Perhaps the omens were predicting imminent disaster – the thunderclouds that delayed the match and restricted it to 18 overs each, the botched-up national anthem by Shafqat Amanat Ali that started the proceedings, and the pitch that favoured spinners while Pakistani skipper Afridi relied on fast bowlers. Anyway, the result was history repeating itself, as India claimed one more T20 victory against Pakistan, winning by six wickets; and from Karachi to Khyber, the nation once again went to bed nursing yet another wound.
Shoaib Malik (26) and Umar Akmal (24) were the only Pakistani batsmen to get into the twenties, but at least their runs helped the Greenshirts to post a decent total of 118/5.
On a pitch that was ideal for spin, Pakistan’s pacers were at a loss, whilst the Indian batsmen deftly handled the fast deliveries, comfortably getting to the target of 119 with thirteen balls to spare. Virat Kohli’s fearless knock of 55 led his team to triumph, with Yuvraj Singh putting in a valuable contribution of 24 runs.
Perhaps the best lesson from this defeat, for a trigger-happy nation banking on prayers, goes back to Shafqat Amanat Ali. The lack of preparedness will inevitably lead to humiliation. For a mega-event showcasing arch rivals, with millions of viewers watching worldwide, not counting the jam-packed Eden Garden stadium, not doing your homework is inexcusable.