Babar Azam has become the first Pakistani captain to lead his team to a victory over India in a men's ICC World Cup event.
Mohammad Rizwan (79 not out off 55 balls) and Babar Azam (68 not out off 52 balls) together chased down India's 151/7 as they recorded a 10 wicket victory over their arch-rivals on Sunday night in Dubai.
Before this match, India had won all 12 World Cup matches between the two teams.
Chasing 151, Pakistan got off to an impressive start with 43 runs for no loss in power-play. Rizwan began by carting Bhuvneshwar Kumar for back-to-back boundaries in the opening over. In the next over, Azam started off with a glorious back-foot drive off Mohammed Shami. Shami came under attack in the fifth over as Azam and Rizwan took a four each.
India did tighten the screws by not conceding boundaries in the sixth, seventh and eighth overs. But Azam broke the boundary-less spell with a pull over cow corner off Ravindra Jadeja in the ninth over. From there onwards, Azam and Rizwan played risk-free cricket by rotating the strike and punishing the bad balls by dispatching them to the boundary rope.
It was one-way traffic as India had no answers to clinical batting from Pakistan's openers, especially with dew coming into the picture. Azam reached his half-century with a gigantic six over deep mid-wicket off Varun Chakravarthy in the 13th over. Two overs later, Rizwan too reached the fifty-mark with a pull through cow corner off Jasprit Bumrah in the 15th over.
Rizwan began the 18th over by hammering Shami for a six over fine leg followed by back-to-back fours through the leg-side. Azam finished off the chase with a brace, ending Pakistan's hoodoo against India'in men's T20 World Cups with 13 balls to spare.
Earlier, Virat Kohli (57 off 49 balls) and Rishabh Pant (39 off 30 balls) helped India post 151/7 in 20 overs. The pair led the recovery for the team after Pakistan reduced them to 36/3 in the powerplay.
Inserted into batting first, India lost openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in the first 13 balls of the innings to Shaheen Shah Afridi. While Sharma was trapped plumb in front of the wicket by a yorker, Rahul was undone by a fast inswinger going through the gate to hit the stumps. Suryakumar Yadav hit a six off Afridi and swept Imad Wasim for four. But his promising stay at the crease ended when he was snapped by keeper Mohammad Rizwan diving to his right to catch the poke off Hasan Ali in the final over of power-play.
Kohli and Pant led the rebuilding job for India with a stand of 53 off 40 balls for the fourth wicket. Pant was the more aggressive of the two, cutting and swiping off the spinners Shadab Khan and Mohammad Hafeez followed by carting Ali for back-to-back one-handed sixes over square leg and long-off. But in the 13th over, Pant top-edged a slog, which was caught by Khan off his own bowling.
After Pant fell, Kohli stepped up and took four boundaries off Haris Rauf and Ali en route to his half-century. Ravindra Jadeja swatted Ali over fine leg. But on the next ball, Jadeja was foxed by a slower delivery, holing out to deep mid-wicket. Afridi returned for his final over to take out Kohli with a slower bouncer, the Indian skipper top-edging behind. Rauf took out Pandya in the final over, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami ensured that India crossed the 150-mark.