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7 Wickets From 30 Runs: How India’s ‘Reckless’ Approach Sparked Collapse

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India suffered a mid-innings collapse on a two-paced track to post an underwhelming 119 against arch-rivals Pakistan despite a gutsy effort from Rishabh Pant in the T20 World Cup in New York on Sunday. India’s new number three Pant rode his luck en route a chancy 42 off 31 balls but other batters in the star-studded line-up could not apply themselves on a challenging surface. Pakistan dismissed India with an over to spare courtesy an all-round bowling effort with Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf sharing three wickets each.

India lost seven wickets for just 30 runs as they looked in control at 89 for 3 in the 12th over. Intermittent rain delayed the toss and subsequently the start of the game by 50 minutes. Amid overcast skies, Babar Azam expectedly put the opposition India in to bat.

After the opening over from Shaheen Afrdi, in which Rohit played a sublime pick up shot for six over deep square leg, rain returned to halt the game gain by roughly 30 minutes.

Virat Kohli (4 off 3), who has an exemplary record against Pakistan, hit a glorious cover drive off Naseem Shah on the first ball of his innings post the resumption before getting caught at point off a wide and short ball two balls later.

Pakistan had India under the pump when Rohit (13 off 12) departed in the following over from Afridi. The India captain went for another pick up shot but this time mistimed it to be holed out at deep square leg.

The drop-in pitch, which made headlines for the wrong reasons prior to the game, had enough for pacers as well as the spinners but there was not as much uneven bounce as seen in the previous games.

With India feeling the heat at 19 for two, India decided to promote Axar Patel (20 off 18) at number four to shield Suryakumar Yadav, a surprising move as the team has able batters till number eight. However, to Axar’s credit, the southpaw did play some bold strokes, including a six over third man off Afridi, in his brief stay.

New number three Pant and Axar shared a 39-run strand off 30 balls to ensure the runs kept coming after the loss of openers.

Pant, who got two streaky fours off Mohammad Amir at the start of his innings, rode his luck to a play pivotal knock. The gutsy left-hander was also dropped on eight before he gained in confidence to come up with a series of fearless fours. Three came in the opening over from Haris Rauf before he unleashed the reverse shit off spinner Imad Wasim.

A 31-run stand with Suryakumar Yadav (7 off 8) took India to a promising 81 for three in the 10 overs.

However, Pakistan fought back between overs 11-15 with as many as four wickets while conceding only 15 runs to leave India struggling at 96 for seven.

Dube’s was a rather soft dismissal as he hit one straight back to Shah while Suryakumar tried to dispatch Rauf through the line but was caught at mid-off.

Seeing the wickets fall at the other end, Pant did not hold back and went for a straight aerial drive to give Amir his first wicket. He got rid of Ravindra Jadeja the first next ball with the balling stopping on the batter, leading to a regulation catch at cover.

With more than five overs left in the innings, Hardik had to bat around the tail but did not last long.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

 With more than five overs left in the innings, vice-captain Hardik Pandya had to bat around the tail but did not last long.    

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