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Rizwan: Shaheen's blistering spell helped us beat India


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Photo: AFP

|| AFP ||

Opener Mohammad Rizwan praised spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi for providing the spark for the 10-wicket crushing of India at the Twenty20 World Cup on Sunday.

The tall paceman dismissed dangerous opener Rohit Sharma with the fourth delivery of the match for a first-ball duck and then had KL Rahul (three) and Virat Kohli (57) in an incisive 3-31 spell off his four overs.

His effort restricted India to a below-par 151-7 in their 20 overs, a target Pakistan overhauled in 17.5 overs without losing a wicket -- their first victory over India in six Twenty20 World Cup games.

It also broke Pakistan's jinx of 12 World Cup games (seven 50-over World Cup matches as well) without a victory against India since 1992. 

"Shaheen got us wickets at the top of the order and that proved to be the turning point," said Rizwan after Pakistan's victory in Group 2 of the Super 12 stage.

Rizwan hit an undefeated 55-ball 79 as Pakistan achieved their first ten-wicket win in all Twenty20 internationals. This was also India's first ten-wicket defeat in Twenty20 cricket. 

Rizwan said the victory was a gift to the nation.

"Congratulations to the whole of Pakistan and all our people as we were all waiting for this win," said Rizwan.

"This was my first game against India, so it's a good thing for me.

"I used to watch all the Indo-Pak matches on television and used to pinpoint where we made mistakes. 

"But today's game was great and after Shaheen got those wickets we were confident we would win."

Shaheen said the win was the perfect start to the tournament where the top two teams in each Super 12 group make the semi-finals.

"We knew that we have to win this game as we had never won a World Cup match against India, so it's very heartening and welcoming," he said.

Shaheen said he had planned to bring the ball in as the dry pitch was offering some swing.

"I had a plan against Rohit and that was to bring the ball in," said Shaheen. "It swung and I got him leg-before wicket and that was the start we needed."

Indian skipper Kohli scored a valiant 57 before he was caught behind off Shaheen in the 19th over.

"Kohli is a world class batsman so he survived that first spell but I know that he bats like Babar and I bowled to him like I bowl against Babar in the nets."

Captain Babar Azam scored a 52-ball 68 not out, also helped to taste India their first ten-wicket defeat in Twenty20 cricket.

 

"We executed our plans well and the early wickets were very helpful," Babar, who remained not out on 68, said after the victory which triggered wild celebrations in the Pakistan camp.

"The plan with Rizwan was to keep it simple. We tried to get deep in the crease and from about the eighth over, the dew came in and the ball came on nicely."

"This is just the start, we have confidence to build on this win," Babar said after beginning their Group Two campaign in style.

Pakistan next play New Zealand in Sharjah on Tuesday.