OTD in 2022: Virat Kohli scored unbeaten 82 to single handedly secure win against Pakistan in T20 WC

On October 23, 2022, Virat Kohli, hailed as the chase master in limited overs cricket, did the unthinkable at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, when all eyes of the cricketing world were firmly on him. The Indian batting superstar scored 82 not out against the arch-rivals Pakistan, to single-handedly secure a four wicket win for India from the jaws of defeat, in the group stage match of the T20 World Cup.

It was Rohit Sharma, the captain of India, who won the toss and decided to field first in helpful conditions for the fast bowlers early on. Arshdeep Singh was on song for the Men in Blue in the powerplay stage, picking up the wickets of the Pakistan captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan cheaply, to put his team in complete command.

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But, the unlikely duo of Shan Masood and Iftikhar Ahmed stitched together a 76 run stand for the third wicket, to bring Pakistan back into the contest. The fifties from these two batters allowed Pakistan to reach the competitive total of 159/8 in their allotted 20 overs.

Team India had a bad start in the run chase, when the opening duo of the captain Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul were dismissed cheaply. Suryakumar Yadav and Axar Patel followed them back to the pavilion shortly after, to put Pakistan in the ascendancy.

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It led to Hardik Pandya joining Virat Kohli in the middle, with the pair resurrecting the Indian batting innings slowly but surely. But, despite their efforts to keep up with the required run rate, the Men in Blue needed an improbable 48 runs in 18 balls.

That’s when Virat Kohli shifted gears, smashing three fours off Shaheen Afridi to bring the equation to 31 runs in 12 balls. Haris Rauf, who was the most effective of the Pakistan bowlers, had India requiring 28 runs off 8 balls, which led to one of the most epic maximums down the ground from the former Indian captain, followed by another six towards the fine leg region.

The partnership between Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya for the fifth wicket ended on 113 runs on the first ball of the last over. But, Virat Kohli stayed unbeaten at the crease till the very end, to help India get over the line for a famous victory.

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