The highly anticipated cricket match between Pakistan and India was played today, where Pakistan managed to pull a close win as the entire country rejoiced. Having lost more matches than won against India many were skeptical with Pakistan’s chance at victory. Pakistan however lifted the curse bringing home a match that was anyone’s to take till the very end.
The venue was Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka and the event the ACC (Asian Cricket Council) Asia Cup 2014. Pakistan and India have been rivals ever since Pakistan’s independence in 1947. Always attempting to outshine the other, their rivalry often takes a do or die route whenever the two teams clash. So much so that respective fans are willing to disregard losing at a final as long as a victory over the other is achieved.
The match between the two teams today had much more at stake than their traditional rivalry. Pakistan having played two matches losing one while winning the other needed a win to ensure their place at the top. India similarly losing one of the two matches they played needed the win to maintain a strong position in the tournament.
It was an exhilarating match indeed. Fans of the sport could not help but stay glued to their screen eagerly waiting for the results. It was anyone’s guess as to who would win as the pressure continuously shifted from one team to the next. When at one point it seemed Pakistan had the upper hand, India appeared close to victory in the other. The match dragged on till the very end with no clear sign of a victor.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar from India took two wickets in the second last over which completely turned the tables against Pakistan. Ten runs were needed in the last over as Ravichandran Ashwin came to ball. It was a crucial stage for both the teams as each ball would decide the final outcome. Surely enough Ashwin managed to take a wicket at the very beginning of his over pushing India closer to victory. Pakistan could not afford to lose another wicket and only had five balls remaining to cover the remaining 10 runs.
In the end it was Shahid Afridi who led Pakistan to victory by hitting two consecutive sixes ultimately scoring 34 runs from 18 balls. Most fans even call this Afridi’s game as he reaped results when Pakistan needed them the most. Afridi had been the center of much heated discussions between Pakistan’s cricket council for his lack of performance where many doubted the decision to keep him in the team. They would be content to know that the decision was not in vain and Afridi successfully proved it.
Mohammad Hafeez was declared Man of the Match for his performance with the bat as well as well as the ball. He scored 75 runs from 117 balls while taking two wickets at the loss of 38 runs. Fans from all over the country took it to the streets to express their excitement and joy. Pakistan’s victory lifts a curse that had long overshadowed them while fans unanimously chant, “Pakistan Zindabad (Long Live Pakistan).”
By Hammad Ali