For the 2nd time in succession, Pakistan was in for early trouble in their Super 4 game against arch-rivals India as they lost 3 wickets without too much score on the board. Their run rate wasn’t great either. Openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq began proceedings. Both took their time in the initial stages and was in no hurry to go after the Indian bowlers. They looked in control of proceedings despite not scoring briskly.
Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman didn’t start briskly. Fakhar was finding the middle of the bat. However, he failed to find the gaps and get the much-needed boundaries in the powerplay overs. After a 24 runs partnership between Fakhar and Imam, it was a great piece of the decision taken by MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma to go for a review jointly.
Yuzvendra Chahal trapped Imam right in front of the stumps. The on-field umpire, however, ruled it in favour of the batting team. After getting the nod from MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma went for the review and replays shows the ball would have crashed onto the top of the off stump. Fakhar Zaman played a few lusty shots before falling to Kuldeep Yadav.
India right on top after taking 3 early Pakistan wickets
He slipped while attempting a sweep shot. Fakhar didn’t go for the review but replays showed that the ball might have hit his gloves before hitting his pad. After consulting with his partner, he decided to go back to the pavilion. They were pegged back yet again with the unlikely run out of Babar Azam. Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed called for a single and then refused which left Babar Azam in a no man’s land.
By the time he returned to the crease, Ravindra Jadeja grabbed the ball and whipped the bails off in a flash. It was a much-needed wicket for India which reduced Pakistan to 58/3. From there on it has been a good partnership between Shoaib Malik and skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed which has helped them claw their way back into the game ever so slightly. When the article was written Pakistan were 96/3 in 26 overs.