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Monday, November 28, 2022

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T20 World Cup 2022 – Ind vs Pak – Drama at death

It swung wildly back and forth, now one way, a moment later the other. Until it came out on 31 of 12. Haris Rauf. Only three of his first four balls. That made it 28 out of eight. Advantage Pakistan. Wait a minute, said Virat Kohli. Bang, and bang, and it was 16 out of six, to be bowled by Mohammad Nawaz, the weak link in Pakistan’s attack on the day…and drama! here’s how Karthik Krishnaswamy recorded India vs Pakistan’s incredible last two overs in the MCG on ESPNcricinfo’s ball-for-ball commentary.

18.1: Haris Rauf to Hardik, 1 run
Long ball angling into the hallway sits deep in its crease and knocks it flat on the ground deep in the middle

18.2: Haris Rauf to Kohli, 1 ride
Length of ball out, hit on the rump to deep cover point

18.3: Haris Rauf to Hardik, no run
Extra bounce. Short out, and the ball beats Hardik’s attempted uppercut

18.4: Haris Rauf to Hardik, 1 run
Hard length., angled in the body. Can’t pull that, just manages to dribble it towards the bat’s decal long-on

18.5: Haris Rauf to Kohli, SIX runs
Okay, wow. Has Kohli ever played a better shot in T20 cricket? Long ball, ending around bail high, and Kohli hits it with an almost straight bat, straight back over the bowler’s head. Twists a bit through the hip when doing so, a la Jos Buttler, and carries easily over the rope

18.6: Haris Rauf to Kohli, SIX runs
Fullish, angling in the leg stump, and Kohli made the MCG explode in pure noise. A flick of the wrists, and the ball sails over the boundary on the left side of the fine leg. Wow!

Fifteen of them left. Twelve of those last two balls. And it comes down to 16 of this final, with Mohammad Nawaz to bowl. What an incredible game this has been. What an innings Virat Kohli has played.

Mohammad Rizwan is back at the spinner! Deep extra covering, long out, long up, cow corner, deep square leg are back.

19.1: Nawaz to Hardik, OUT
Got him, what a strike for Pakistan! Flat, impaled in the cushions, and Hardik loses his shape completely as he tries to slog this over the leg side. Border it, and the ball balloons to the fielder at cover point

Hardik Pandya c Babar Azam b Mohammad Nawaz 40 (37b 1×4 2×6) SR: 108.1

And with the new T20I rules in effect, it will be Dinesh Karthik who strikes and not Kohli, even though the batters crossed. DK is usually not the best starter against spin…

19.2: Nawaz to Karthik, 1 run
On the court, and he gets a full throw that’s chest high when he comes across it. Would it have been just as high if he had been standing in his normal position? Probably not. Padded to long on

Kohli on strike. Fifteen to win four balls. Fourteen to tie. Nawaz is basically a left arm medium bowling.

19.3: Nawaz to Kohli, 2 runs
They need a boundary for almost every ball, but here they only get two. Very full, almost a wide yorker, and Kohli drags it down to long, all over the ground

19.4: Nawaz to Kohli, (no ball) SIX runs
Full toss, full toss, and it’s gone for six!!!! It’s only just gone before six, but it’s gone before six! On a stump, and it’s a pretty high full toss too – it’s called no-ball!!! – and Kohli knocks it away over the leg side. Deep square leg jumps to the right, gets a hand to the ball to try to clap it back into play, but it still lands past the rope

Babar has a heated argument with the referees. Was that above hip height? Tight call, I would think.

Suddenly India needs 6 out of 3. Such a huge difference from 13 out of 3.

19.4: Nawaz to Kohli, 1 broad
Now he bowls a wide! All the pressure is on the poor bowler, and he tries to keep it away from Kohli’s reach, but in the end his wide yorker shoots past the off-side tramline

19.4: Nawaz to Kohli, 3 days
Bowled it, but it’s a free hit! And they run three by the time the roll comes in from the third man region!!! Full, angling in the stump, and Kohli misses his attempt at swinging. But he knows it’s a freestyle and he’s going full speed ahead, just like DK. The ball rolls between the keeper and short third, and they take three byes

Relief. It is now two out of two, with DK on strike. Absolutely incredible scenes at the G. Does Pakistan bring their field players to the ring? No, only four within the circle. Keeper comes back to the stumps.

19.5: Nawaz to Karthik, OUT
Got him, a punch of the pads!!! Goes flat, tilted down, following DK’s movement to make room. Appears to sweep and the ball dribbles off the pad behind the wicket. And Rizwan is alert to the fact that DK has tripped over. What a moment. Rizwan is far to the side of the leg when he catches the ball, and he falls to the right to complete the punch

Dinesh Karthik st †Mohammad Rizwan b Mohammad Nawaz 1 (2b 0x4 0x6) SR: 50

Whodathunkit. R Ashwin to face the final ball, with two runs needed. One to tie. Only four more inside the circle.

19.6: Nawaz to Ashwin, 1 wide
And Nawaz bowls wide!!!! Expect Ashwin to try to make room, perhaps, and send a flat, fast good down the leg side. Ashwin watches as he passes him, and the MCG explodes again!

Seven fielders in the circle now.

19.6: Nawaz to Ashwin, 1 run
And Ashwin clears one of those infielders!!! What a cool, collected and elegant finish!!! Full, angling in the stumps, and Ashwin clears a bit and scoops the ball halfway through. What a finish! What a shit game!!!

Virat Kohli. A few weeks ago there were people (myself included) asking if he should still be part of the Indian T20I lineup. There’s a reason I’m not a coach or selector. Let’s go back to the seventh left of these innings. India was 31 to 4 going absolutely nowhere. What followed was an age-old partnership between Kohli and Hardik Pandya, and when it came down to it, when it came to winning 28 to win eight balls, it was Kohli who found the way to the border. Two back-to-back sixes from the excellent Haris Rauf put all the pressure on Mohammad Nawaz, whose last one left was held back.

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