Pakistan falters in final moments, loses crucial World Cup match to India

Pakistan succumbed to pressure in the final sequence, surrendering a match they had largely controlled against India at New York. Chasing a modest target of 120, Pakistan managed only 113 for the loss of 7 wickets, putting them on the brink of an early exit from the tournament.

Despite a promising start, the Green Shirts’ run chase derailed inexplicably. Early in the innings, both Pakistani openers, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, were given lifelines as Indian fielders dropped crucial catches. However, India’s Jasprit Bumrah quickly dismissed Babar, setting the tone for a challenging chase.

Throughout the innings, Pakistan’s top and middle orders contributed modest double figures but failed to stay at the crease long enough to steer the team to victory. Rizwan, with 31 runs, was expected to anchor the innings. However, Bumrah’s return in the 15th over proved decisive as he removed Rizwan, triggering a collapse. As wickets tumbled, the required runs remained elusive, ending Pakistan’s innings at 113-7, seven runs shy of the target.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan’s pacers exploited the overcast conditions effectively, restricting India to 119 runs. Indian batting stalwart Virat Kohli fell early, caught at point by Usman Khan off the third delivery of the second over. Rohit Sharma followed soon after, succumbing to pressure from Shaheen Afridi, who had him caught in the deep by Haris Rauf.

Naseem Shah was instrumental, bowling out Axar Patel in the 8th over and later dismissing Shivam Dube. Haris Rauf, after a shaky start, found his rhythm to claim the wicket of Suryakumar Yadav, while Amir’s back-to-back strikes in the 15th over removed Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja, dismantling the Indian middle order.

Despite their bowlers’ commendable effort, Pakistan’s batting lineup failed to capitalise, leading to a disappointing finish. The loss leaves Pakistan on the verge of exiting the tournament, needing to regroup quickly to stay in contention.

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