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Virat Kohli guides India to crucial win over Pakistan

Virat Kohli plays a shot as Sarfaraz Ahmed looks on
Virat Kohli plays a shot as Sarfaraz Ahmed looks on
©REUTERS / Action Images

India 119-4 (Kohli 55no) beat
Pakistan 118-5 (Malik 26) by six wickets
19th Match, Super 10 Group 2, ICC World Twenty20, Kolkata

Virat Kohli's unbeaten half-century guided India to a crucial Super 10 Group 2 six-wicket win over Pakistan in Kolkata to get their ICC World T20 campaign back on track.

Pakistan were restricted to 118 for five after being put into bat and India managed to overhaul the total in just 15.5 overs, securing their first points in the tournament.

India opted to field first after winning the toss which was delayed for more than an hour due to rain. The game was also reduced to 18 overs per side.

The Pakistan openers Sharjeel Khan (17) and Ahmed Shehzad (25) started off cautiously on a slow track and scored a total of three boundaries in the powerplay. At the end of six overs, Pakistan were placed at 28 for naught.

The introduction of Suresh Raina (1-4) resulted in a wicket as Khan holed out to mid-on, with Hardik Pandya (1-25) taking a good catch. 

Shehzad fell in the 10th over, caught at point off Jasprit Bumrah (1-32) but Pakistan managed to score nine runs from the over and ended up with 51 for two on the scoreboard at the halfway mark.

Shahid Afridi (8) was caught at long-on in the 12th over, as India continued to strangle the run rate.

Shoaib Malik (26) struck a six in the 14th over and followed it up with two fours in the 15th. After a 16-ball cameo, Umar Akmal (22) was caught behind of Ravindra Jadeja (1-20) while Malik fell in the next over, caught at short fine leg off a top edge while trying to pull Ashish Nehra (1-20).

Pakistan eventually ended up with 118 for five in their 20 overs.

India started cautiously in the first over but two boundaries from Rohit Sharma (10) in the next helped pump some momentum in the chase.

However, in the third over, Sharma tried to go big, got a top edge which was taken at extra cover off Mohammad Amir (1-11).

Mohammad Sami (2-17) further rattled India with a double strike in the fifth over as both Shikhar Dhawan (6) and Suresh Raina (0) played onto their stumps after being cramped for room. India ended the powerplay at 28 for three.

Yuvraj Singh (24) joined hands with Kohli (55 not out) and saw India out of a tricky situation with a crucial 61-run stand for the fourth wicket.

By hitting the odd boundary, the duo first took India to 60 for three at the halfway mark and in the 11th over, Kohli launched Malik (0-22) for a six and a four to take 14 runs from the over.

Singh followed it up with a six in the next over, but tried to repeat the shot a few balls later and was caught at deep midwicket off Wahab Riaz (1-16).

Kohli scored a boundary each in the next four overs, bringing up a 34-ball fifty in the process.

With a six over long on, MS Dhoni (13 not out) equalled the scores and took the team past the winning line in the next ball as India chased down the target in 15.5 overs, securing a comfortable six-wicket victory.

For his unbeaten fifty, Kohli picked the man of the match award. The win took India to the third position in the points table while Pakistan retain their second spot with a superior net-run-rate.

© Cricket World 2016