Virat Kohli once again came to the rescue for India, who defeated Pakistan by six wickets at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Saturday. In a pitch, which turned square, Kohli's innings of 55 runs from 37 balls stood out in the low-scoring affair.
Pakistan seem to have misread the pitch as they played with four pacers when the pitch assisted the slow bowlers. However, Pakistan did scare India as the Men in Blue lost their first three wickets for 23 runs. But Kohli's brilliance was too hot for Pakistan as India chased 119 runs with 13 balls to spare.
WIth this victory, India have registered their first win in the World T20 2016. India face Bangladesh in Bengaluru, Wednesday.
11:25: Dhoni comes down the track, and glides the ball for single. Kohli square cuts the ball for another boundary and he is making batting look too easy. Mind you, it is not easy, it is the class of the batsman, which makes us feel so. Dhoni hits a six straight down the ground, and India are just one run short of the win. Dhoni hits the winning run. India 119/4 15.5 overs (Kohli 55, Dhoni 13) India beat Pakistan by six wickets.
11: 20: Kohli hits another brilliant boundary, which inches him one run close to his half-century. He completes his fifty with another beautiful looking drive. What a 50 from Kohli. This is one of his best innings. India 106/4, 15overs (Kohli 50, Dhoni 5), need 13 runs to win from 18 balls
11:15: Pakistan's strike bowler, Amir into the attack. He has to take a wicket immediately as India are running away with the game. Four runs from the first four balls. Singles are coming way too easily for India. Afridi needs to change his plans, bring the field in. Kohli, what a beauty, plays another wonderful cover drive for a boundary. India 99/4, 14 overs (Kohli 45, Dhoni 3), need 20 runs to win from 24 balls
11:10: Afridi is greeted with a boundary by Kohli, who drives the ball majestically in the off-side. Kohli gives MS Dhoni the strike, and the India captain gets of the mark with a single. Kohli finishes the over with a single as well. India 91/4, 13 overs (Kohli 38, Dhoni 1), need 28 runs to win from 30 balls
11:05: Yuvraj pulls Riaz for a six in the mid-wicket region. That was a brilliant pull shot for a maximum by the left-hander. After that six, India have taken four singles. Good sensible cricket from India. Yuvraj OUT. Yuvraj is caught in the deep.India 84/4, 12 overs (Kohli 33), need 35 runs to win from 36 balls
10: 59: Malik bowls a wide in the leg side. Two wides as they scamper for a single, wicket-keeper cannot gather the ball. Kohli hits the first six for India, but he had not middled it, was top edge. This is from the middle of the bat as he slogs the ball all along the carpet for a boundary. India 74/3, 11 overs (Kohli 31, Yuvraj 16), need 45 runs to win from 42 balls
10:56: Sorry, no spinners in tandem, as Wahab Riaz replaces Afridi. The pacer is pulled for a boundary in his first ball. Pressure on Wahab as Kohli takes a single next. Running between the wickets has not been good by the pair. There has been lots of no and yes in the middle so far in their partnership. India 60/3, 10 overs (Kohli 20, Yuvraj 15)
10:51: Malik replaces Sami, which means spinners in tandem. India batsmen are good players of spin, but this track will test the best of the best players as well. However, Yuvraj is the not the best player of spin. He loves the ball coming onto the bat. India's 50 comes up. Yuvraj sweeps the ball for a couple, goes for the same shot, but misses it. India 54/3, 9 overs (Kohli 15, Yuvraj 14)
10:44: Yuvraj takes a single from Afridi's first ball. Three runs from the first three balls. This is safe cricket from India. They do not need to play the big shots at present. Kohli and Yuvraj playing sensible cricket. Six singles from the over. India 45/3, 8 overs (Kohli 13, Yuvraj 9)
10:40: Kohli opens the face of the bat at the last moments to score a wonderful boundary off Sami, and follows up with a single. A majestic cover drive from Yuvraj, which will put pressure back to Pakistan. The left-hander is lucky as the ball goes in no-man's land after a top edge while trying to play the pull shot. Good over for India -12 runs. India 40/3, 7 overs (Kohli 10, Yuvraj 6)
10:35:Spin time for Pakistan. Afridi to bowl. The ball is gripping the surface. It will not be easy to score against the spinners, but Kohli, who plays spinners brilliantly, will need to take control of the situation. Even Afridi must be surprised with the amount of turn he is purchasing from the wicket. India 28/3, 6 overs (Kohli 3, Yuvraj 1)
10:30: Hat-trick ball to Yuvraj, who is hit with the ball on his thigh. Yuvraj and Kohli at the batting crease for India. India 23/3, 5 overs (Kohli 1, Yuvraj 0)
Suresh Raina walks onto bat. He goes without troubling the scorers. Raina OUT for DUCK. Played on India 23/2, 4.4 overs (Kohli 1)
10:26: Sami replaces Amir. He is welcomed with a boundary on the off-side by Shikhar, who splits the gap beautifully. Shikhar goes hard at the ball, misses it completely. Oh, it is a no-ball. Free hit, no run. Shikhar plays the ball onto the wicket. Shikhar OUT. India 23/2, 4.3 overs (Kohli 1)
10:21: Kohli gets off the mark, and gives the strike to Shikhar, who is struggling at the crease. Irfan is tucking up the left-hander. He wants to get off strike. One can sense pressure building on Shikhar, who slogs the ball on the leg side for a single. India 18/1, 4 overs (Shikhar 2, Kohli 1)
10:17: Amir will gain immense confidence with the early dismissal of danger man, Rohit Sharma. India will need Virat Kohli to play a good innings to see the hosts win the match. Brilliant over from Amir so far, only two leg byes, and that is what it is from the over, as be finishes with a dot. India 16/1, 3 overs (Shikhar 1, Kohli 0)
Rohit goes for a huge shot and only manages to top edge the ball, which goes high in the sky, and is held by Malik. Amir the bowler.
Rohit Sharma OUT
10:11: Short and wide from Mohammad Irfan, who is hit for a boundary by Rohit in the off-side. Another brilliant shot from Rohit, who punches the ball in the point region, but saved by the fielder. Rohit and his Eden's love in show early on. He hits another boundary, picks up the ball brilliantly in the leg side for a majestic four - Viv Richards like. India 14/0, 2 overs (Rohit 11, Shikhar 1)
10:07: Rohit beaten outside the off-stump, in the vert first ball by Amir. India gets off the mark with Amir's wide, really wide, and the pair run for a leg bye to bring Shikhar Dhawan in strike. The left-hander flicks the ball for first run of the bat, and Rohit guides the ball to third man for his first single as well. India 4/0 1over (Rohit 1, Shikhar 1)
The players are out in the middle. Here we go. What a battle. Mohammad Amir vs India batsmen.
India need 119 runs to win, which might look easy on paper, but make no mistake, it is not going to be any easy where the ball is not coming onto the bat. India batsmen have class to reach the target, but they need to play cautiously to score 119 runs in a wicket, which has huge turn.
Catch you cricket buffs when India batsmen start their run chase.
9:54: Bumrah just gives a single run in his first ball, a yorker, which is followed with a slower ball. Brilliant over so far, four runs from three balls. He needs to finish it off well. So far so good. No boundary, two balls left for Pakistan innings. No wonder, Bumrah is called a death specialist. He just gave seven runs in the final over, which witnessed a number of slower balls and a few yorkers. Pakistan 118/5, 18 overs (Sarfaraz 8, Hafeez 5)
Bumrah to bowl the final over of the game.
9:51: Malik was dismissed while going for a big pull shot. The ball was top-edged and Ashwin caught the Pakistan batsmen for 26 runs. He has played an important cameo for Pakistan. Hafeez gets off the mark with a scoop shot, which he fails to middle. Sarfaraz plays a fine shot in the leg side for a boundary. Pakistan 111/5, 17 overs (Sarfaraz 7, Hafeez 1)
9:44: Nehra dismisses Malik, Pakistan 105/5, 16.2 overs
9:43: Last ball of the 15th over is chipped for a couple. Pakistan 103/4, 16overs (Malik 24, Sarfaraz 2)
9:42: Jadeja into the attack. Wise decision by Dhoni as the slow-left arm has been bowling the ball square. Slog sweep by Malik fetches four runs. Jadeja dismisses Akmal, cuaght by Dhoni. Pakistan 101/4
9:38: India's death overs specialist, Bumrah comes into the attack. Pakistan receives a gift from Bumrah, who bowls a no-ball. Free hit - only one run, was wide and full. Pakistan are trying to get a move on. Bumrah is bowling lots of slower balls. No yorkers so far. Lovely cover drive from Mailk, who hits a cracking shot in the off side for a boundary, and follows it with another boundary in the leg side. It was a juicy full toss. Pakistan 95/3, 15overs (Akmal 21, Malik 19)
9:33: The ball is not coming onto the bat and scoring runs have become a tough ask. Malik hits the ball for a massive six on the leg side. Pakistan need some more of this as their score is below par at present despite the pitch. It was a slower ball from Pandya. The bowler is hit for another six by Akmal in the same place. 15 runs from the over. Pakistan 82/3, 14 overs (Akmal 19, Malik 9)
9:29: Nehra back into the attack. Good cricket all round as Rohit dives to his right to save some important runs. Nehra gives away one run in his first three balls and another single in the next three balls. This is brilliant from Nehra, who used slower balls in the over as well. Pakistan 67/3, 13 overs (Akmal 12, Malik 1)
9:25: Overthrow for a boundary. The throw was not required. Such runs can cost India later on. Pakistan 65/3, 12 overs (Akmal 11, Malik 0)
9:23: Pandya is welcomed to the bowling crease by Umar Akmal with a brilliant pull shot, in front of square. This has to be the best shot of the match so far. Afridi is dismissed by Pandya, as the skipper drags the ball straight to mid-on for a simple catch. Pakistan 60/3, 11.5 overs
9:18: Jadeja is bowling top-class, with great help from the pitch. He is turning the ball square and he is beating the Pakistan batsmen with turn. Despite the flat trajectory, he is getting the ball to turn. He is even squaring the batsmen. Three runs from the over. Pakistan 54/2, 11 overs (Afridi 8 , Akmal 1)
9:14: Ok, it seems Pakistan have decided to take Bumrah on. Afridi goes for a big shot, top edges the ball for a boundary in the long leg region. Boom Boom Afridi goes for another boom in the mid-wicket area, misses the ball completely. Pakistan 51/2, 10 overs (Afridi 6 , Akmal 0)
9:10: Bumrah is swept over the fine leg fielder for an important boundary by Shehzad. This is the fifth four only. Shehzad goes for another shot, and top edges the ball for a simple catch to Jadeja. Pakistan 46/2, 9.2 overs (Afridi 1 ) Shehzad OUT
9:08: Jadeja is turning the ball square, and Afridi is all at sea. He seems to be amused with such turn. Afridi is finding it hard to even get middle the ball. Three runs from the over. Pakistan 42/1, 9 overs (Shehzad 21, Afridi 1 )
9:06. That was a brilliant catch by Hardik Pandya, who seems to have injured himself in the process of dismissing SHarjeel. Afridi has come to bat at number 3. Interesting. Pakistan 38/1, 8 overs (Shehzad 19, Afridi )
9:04: Raina to bowl. Shehzad comes down the track and takes a couple with a mis hit.
Sharjeel Khan out, Raina the wicket-taker. Pakistan 38/1, 7.4 overs.
9:02: Jadeja comes into the attack and turns the ball straight away. When Jadeja turns the ball so much, it is understood that the pitch is spin-friendly, too friendly in fact. Shehzad dabs the ball for a boundary in the third man region. LBW appeal, was close, but replays suggest the umpire was right, not out.Pakistan 34/0, 7 overs (Sharjeel 16, Shehzad 16)
8:58: Ashwin bowling his third bowler. Dhoni must have given him the third over for the ball has turned square. Ashwin is giving the ball plenty of air, and there is turn in the offing. Four runs from the over, all singles. Pakistan should not be too unhappy with the start. They have not lost a single wicket in powerplay. Pakistan 28/0, 6overs (Sharjeel 15, Shehzad 12)
8:54: Bumrah replaces Nehra. Sharjeel is looking uncomfortbale against both the spinners and pacers, as he goes for another pull shot and misses the ball completely. As I say that, he slashes at the ball and hits a boundary in the off-side. Pakistan 24/0, 5overs (Sharjeel 13, Shehzad 10)
8:49: Ashwin with his second over. He is troubling Sharjeel with turn and bounce. Plays away from the ball and takes a single via thick edge. Shehzad comes down the track, and lofts Ashwin for a boundary. Ashwin finishes with huge turn and bounce. Pakistan 19/0, 4 overs (Sharjeel 9, Shehzad 9)
8:45: India bowlers have been disciplined so far. They have not given anything to the Pakistan batsmen, who have also not played too many shots to score runs. Nehra is flicked for Pakistan's first boundary by Sharjeel. Pakistan 12/0, 3overs (Sharjeel 8, Shehzad 3)
8:40: R Ashwin to Sharjeel, who is beaten by a brilliant turn from the spinner. Ah, another one, what sharp turn. Ashwin is spot on, four dot balls on a trot, and Sharjeel takes a single finally. Ashwin is turning the ball sharply, and he goes through the gate of Shehzad. Pakistan 5/0, 2 overs (Sharjeel 3, Shehzad 1)
8:35: Sharjeel starts off with a single as he plays a pull shot. Failed to middle the ball. Shehzad also takes a quick single to get off the mark. Sharjeel goes for another pull shot, the ball gets big on him, one run. The left-hander will be keen to provide a good start to Pakistan. Good ball from Nehra as the ball drops just short of Nehra, who had bowled a good cutter. Pakistan 3/0 1 over (Sharjeel 2, Shehzad 1)
8:30: Both teams are out in the middle as the crowd cheers on ''India, India, India". Ashish Nehra set to open the bowling for India. Pakistan openers -- Sharjeel Khan and Ahmed Shehzad -- are ready...So here go....
8:25: Local hero Sourav Ganguly walks into the middle with the ICC World T20 trophy in his hand. India and Pakistan players also walk into the ground with kids alongside them. National Anthem of both the nations are being played. Eden Gardens always looks brilliant and with the mobile lights in the background, it even looks amazing.
Amitabh Bachchan starts the national anthem for India and the players, crowd follows suit. What an atmosphere!!!
8:20: Brett Lee predicts an India win. Almost everyone in the ground will want the same, but for that to happen, Dhoni's team have to put their best feet forward.
8:12: Dhoni wins toss. India will bowl first as Dhoni says that the wicket has been under the covers for a long time. Dhoni sticks to his same team that lost to New Zealand. Afridi believes that there may be something on the pitch for the pacers early on, but wants his batsmen to fire.
8:02: Game has been reduced to 18-overs a side, will start at 8.30pm. Toss coming up soon.
7:57: India are in a huddle. There are some determined faces in the huddle. As usual, they are warming up, with some football. The toss is not far away.
7:52: Felicitation for greats of both the nations, including Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag, Imran Khan and Wasim Akram. Yes, yes, that was nice to see, but Eden Gardens is awaiting the toss. Could we not have done such felicitation after the game, especially when we have already lost some time due to rain. The match was scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m local time.
7:40: Virat Kohli is cheered on as he practices at Eden Gardens.
7:25: Whatever green one can see at Eden Gardens, looks lush green, and the Super Soppers are on the move to get the playing surface dry. There is no official update regarding the toss or when the match might start. Such lack of updates make it even worse.
7:10: Meanwhile, Pakistan women defeated India women by two runs (via D/L) in the ICC Women's World T20 2016 at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi. Get the match report here.
7 p.m: The covers are also gradually coming off, one after the other. One thing is sure, this rain has delayed the crunch encounter, but the extent of delay is yet to be known. However the umpires are in the middle, inspecting the conditions.
6:43: Finally we get to see some green, but that is just way too little. Covers are still on, but they are gradually coming off as well. Let us all hope that we get to see 40 overs of cricket as this has been the most-anticipated match of the World T20 2016.
6:24: Again, it has started to drizzle. This is really frustrating not only for India and Pakistan players, who must be eager to fight it out in the middle, but also cricket fans at Eden Gardens.
6:17: Rain has stopped. The Super Soppers are on. Groundstaff are working hard to clear water from the covers. Finger crossed, hope rain does not play spoilsport.
6:04: Though it might be drizzling at present, this is a must-win game for India, who lost to New Zealand in their last game, to increase their chances of reaching the last four. Pakistan, on the other hand, after their impressive win against Bangladesh, should be confident of defeating India for the first time in a World Cup event.
5:55 p.m: It is not looking great in Kolkata. There is some drizzle, though, it is comparatively better from what it looked a few minutes ago, where the entire ground was covered with huge covers.
Hello everyone. Welcome to International Business Times, India live blog coverage. This is Ashim Sunam here, and I will provide you with all the thrills and spills from the India vs Pakistan World T20 clash. We are just two hours away from the first ball at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
The match was originally scheduled to be played at the picturesque HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala, but due to security reasons, the match was shifted to the iconic Eden Gardens, which is expected to be jam-packed for the mega contest.
With India and Pakistan cricket matches having become rare in the last couple of years, cricket fans in Kolkata should consider lucky to witness a match of such scale.