India v Pakistan, World T20 2016, Kolkata March 19, 2016

4, 0 (nb), 0, W, W, silence

Plays of the day from the World T20 match between India and Pakistan in Kolkata
19

Eden Gardens was stunned into silence by Mohammad Sami © AFP

The opener who wasn't unlucky enough

The ball had developed a mind of its own in a spinner's hand. There was massive turn from the second over. As things wore on, there were signs of variable bounce. But India's first wicket came from a part-timer bowling a rank long hop. Suresh Raina offered Sharjeel Khan a chance to play his favourite pull and the batsman would have spent the next few seconds hoping he had hit it terribly enough to avoid long-on. Unfortunately, Sharjeel was not that unlucky. Hardik Pandya hurled in from long-on, threw himself headlong after the descending white ball and grabbed a ginger hold of it. It could well have popped out, especially considering he crashed head first into the turf and it whiplashed hard enough to leave him dazed. But Pandya still made sure the ball was firmly in his grasp.

The opener who went Jekyll and Hyde

Ahmed Shehzad is the second youngest in T20I history to make 1000 runs, but he still splits opinion mainly because of an inability to split the field. He was still travelling at less than a run-a-ball in the 10th over, but on another rank turner, him lasting that long gave Pakistan a lovely foundation. But once the fast bowler came on Shehzad decided it was time to cash in. Jasprit Bumrah offered a length ball at full pace, and it was scooped to the boundary. It was a special bit of cricket considering Shehzad read the field - fine leg was up - and the bowler - Bumrah would not experiment with the first ball of the over. Next ball though, still eager to score as much off the seamer as he could, Shehzad went for a wild slog and was caught at point.

The opener who hit mute

Rohit Sharma had hit two cracking fours in his last over. He probably felt he was in. He must have felt he was set. He took on a pitch that was tailored specifically to confound a batsman and a bowler who has come back better than ever before. Mohammad Amir angled one across Rohit, who unleashed looking for the long-off boundary. The mis-hit shot straight up into the stratosphere. The off-side formed a crowd under it, and had ages to contemplate what would happen if they dropped it - coming into this game, Rohit had 50, 98*, 264 and 177 in Kolkata. Finally Shoaib Malik took matters into his own hands, settled beneath the ball, completed a superb, pressure catch and Eden Gardens went silent.

The non-opener who stole the spotlight

There was a time with Mohammad Sami opened the bowling for Pakistan. Now, on a spinner's paradise, with Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz, he seemed surplus. That impression was reinforced when his first ball went disappeared through point. The next one was a no-ball and Sami's demons were back, in an India-Pakistan game, at Eden Gardens, in front of 61000 people. After a dot off the ensuing free hit, he ran in again, did what he knew best to do and bowled as fast as he could. A surprised Shikhar Dhawan chopped onto his stumps. A perplexed Raina did the very same. India were 23 for 3 and Sami's roar pierced the night.

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  •   Ali Jan on March 22, 2016, 7:18 GMT

    Its some how going to the same point again where indian team hides behind one batsman in past it was sachin ,now its kohli.pakistan is resurfacing slowly and in a bit of time it will be there. however there is no denying dhoni's brilliance .but somehow i feel dhoni raina harbhajan are past their prime now.wonder what will happen after dhoni's retirement .

  • Dh.Vi.Yu on March 21, 2016, 19:03 GMT

    Being Dhoni's admirer (Forever) one thing about the match bothered me..On a pitch which was turning and gripping, Why..Why? did Dhoni opt to Bowl Bumrah and Pandya, when Ashwin (3/12) and Raina (1/4/1) were doing soo good, 1 or 2 more overs from them would have been Lethal in my thoughts and would have kept Pak around 100 total. Maybe there is a reason..and I haven't seen anyone discuss this.. Any expert comments on this point will be greatly appreciated.

  • Nampally on March 20, 2016, 18:56 GMT

    While Sami's roar might have pierced the night, it was emphatically silenced byVirat Kohli's majestic knock of 55* off 37 balls. On a night where batsmen dared to dictate terms , it was Kohli who showed his quality by leading India past Pakistan's total, first by guiding Yuvraj to take singles & then when target got closer, tearing the bowling apart. In the end it looked simple but it was heading towards NZ collapse when Kohli led the rearguard action. Yes Kohli had the last Roar!That was my only play of the day. That could only have been only topped by the wonderful welcome provided to the Pakistani team by all Stars & National anthem of the 2 teams. Such a great welcome belittled the fear of Players safety when Pakistan even threatened to cancel the trip!

  •   Adnan Bintariq on March 20, 2016, 8:39 GMT

    Well Played Team India ( Virat Kohli)

  •   Vishal Bhatt on March 20, 2016, 7:58 GMT

    But i still fail to understand why Sami was not given the ball again

  • shahidmahmood on March 20, 2016, 0:21 GMT

    @sngomes You have an interesting definition of lucky. Generally, getting batsman out bowled requires skill. Regardless, I think most would agree that (with the help of the pitch) those 2 deliveries were unplayable.

  • Warlock786 on March 20, 2016, 0:10 GMT

    @vibhu thanks for your kind words. Pakistan has recently been giving India a scare but Virat is just a Giant. No disrespect but I think the Indian team is a 1 man show now, Yuvi and Dhoni are pale reflections of their former selves and the openers look very susceptible under pressure. I have watched the last few India vs Pakistan matches very closely and the only thing that stops Pakistan from steam rolling India is Virat Kohli, he is already a far greater batsman than Sachin. I hope there can be test matches too, there was never a Wasim/Waqar vs Sachin in the early 90's, just a Shoaib Vs Sachin. I hope there can be an Aamer vs Virat now when both are in prime.

  • Unmesh_cric on March 19, 2016, 21:31 GMT

    As an Indian fan, I must say we would have lost today if not for Kohli. On such difficult pitches, we are doomed if Kohli gets out early. Well played Pak! It would have been anybody's match if not for that man Kohli. The match was played in very good spirit by both the teams.

  • cooljack_143 on March 19, 2016, 20:47 GMT

    Dhawan Raina are walking wickets in team now. When they r flopping a lot why don't give a chance to Rahane , Negi . They don't hurt the team than these folks do . I feel MSD is loosing his captaincy charm slowly. I was strong believer of him, but after this match, I have changed my decision .

  • SnGomes on March 19, 2016, 20:17 GMT

    Sami literally got lucky with those 2 wkts on short of good length deliveries. why is the article suggesting otherwise? Pak did not miss that extra spinner due to those lucky breaks.

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