Virat Kohli smashed a stunning half-century to lift India to a four-wicket win on the final ball against arch-rivals Pakistan in a classic T20 World Cup match on Sunday that unfolded in front of a massive Melbourne Cricket Ground crowd.
With India chasing 160 to beat Pakistan in their Twenty20 World Cup opener in Melbourne, Kohli smashed two of the tremendous sixes of his career to leave his side needing 16 runs off the final over from Mohammad Nawaz.
But the game-changing moment in the encounter occurred when India required 28 off the last eight balls and Kohli launched his onslaught against Haris and hit a couple of sixes- one back past the bowler’s head and the other over fine leg.
“One of the best T20 games with an epic innings by Virat Kohli,” said former England captain Michael Atherton.
“I was thinking of the 2016 game when Carlos Braithwaite hit those 4 sixes. Seeing 16 in the last over, I thought to myself maybe that’s not enough, said Ex-England skipper Eoin Morgan.
“It is the biggest rivalry in cricket. It is something that Test cricket lacks,” said Morgan.
“It’s just genius, it really is” 🤩
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) October 25, 2022
“Nobody saw it coming, very few things in life that you struggle to describe. Considering the pace and bounce of it, it was simply genius. Level of skill. He is the man.
No ball controversy
The thrilling encounter between India and Pakistan witnessed a moment of controversy in the final over when Mohammad Nawaz’s high full-toss was dispatched for a six over square leg by Virat Kohli. After Kohli protested that it should be called a no ball for being above waist, the umpires made a late decision to call it a No ball. The Pakistani fielders, led by Babar Azam, protested but the decision was retained.
Reflecting on the decision Atherton said, “I thought it was a no-ball and the umpire’s call was fine.”
“I am glad not be on commentary. There was so much happening,” he said in jest.
“It’s logical that u wud have called runs at least,” he added on the ball hitting the stumps on a free-hit and India receiving three byes for it.
Meanwhile, India next face the Netherlands in their T20 World Cup journey.