T20 World Cup: India restrict Pakistan to 159/8, three wickets each for Arshdeep, Hardik

Both Pakistan and India have fielded three seamers and two spinners in their respective playing XIs.


Melbourne: Pakistan's batting order crumbled to India's relentless bowling after they were restricted to 159/8 in their T20 World Cup opener in Melbourne on Sunday. Arshdeep Singh and Hardik Pandya took three wickets each, as Mohammad Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar managed one each. For Pakistan, Iftikhar Ahmed(51) and Shaan Masood(52*) put up a show that helped Pakistan set a comfortable score against India.

India started strong against Pakistan in the T20I opener in Melbourne, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh delivering fine bowling in the early overs. Arshdeep, who bowled the second over, sent the Pakistan skipper Babar Azam(0) home in his first delivery. In his next over, Arshdeep dismissed Rizwan(4) after his attempt for big was caught by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Final Score: 159-8 (20 overs).

Meanwhile, Pakistan managed to bounce back from the early disappointment, with Iftikhar Ahmed and Shaan Masood combining for a 50-run partnership by the end of the 9th over. However, the partnership ended after Iftikar (51) was dismissed by Mohammad Shami through a good length ball, pitching on the off stump and hitting the pads.

Shadab Khan(5), who came next, was dismissed by Hardik Pandya after the Pakistan batter tried to play an aggressive shot but was comfortably caught by Suryakumar Yadav. Hardik got his second wicket after Surykumar, once again was on the receiving end of an aggressive shot from Haider Ali(2). Mohammad Nawaz(9), who came next, was completely caught off guard by the short-length ball from Hardik, and the ball edges the bat and into the gloves of Dinesh Karthik. Arshadeep managed his third wicket after his Asif Ali(2) tried to play an aggressive shot, but the ball edged the bat and was caught comfortably by Karthik. Shahid Afridi(16), who came next put up a good show in the final overs, only to be dismissed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the final over.

Earlier, Arshdeep Singh bowled a good length ball to Babar, pitching on the leg stump and swinging, and Babar got beaten, and the ball struck his pad. In his next over, Arshdeep Singh dismissed Mohammad Rizwan after the Pakistan opener tried to hook the short ball but got the top edge. The ball carried all the way to the fine leg, and Bhuvi made no mistake.

Earlier, India captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bowl against arch-rivals Pakistan in their opening T20 World Cup match, here on Sunday.

Both Pakistan and India fielded three seamers and two spinners in their respective playing XIs.

India has preferred Dinesh Karthik ahead of Rishabh Pant in the wicketkeeper's role.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel are the two spinners, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh are the three seamers.


India: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh.

Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shan Masood, Haider Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah.

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