Submitted by Amith Chakrapani on Sun, 06/09/2024 - 11:28

Jaw-dropping thrillers to mind-boggling bangers, Indo-Pak rivalry in T20 World Cup has seen it all

09 Jun, 2024
Jaw-dropping thrillers to mind-boggling bangers, Indo-Pak rivalry in T20 World Cup has seen it all
09 Jun, 2024 By Editor

It goes without a saying that India versus Pakistan is always a blockbuster in the making and whenever these two teams collide, it is all about emotions and pride. This Sunday would stay witness to another swashbuckling battle of the two teams as they take on each other with the hope of bolstering their grip on the Super 8 positions.

The last time these two teams met in the tournament, they played out an incredible thriller which spanned down to the last ball of the game. Talking about thrillers however, these two teams have shown tremendous intensity and grit over the years. Before they take on each other for another mouth-watering contest, here’s a quick look at three of the most thrilling games in the shortest format of the sport and at the biggest stage of all.

1.    India vs Pakistan, 2007, Kinsgmeade, Durban

Durban was the epicenter of Yuvraj’s six sixes against England too but the drama for the Men in Blue started in their very first game of the tournament. Batting first, India piled up 141 for the loss of nine, a total that the world wasn’t really sure of whether that would be enough to stave off the mighty Pakistan team. Robin Uthappa led the charge with a brilliant half-century while MS Dhoni, Irfan Pathan and Ajit Agarkar chimed in with crucial cameos. Trying to shoot down the total, Pakistan seemed pretty much under the pump as the Indian bowlers fought back with a solid retaliation. They kept things under control until Misbah ul Haq joined the party and scored a brilliant 53. With one needed off the last ball, Misbah dashed for the non-striker’s end but Yuvraj was in firm control as he was quick to pass the ball to Sreesanth who made no mistake in whipping the bails off just in time. What followed was possibly the first and the last of its kind, a bowl-out. The Indian cricket team went on to beat Pakistan comprehensively as all their bowlers hit the stumps but Pakistan couldn’t even come within the vicinity of the timbre.

2.    India vs Pakistan, 2022, MCG, Melbourne

More than the clash of the arch-rivals, it was Virat Kohli versus Pakistan and the former actually won. Batting first Pakistan could garner 159 for the loss of eight wickets. Arshdeep Singh and Hardik Pandya were the pick of the bowling lot with six wickets between them. Chasing what seemed like a pretty modest score, India fell face first, losing the cream of their batting for a paltry 31. Eventually it was Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya who steadied the ship. With 48 needed off 18, Virat donned his scoring jets and he played like a man possessed. With the scales of the game oscillating from one end to the other, Virat waged a full-blown war, taking apart the likes of Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf. Eventually it was him and Ravichandran Ashwin who finished things off for India, a game that would go down possibly as cinema directed by Christopher Nolan himself.

3.    India vs Pakistan, T20 World Cup Final, 2007, Johannesburg

In the wildest of events that span across the world, for cricket lovers, this finale was nothing short of possible discovery of life in a galaxy far away. Batting first, India had their fair shares of struggle. However, Gautam Gambhir held onto his nerve and knitted together a brilliant innings hammering away a 54-ball-75 as he knocked eight fours and two sixes. With a late charge from Rohit Sharma who scored 30 off just 16, India managed to amass 157/5. India had a couple of early breakthroughs as they claimed the crucial scalps of Mohammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal early. However, Imran Nazir’s dangerous touch kept the Indian fans on the edge of their seats. But the explosion from Nazir’s blade was short-lived and raining down on Pakistan’s parade Irfan Pathan claimed three crucial wickets that featured the likes of Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi and Yasir Arafat. Much to India’s woes, however, Misbah ul Haq turned the game on its head and was about to win it for Pakistan when the unthinkable happened. Trying to scoop Joginder Sharma over the short fine leg, Misbah ended up skying his effort. And Sreesanth held onto the catch for his dear life as the Indian dugout and the fans exploded into a serious bout of frenzy with Ravi Shastri’s voice booming over the microphone that “India has won the World Cup.”