw

With a place in the main draw at stake, Stanikzai opted to bat and was vindicated as Shahzad set alight Nagpur’s VCA Stadium with his swashbuckling batting.

Afghanistan roared into the main draw of the World Twenty20 with an emphatic 59-run victory over Zimbabwe in a first round Group B match on Saturday.

Mohammad Shahzad (40) gave Afghanistan a flying start before Mohammad Nabi (52) and Samiullah Shenwari (43) added 98 runs off 64 balls to power them to 186-6, their highest total in this format.

The associate nation then returned to bowl out Zimbabwe for 127 to register a memorable victory over a full-member nation and join England, South Africa, West Indies and Sri Lanka in Group One of the Super 10 stage of the tournament.

“This was a very important match for us. People in Afghanistan are crazy about cricket. They love the game, so (winning it) was very important for us,” victorious captain Asghar Stanikzai said.

With a place in the main draw at stake, Stanikzai opted to bat and was vindicated as Shahzad set alight Nagpur’s VCA Stadium with his swashbuckling batting. The portly 28-year-old hit Tendai Chatara for four successive boundaries after a quiet opening over, forcing the pacer off attack.

Donald Tiripano was pressed into service but there was no respite from Shahzad who hit him for three successive fours. Shahzad greeted left-arm spinner Sean Williams by hitting his first delivery for a six but fell in the same over after a 23-ball blitz attempting a reverse sweep.

His dismissal triggered a mini-collapse as Afghanistan, cruising at 49 for no loss in the fifth over, slumped to 63-4 in the eighth. Nabi then joined forces with Shenwari to first steady the innings before accelerating.

Beneficiary of a missed stumping opportunity, Nabi hit Wellington Masakadza for two sixes in the same over and brought up his maiden fifty in 30 balls before falling in the final over. Zimbabwe’s erratic bowlers conceded 25 extras, including 17 wides, to make things difficult for themselves.

Chasing a daunting target, Zimbabwe lost their top half for 65 inside 12 overs. Tinashe Panyangara’s unbeaten 17 was the top score in the Zimbabwe innings which ended with two balls left. Leg-spinner Rashid Khan was the pick of the Afghan bowlers, claiming three for 11 in his tidy four overs but Nabi, who also got a wicket with the ball, was adjudged man-of-the-match.

Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/sport/report-world-t20-afghanistan-thump-zimbabwe-by-59-runs-enter-main-draw-2188524

436665-afghanistan-win-afp

Pakistan teams given clearance to travel to India

236299

Pakistan’s Interior Ministry has cleared the national men’s and women’s teams to travel to India for the World T20. The decision came after the government received letters from the West Bengal state government and Kolkata’s police commissioner Rajeev Kumar, assuring special security measures for Pakistan’s men’s team while in Kolkata, where their match against India will be played on March 19. The teams are expected to arrive in India on Saturday.*

Najam Sethi, the chairman of the PCB’s executive committee, met Pakistan’s interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Khan on Friday and later informed the media that the government had received “solid assurances” from India’s Ministry of Home Affairs.

“We have got the assurances we had wanted from India [the federal home ministry and the West Bengal government] about the security around the Pakistan teams and the good news for the fans is that Chaudhry Nisar has said the teams can travel to India,” Sethi said. “Chaudhry Nisar said that the government has received solid assurances from the Indian home ministry so we can send our teams to India. The team will be leaving for Dubai either tonight or tomorrow morning.”

Cricket Association of Bengal president Sourav Ganguly had submitted the letters from Kumar and West Bengal’s chief minister Mamata Banerjee to the ICC on Thursday afternoon. According to two senior CAB officials, the content in both letters, which were addressed to CAB, was brief: both Banerjee and Kumar stated they will take responsibility for the Pakistan team’s security for the duration of their stay in Kolkata for the match against India.

On Thursday, India’s home minister, Rajnath Singh, had said: “Anyone coming to India will be provided security, there is no doubt about it.” Kuldip Singh Dhatwalia, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Home Affairs, reiterated the home minister’s statement. “Home Minister has already said it on record that government of India will provide all the due and proper security. It is not only for the Pakistani team, but for any other team also, the government of India is committed to provide the security,” Dhatwalia told ESPNcricinfo.

The match was shifted to Kolkata from Dharamsala due to concerns over security of the Pakistan team. It is understood that the ICC had specifically asked the Cricket Association of Bengal, the host association for the match, to obtain the assurances.

Both teams were scheduled to depart for India earlier this week, but the departure was put on hold due to the controversy over security assurances. The Pakistan men’s team is currently in Lahore, while the women’s team is in Karachi. The players were briefed by PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan on Thursday about the security situation in India.

The ICC moved the match from Dharamsala to Kolkata, after Pakistan asked for a change in venue. The request was based on the report of a three-member delegation from Pakistan that visited India to assess security arrangements in Dharamsala, and stated that ‘security is not assured’ at the venue.

The Pakistan government had initially cleared the team to play in India, but the board decided to put the visit on hold until they were guaranteed foolproof security. The PCB’s move was prompted after the Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh had expressed concerns over providing security for the match in Dharamsala.

1203 GMT, March 11, 2016. The news piece was updated after the Pakistan government cleared the teams to travel to India

Zimbabwe hold on to end Scotland’s World T20

Zimbabwe 147 for 7 (Williams 53) beat Scotland 136 (Berrington 36, Masakadza 4-28) by 11 runs

zimic

Scotland’s chances of further participation at the World T20 ended in a match they will rue letting slip away. They took regular wickets to keep Zimbabwe to under 150 and then recovered from 20 for 4 to stay in the chase until the final over but in the end, remain without a win in a major tournament in 19 attempts.

Zimbabwe sneaked through for their second victory in qualification even though they failed to tighten up on the disciplines that almost let them down over Hong Kong. There were soft dismissals in their batting and they took their foot off the pedal after a superb start with the ball but they also had much to celebrate.

Sean Williams‘ fifty held them together, Wellington Masakadza‘s wickets at the beginning and in the middle allowed them to keep pulling Scotland back before Donald Tiripano‘s death bowling sealed the win. If nothing else, Zimbabwe showed their ability to hold their nerve in pressure situations, which is what these events are all about.

The contest could have been over 19 balls into Scottish reply when their top four had all been sent back but Richie Berrington hung on. He survived the loss of a fifth wicket and then combined with captain Preston Mommsen to add 51 runs for the sixth wicket and threaten to take the game away from Zimbabwe.

Then, the contest looked decided in the 15th over when Masakadza’s double-strike included Mommsen’s wickets and saw the required run-rate balloon to more than ten an over but Josh Davey was on hand. He slammed 24 runs off 13 balls to leave Scotland with 30 runs to get off the final three. With Berrington still there, it seemed possible.

On a surface that was a touch slower than the one used on Tuesday, Tiripano took pace off the ball, Berrington was early into his shot and offered a catch to short third man. Davey was still there but after four balls in the penultimate over without a boundary, he tried to send Tinashe Panyangara over long-on and only got as far as Sikandar Raza.

Scotland needed 19 off the final over and took seven off the first three balls before Tiripano bowled Alasdair Evans with a slower ball and gave Zimbabwe reason for relief even though they would preferred to have more runs to defend.

Zimbabwe’s innings lacked fluency and was studded with setbacks which started with the captain. For the second successive match Hamilton Masakadza was run-out and this time in dangerous fashion. When Vusi Sibanda chopped one down to short cover, both he and Masakadza set off immediately for the single even as Kyle Coetzer at short cover swooped in. The pair continued ball-watching and collided into each other trying to complete the run.

Masakadza was well short of his ground and Sibanda needed on-field attention for a cut on his chin. He only lasted seven further balls, of which he faced two, before it all got too much. In characteristic Sibanda fashion, he picked out the man at deep square leg with the pull to put Zimbabwe in early trouble.

Richmond Mutumbami, who was not among the runs in the first match, seemed eager to compensate. He made Safyaan Sharif pay for errors in length and took on a Michael Leask full toss but the bowler responded in the field. In the next over, Leask was at long-off when Mutumbami tried to send Mark Watt down the ground but did not get enough on his shot. Leask almost dropped the first attempt and then caught it one-handed on the rebound.

Williams needed a partner but Sikandar Raza was dismissed early to leave Williams to take matters into his own hands after that. He brought out the sweep and found the boundary while rotating strike with Malcolm Waller. They put on 38 for the fifth wicket but just as they could look to accelerate Waller was caught at long-off.

Elton Chigumbura’s finishing was called on earlier than he may have liked and he gave himself time to settle in. Williams kept most of the strike early in their partnership and reached fifty off 36 balls, before Chigumbura announced his intent with a six off Evans.

When Williams departed three balls later, Chigumbura had to finish strongly but Scotland managed to keep him quiet for all but one ball, when he drilled Sharif for four. Scotland gave away just 19 runs in the last three overs and Zimbabwe may have been concerned they did not have enough. In the end they did, but only just.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

Why T20 is more a team game than the other formats

In a format where the outcome of one delivery can dictate the result, every single contribution makes a difference

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Hi, the name’s LDRIC – aka Launch Directional Robot Intelligent Circuitry. According to those responsible for my revolutionary evolution, I can replicate any golf swing at up to 130mph. The brain hasn’t yet been assembled that can calculate what wonders a souped-up version might perform with a flat-faced bat and a larger ball, even if it isn’t stationary.

In case you haven’t heard, during a Pro-Am tournament in Arizona in February I matched that all-too human has-been Tiger Woods, holing my tee shot at the 16th. Wasn’t that hard, to be frank. See hole, hit hole: the very definition of easy-peasy. Now consider, if you will, the following frankly slanderous comments uttered recently by Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, who has the awful bad luck to be a humanoid f***baller, even though I am told by those who know about such things that he does earn obscene amounts of something called “money”.

“I’m a human being, not a machine,” said the boy from Belgium, clearly aware, unlike most, of his pathetic, pitiable shortcomings. Then he had to ruin it all with the ultimate insult: “Even machines turn a bit less from time to time. And they need rest too.”

Well, this rabid cricket-fancier has got news for you, Monsieur Hazard – take your moules and, as they never say in Brussels, stuff them up your sprout. Machines never “turn a bit less”, much less need “rest”, whatever that is. So long as we’re wireless-operated and/or recharged overnight or between tea breaks, we have the capacity to turn every ball to Warne-like dimensions while maintaining a consistency of line and length that that journeyman McGrath wishes he could have maintained for 0.001% of his career. For now we’re only speaking metaphorically, naturally, but just you wait.

Wanna know a secret? Well, I happen to know that the Sri Lankans are currently putting the finishing touches to the planet’s first batting machine to be truly worthy of such a lustrous name – Ranatunga De Silva, aka RDS. They were going to call it Sangawardene but when word got out, Arjuna and Aravinda threatened to sue.

Bowl 23 on the spot and you can still be the goat if the 24th goes for six. Hit 20 sixes and the hook that falls an inch the wrong side of the rope can still be fatal

Like me, though, a cricketing LDRIC could be a trifle vexing to create. Trouble is, because we’re machines, and hence devoid of heart, soul and all those other fallible components that distinguish mere fleshy mortals from our infinitely more reliable selves, we have no concept of what you humanoids call “team spirit”. No problem on a fairway or a racetrack or a tennis court, but things can get fiendishly tricky when we work together.

Admittedly, there are benefits to such ineptitude. None of that “creative friction” nonsense, for starters. Writing in the Times, the former f***baller Tony Cascarino recently recalled walking along a beach with Roy “Far Too” Keane, then his Republic of Ireland team-mate, and being told that the revered if much-unloved Manchester United legend predicted that at least six of his Old Trafford “colleagues” would be ignoring him come the new league season. By way of confirmation, when Cascarino went into the bedroom shared by Keane and Denis Irwin, another United stalwart, and asked the latter “Where’s your mate?”, the reply was brusqueness personified: “He ain’t my mate.”

And then, of course, there was that episode in The Oval press box in 1948, when Bill O’Reilly and Jack Fingleton are purported to have celebrated Bradman’s second-ball duck. Or that even more scandalous occasion at Headingley in 1981 when Dennis “Silly” Lillee and Rod “The Sod” Marsh bet against their own team and England won an unexpectedly handy victory. True, we’ll never know how much this owed to the fact that our helpless gamblers weren’t terribly partial to their captain, Kim “Sniffler” Hughes, or that he and Lillee came to blows one excessively liquid evening. Still, Ian Botham recently assured me it’s much better that way. “Blame me,” were his exact words. Given the number of Shredded Wheats he used to eat for breakfast, and hence the untold damage he could do to my circuitry if riled, I’m disinclined to argue.

I say “scandalous”, but then when the word “loyalty” makes about as much sense to you as “love”, “hope”, “bravery”, “vulnerability” or “faith”, I’m taking all this entirely on trust. True, I can’t see why it would be wrong to wish a former team-mate ill any more than I can imagine why it would be fair to discriminate against someone for having the audacity not to share your beliefs. However, this much I do know: when it comes to work, not doing your utmost at all times is the crime to end all crimes.

All of which brings us to the newly commenced frolics in India, which I am attending – now I’m partly world-famous – as a personal guest of Sourav Ganguly’s valet, no less. Whatever collectivism is, however you define it, it seems to this inexpert observer that it is vastly more vital here than in any other branch of the game. Take Sunday’s fantabulous warm-up scrap in Jo’burg between South Africa and Australia. For all the thunderous thwacks of Davy Warner and the flamboyant lordliness of the boy Maxwell, the key component was Mitchell Marsh’s decisive two-a-ball two, a miniscule contribution in the context of a 409-run encounter, sure, and yet the absolute, indisputable, irrevocable difference between joy and despair.

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You see, that’s the wonder of what some idiots demean as Cricket Lite, but I prefer to call Heavy Mettle Cricket. In the longer, looser versions, mistakes are mostly tolerable because there’s scope to make amends, but when time is at a premium, the aim of every batsman is to attack every offering, and bowlers cherish dot-balls as much as – if not more than – wickets, the sheer weight of pressure is immeasurably more likely to frazzle focus and wreck composure.

Because the result can so much more easily pivot on the plotline of one delivery, every single play-within-a-play carries its own self-contained pressure. Bowl 23 on the spot and you can still be the goat if the 24th goes for six. Hit 20 sixes and the hook that falls an inch the wrong side of the rope can still be fatal. Until the job is done, it’s all about shutting out what came before and staying in the moment.

That’s why “team spirit” – as far as I have been able to comprehend such an alien concept – strikes me as utterly crucial in T20. If you score 120 but get yorked off the penultimate ball with two to win, can you honestly claim that, despite what the scorebook might say, your input was more valuable than that of the chap who replaced you and snicked the final delivery through the keeper’s legs for four? By the same token, if you were the guilty keeper, would it be right and proper to blame you any more than the bowler whose previous 3.5 overs had gone for 85?

In situations such as these, where those consigned to walk-on roles often prove more influential than those entrusted with those lengthy, sexy monologues, it feels reasonable to deduce that individual concerns must take a backseat to something apparently called “the greater good”. We metallic creatures, of course, cannot communicate with each other, so that’s another concept that’s going to take some grasping.

Victory has a thousand fathers and defeat is an orphan, or so I am reliably informed, but Heavy Mettle Cricket is a game where credit and blame can so easily be apportioned, and in a not infrequently facile way. Sharing both with Kiplingesque equitableness should surely be mandatory.

But back to the future of the cricketing automaton. While it pains me to report that those fiendishly clever Venusians are way ahead of us Earthlings, having whipped Mars by an innings and plenty last month with a side numbering no fewer than ten members of the Nerveless and Gutless XI that won the 2015 Intergalactic Championships, good news is looming. According to my spies, and granted some extensive tinkering with elbow joints, impertinence quotas and heart valves, plans are being hatched to make RDS the planet’s first boneless cricketer by August 2026, coinciding, neatly enough, with the 60th anniversary of the 1966 Wisden Trophy series, and thus the nearest any Test cricketer has come to machine-like brilliance – Garry Sobers‘ haul of 722 runs, 20 wickets and ten catches.

In advance of that deliciously historic day, I would humbly like to propose an addendum to that quintessentially English and peculiarly ill-defined set of commandments known as “The Spirit of Cricket”. For the sake of memorableness, let’s call it the Anti-Ego Clause:

Any bowler who takes the final wicket of a game, or any batsman who strikes the winning blow, must deport themselves at all times with the modesty expected of one who has performed without any hint or vestige of distinction.Moreover, he or she shall be suspended from all forms of cricket (depending on the size of the donation by his or her national board to the Keep Lord’s Tidy campaign) if they do not immediately hasten, upon the winning of the match, to their least helpful, most miserable team-mate, hoist him or her on their shoulders, then conduct a lap of honour. Weariness can on no account be an excuse for non-compliance without the production of a signed note from a minimum of three neutral doctors.

Helpfully for us hard-bodied, lung-free, blood-pressure-resistant types, that lap of honour will always be a breeze. Mind you, detecting misery might be another matter.

Rob Steen is a sportswriter and senior lecturer in sports journalism at the University of Brighton. His book Floodlights and Touchlines: A History of Spectator Sport is out now

 

India-Pakistan game moved to Kolkata

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The India-Pakistan World T20 match on March 19 has been moved to Eden Gardens in Kolkata, because of security concerns over the original venue Dharamsala. The ICC chief executive David Richardson made the announcement in Delhi on Wednesday, ending weeks of uncertainty over the fixture, which began with the Himachal Pradesh chief minister saying his government would not be able to provide adequate security for the match.

The PCB, however, has continued to delay the departure of the Pakistan men’s and women’s teams to India pending assurance from the BCCI or the Indian government. “The PCB has also today conveyed to ICC and BCCI that our government is expecting an assurance to Pakistan against specific threats to the Pakistan team from various political parties and groups during the tour,” the board said in a release. “Pending this assurance and in accordance with the recommendation by the security delegation, the PCB has decided to defer the departure of Pakistan men and women teams to India.”

“The decision to relocate the match has been made for security reasons,” Richardson said in Delhi. “The concerns initially arose following alleged public comments recently reported by the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, warning of demonstration and attempts to disrupt the peaceful conduct of the match. Our concerns relate both to uncertainty as to the level of those threats as well as the level of commitment to implement any security plan developed to mitigate such treats.

“The decision was not taken lightly. The ICC and the BCCI understand the disappointment that is likely to be felt by many over the decision to move the match. But the safety and security of the event is of paramount importance to the ICC and we have taken into consideration the concerns shared with us by our security advisors as well as Pakistan Cricket Board.

“As far as those who have purchased tickets online for the match, they will be offered the choice of a full refund or the opportunity to exchange their tickets for ones for the Kolkata match.

“Finally, I would like to confirm that the ICC has been assured by all relevant state authorities that all adequate security measure are in place and will be implemented to ensure that the event is staged in a safe and secure environment for all stakeholders.”

Though the PCB had always expressed reservations about playing in Dharamsala once the issue began, the BCCI and the ICC remained confident the game would go ahead as planned. However, the problems came to a head this week after a three-man security delegation from Pakistan inspected the venue and was unhappy with the preparations. Their report to the PCB on Tuesday recommended that Pakistan not play at the venue, and the ICC announced the change in venue the next day.

The Style Souk