Pakistan vs India: Babar and Team fail to hold on, lose World Cup match from winning position

In a heart-wrenching turn of events, Pakistan faced a devastating setback in their World Cup 2024 encounter against India in New York on Sunday, surrendering a match they had largely dominated.

Chasing a modest target of 120, the Green Shirts found themselves at 113 for the loss of 7 wickets, falling short of victory by a mere seven runs. Despite a promising start, Pakistan’s run chase inexplicably faltered, leading them perilously close to an early exit from the tournament.

The Green Shirts were granted early reprieves when both openers, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, were dropped by Indian fielders. However, the formidable Jasprit Bumrah posed a persistent threat, claiming crucial wickets and thwarting Pakistan’s momentum throughout the innings.

Although several batsmen contributed with double-figure scores, they failed to capitalize on their starts, and the much-needed breakthroughs to close in on the target remained elusive.

The pivotal moment arrived when Rizwan’s dismissal in the 15th over, courtesy of Bumrah’s lethal bowling, triggered a collapse, with wickets tumbling rapidly and the required runs remaining out of reach.

Earlier in the match, Pakistan’s pacers capitalized on the overcast conditions in New York, restricting India to a modest total of 119.

In the Indian innings, the early departure of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma set the tone, as Pakistan’s bowlers maintained pressure and capitalized on key moments to keep India’s scoring in check.

Despite a brief resistance from the Indian middle order, Pakistan’s bowlers, led by Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Mohammad Amir, struck at crucial intervals to limit India’s scoring opportunities.

While the encounter between these cricket powerhouses was highly anticipated, it also underscored the rarity of their head-to-head matches outside official competitions sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The match, held at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York, witnessed a packed crowd, with tickets for the high-profile clash selling out months in advance.

Following the loss against the USA, Pakistan’s skipper, Babar Azam, acknowledged his team’s tendency to underestimate opponents in major tournaments, emphasizing the need for improved performance and resilience.

Meanwhile, the ICC’s Official T20 World Cup Fanpark was set up at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium for the match, offering fans an immersive experience with live screenings, musical concerts, and entertainment activities.

Despite concerns raised about the challenging pitch conditions at the temporary stadium, both teams remained focused on their strategies, with Pakistan’s coach, Gary Kirsten, expressing optimism for a favorable outcome.

As the match unfolded, India maintained their composure, relying on a balanced batting lineup and strategic bowling changes to secure a hard-fought victory.

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