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Bumrah helps India hold off archrival Pakistan in a low-scoring T20 World Cup thriller

India were in dire straits and needed a moment or two of brilliance to defend a low total against arch-rival cricket Pakistan in the Twenty20 World Cup.

Captain Rohit Sharma gave the ball to Jasprit Bumrah, trusting his usual pace bowler to take the wicket on Sunday that would tilt the match in India’s favour.

Noise and excitement grew among the crowd on Long Island, with Indian fans outnumbering Pakistani fans.

And Bumrah delivered, later saying, after returning match figures of three wickets for 14 runs, that he felt like he was playing in India.

Chasing a seemingly meager target of 120, Pakistan advanced to 80-3 after 14 overs before Bumrah blasted a ball into the stumps to dismiss Pakistan’s leading scorer Mohammad Rizwan for 31. He added the wicket of Iftikhar Ahmed in the last ball of a tremendous spell.

A batsman on a cricket field.
Pakistan’s Imad Wasim takes a hit. (Getty Images)

And so, after bowling out India for 119 in 19 overs, Pakistan were restricted to 113-7 in 20 overs in the low-scoring thriller. India’s six-run victory put 2022 runners-up Pakistan on the brink of a group stage exit.

“Bumrah is going from strength to strength,” said Sharma, the Indian captain. “I’m not going to talk too much about him; we want him to have that kind of mentality until the end of this World Cup.

“He’s a genius with the ball.”

After being upset by co-hosts United States in the Super Over in Dallas in their opening game, Pakistan recovered well to contain India’s powerful batting line-up after the start was delayed almost an hour due to rain at the Stadium. Nassau County Cricket International.

The batsmen seemed to be handling the difficult and uneven pitching conditions well until Bumrah re-entered the attack for his third over.

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Thereafter, Pakistan’s middle-order batsmen were so squeezed in the so-called death overs that they could only manage two boundaries in the last 36 deliveries.

Needing 18 off the last over, Naseem Shah (10 not out) smashed Arshdeep Singh for two boundaries before leaving the field in tears and was consoled by his batting partner Shaheen Shah Afridi.

It was the second-lowest total ever successfully defended in the men’s T20 World Cup. It was the lowest total India had defended in a full T20 international and helped extend their record to 7-1 in T20 internationals against Pakistan.

India beat Ireland by eight wickets in their first match at the same ground and lead Group A with four points and a better net run rate than the American team, which also has four points from its wins over Canada and Pakistan.

Only two teams from each of the four groups advance to the second phase. So Pakistan needs to win their remaining matches against Canada and Ireland and also hope that the results of other group matches are in their favor to advance to the Super 8s.

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“The pressure was on us,” Pakistan captain Babar Azam said. “You can’t expect too much from those behind. We didn’t measure up in the first six overs, we had targeted 40-45 runs, but we couldn’t capitalize properly.”

Pakistan’s bowlers gave their team the edge, with Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf each taking figures of 3-21 and Mohammad Amir, who came out of retirement for the World Cup, taking 2-23.

Rishabh Pant, who fell twice in a top-scoring knock of 42 off 31 balls, was one of only three Indian batsmen to reach double figures, along with Axar Patel (20) and Sharma (13).

India’s great batsman Virat Kohli lasted just three balls. He hit a boundary off Shah’s first ball before missing another big delivery from the fast bowler and getting caught in the sheets.

Walk-on pitches with variable bounce at the purpose-built 34,000-capacity stadium have been in the spotlight since the tournament began, giving batsmen little respite so far in a cricket format that is truly designed for high scores.

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