New Delhi: Former India skipper Virat Kohli ‘single-handedly’ tore apart Pakistani bowlers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) as he scripted an iconic chase, scoring 53-ball 82 to crush Pakistan and help India attain their first-ever win in T20 World Cup 2022 on Sunday. India won the match off the last ball.

Chasing a target of160 for the win in tough Australian conditions, India were reeling at 31/4 at one stage in the match. Virat and Hardik then staged a solid fightback with a 113-run partnership for the fourth wicket to revive India’s innings. Hardik got out after chipping in valuable 40 runs but a determined Virat was unstoppable as he remained unbeaten to see India win, with Ashwin scoring the winning runs.

An emotional Virat Kohli told Ravi Shastri in the post-match interview he wanted to surprise Pakistan by taking on Pakistan speedster Haris Rauf.

“It’s a surreal atmosphere, I have no words, no idea how that happened. I am really lost for words. Hardik believed we can do it, if we stayed till the end. When Shaheen bowled from the pavilion end, that’s when we decided to take him down. Haris is their prime bowler, and I hit those two sixes. The calculation was simple. Nawaz had one over to bowl, so if I could take Haris down, they would panic,” Kohli told Ravi Shastri.

“From 28 in 8, it came down to 16 to 6. I tried to stick to my instincts. The first one was back of a hand slower ball (the one over long-on). Standing here I just feel like it was meant to be. Till today Mohali was my best innings against Australia. Today I will count this one higher. Hardik kept pushing me. The crowd has been phenomenal. You guys (fans) kept backing me and I am grateful for your support,” he added.


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By Dipak

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