The high pressured India vs. Pakistan match at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata on the 19th of March got off to a late start due to a wet outfield and the game was restricted to 18 overs a side. The Indian captain MS Dhoni decided to put Pakistan into bat as he was hoping the dampness on the pitch would offer his quick’s a little bit of swing.
Dhoni soon found out that the pitch was yet another rank turner and that scoring wasn’t all that easy. The Pakistanis found it slow going but turned on the pressure towards the end with Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal finding the boundary at will and helped take Pakistan to 118.
India has an unbeaten record against the Pakistani’s in ICC World Cup events having won 10 out of the 10 encounters till date. That record was threatened soon after India began their chase as they lost both their openings and Suresh Raina leaving India tottering on 23-3.
It was up to vice-captain Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh to bail India out yet again like they did against Pakistan in the recently concluded Asia Cup. Kohli and Yuvraj rotated the strike well and put together a partnership that almost took them to victory. Kohli was exceptional scoring a fantastic half century which included seven fours and one six.
Yuvraj holed out when India were a few runs short and out walked MS Dhoni who wasted no time in helping India seal yet another win over their rivals. Dhoni hit M Irfan for a massive six to help India draw level with Pakistan before knocking off the final run to give India victory.
Virat Kohli’s knock was great appreciated by the packed house at the Eden Gardens which included a long list of celebrities including master blaster Sachin Tendulkar. As soon as Kohli brought up his half century he was seen raising his bat to the stands and bowing down in a sign of respect. After the match, Kohli would state that he did that to pay homage to his hero Sachin Tendulkar.
In a statement, Kohli said “I can’t express the feeling. Sachin Tendulkar was up there in the stands. I have seen Sachin paaji do that for India for years together and seen how people shout for him. I have gotten a chance to do it in front of him and he was celebrating. To be able to do it in front of him and give him happiness. I am very grateful for it and it was a very emotional moment”