Afridi shines but Kohli guides India to 151-7 at T20 World Cup
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Dubai (AFP) – Pakistan's Shaheen Shah Afridi took three wickets, including skipper Virat Kohli for 57, but India managed 151 for seven in their high-voltage Twenty20 World Cup clash on Sunday.
Left-arm fast bowler Afridi returned figures of 3-31 after a lethal first spell to hurt India after they elected to field first in the Super 12s encounter in Dubai.
Kohli scored his 29th T20 fifty to help the team rebuild before being caught behind off Afridi as Pakistan dismissed the star batsman for the first time in a World Cup game.
Afridi struck the first blow with an express delivery that swung in to trap Rohit Sharma lbw for a first ball duck and the bowler celebrated with his trademark open-arm gesture.
Kohli walked in amid raucous applause from the Indian fans inside the 20,000-strong crowd who were soon silenced by another ripper from Afridi in his second over.
The 1.98 metre bowler got KL Rahul with a delivery that came in sharply to take the batsman's thigh pad and rattle the stumps.
Kohli and new batter, Suryakumar Yadav attempted to hit back with some positive shots as they smashed Afridi for a six each.
Wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan then pulled off a superb diving catch to cut short Yadav's stay at the wicket with quick bowler Hasan Ali striking in his first over. Yadav made 11.
Rishabh Pant joined Kohli in the middle and the left-right batting pair rebuilt the innings and took India to 60-3 at the end of 10 overs.
Pant, a wicketkeeper-batsman who survived a close caught behind call off one of his attempted reverse sweeps, kept up the charge with adventurous strokeplay.
He hit Ali for two successive sixes but finally fell to Shadab Khan's leg spin in the next over, top edging a ball that went high and into the hands of the bowler.
Pant made 39 off 30 balls.
Kohli stood firm to soak up the pressure to get to his 50 in 45 balls and help India to a competitive total.
India have beaten Pakistan in all of their 12 matches at the T20 and 50-over World Cups.
© 2021 AFP