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T20 World Cup: Pakistan to clash with India on Oct 23 at MCG

Written by The Frontier Post

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will once again clash with India in their blockbuster tie at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground on October 23 this year as the International Cricket Council on Friday announced the schedule for the 2022 T20 World Cup.

It will be the first World Cup match between the two Asian teams at the MCG. Pakistan and India last played a World Cup match in Australia in the 2015 edition at the Adelaide Oval.

The eighth edition of the global tournament will begin on October 16, and played across seven venues in Adelaide, Brisbane, Geelong, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, with the final to be played on November 13 at the MCG.

The ICC event will kick off with defending champions and hosts Australia taking on Trans-tasman rivals New Zealand on October 22. A total of 16 international teams will clash in 45 matches as the pinnacle global event in men’s T20 cricket comes to Australia for the first time.

Pakistan, placed in Group 2, are joined by India, Bangladesh and South Africa, plus the winner of Group B and runner-up in Group A from the First Round.

The edition in Australia was planned to take place in 2020; however, the Covid-19 pandemic forced its postponement to 2022. The 2021 T20 World Cup, originally scheduled in India, was played in the United Arab Emirates and Oman between October/November, in which Australia defeated New Zealand in the final to be crowned T20 world champions for the first time.

“T20 is the global growth format for cricket and the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 will play a huge role in inspiring our next generation of players and fans as the world’s best players descend on Australia and showcase the very best of our sport. The release of fixtures is always a great moment in the delivery of a World Cup as fans start to get excited about opening games, head to heads and knock-out stages,” ICC CEO Geoff Allardice said.

This edition will run the Super 12 format, the same as last year’s. The first-round matches will be played in Tasmania and Geelong in the first week of the tournament, followed by six days of double headers which will then pave way for the Super 12s.

First round

Group A: Sri Lanka, Namibia, two qualifiers

Group B: West Indies, Scotland, two qualifiers

Super 12 stage

Group 1: Australia, Afghanistan, England, New Zealand, A1, B2

Group 2: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, South Africa, B1, A2

Brief history of Pakistan and India in T20 World Cup

Arch-rivals Pakistan and India have locked horns against each other a total of six times in the history of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, with India winning five of those matches. Here is a brief low-down on each of those games and how both the teams fared in those contests.

Over the years, the two teams have produced some high-octane clashes at the world stage, with India holding an edge. But Babar Azam’s Pakistan bounced back brilliantly in the last edition of the tournament, as they produced a near-perfect performance in Dubai to clinch their first-ever victory against India in a World Cup. India, led by Rohit Sharma, will now be keen to hit back hard and assert their dominance again versus their neighbours.

As the world waits with bated breath and Melbourne gets ready to host 100,000 spectators for the contest, let’s take a look at the history of the Pakistan v India clash over the years at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

Durban, 2007

The first-ever encounter between India and Pakistan in T20 World Cup history — during the inaugural edition of the tournament — turned out to be an intense battle as the match went right down to the wire. Rohit Sharma’s half-century, and vital contributions from MS Dhoni and Irfan Pathan down the order, helped India to a total of 141/9.

Pakistan would have fancied their chances to chase the target down, but the Indian bowlers did a good job to pick up early wickets. Even though Misbah-ul-Haq threatened to take the match away from India with a fifty, India held their nerves and the match ended in a tie. But India were declared the winners eventually after they won the bowl-out, a system used to break ties in the format in its early days.

Johannesburg, 2007

 India and Pakistan locked horns again in the same edition, this time in the final, and it turned out to be quite a spectacle as the arch-rivals fought right until the last over once again. Gautam Gambhir played a magnificent knock of 75 at the top of the order and another good cameo of an unbeaten 30 from Rohit Sharma helped India in posting a challenging target of 158 for Pakistan.

Imran Nazir got Pakistan off to a flying start scoring 33 off just 14 deliveries. But the fall of wickets at regular intervals after he was run out didn’t help Pakistan’s cause. Misbah-ul-Haq barely kept them afloat in the contest taking the match down to the last over, with Pakistan needing 13 runs to win and India needing a wicket. The pressure was straight back on India when he hit Joginder Sharma for a six off the second delivery of the last over, but he miscued a scoop off the very next delivery to hand over an easy catch to Sreesanth at Short fine-leg. With that wicket, Pakistan were bowled out and India became the inaugural T20 World Cup Champions.

Colombo, 2012

India and Pakistan met in the group stages of the 2012 edition again. It turned out to be a one-sided encounter this time as Pakistan got bowled out for a paltry total of 128, with Lakshmipathy Balaji claiming bowling figures of 3/22. Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuvraj Singh also bowled well as they claimed a couple of wickets each. Even though India lost an early wicket in the form of Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli took them home safely with an unbeaten knock of 78 off just 61 deliveries. India won the match by eight wickets and 18 deliveries to spare.

Dhaka, 2014

Their contest during the group stages of the 2014 edition turned out to be a one-sided affair once again. India restricted Pakistan to a paltry total of 130/7. Amit Mishra bowled brilliantly as he bamboozled the Pakistani batters with his wrist-spin, registering figures of 2/22 in his four overs. India chased the target down comfortably once again, with Kohli and Suresh Raina remaining unbeaten on 36 and 35 respectively. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma also made valuable contributions of 30 and 24 at the top of the order, as India won by seven wickets and nine deliveries remaining.

Kolkata, 2016

India emerged victorious once again in this shortened game of 18 overs per side, after rain delayed the start of the game. Pakistan could muster a total of only 118/5 in their quota of overs as the Indian bowlers bowled tight lines and lengths throughout the innings. India in response lost both of their openers early, but Virat Kohli rose to the occasion again as he remained unbeaten on 55 off just 37 deliveries to take India home with six wickets and 13 balls remaining.

Dubai, 2021

Pakistan finally broke their winless streak in the T20 World Cup against India as they registered a comprehensive 10-wicket victory against their arch-rivals during their group-stage encounter in Dubai. After a difficult start induced by Shaheen Shah Afridi’s new-ball spell, which claimed the wickets of both KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, Kohli’s fifty and Rishabh Pant’s valuable contribution of 39 helped India to a total of 151/7.

But Pakistan’s openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan produced a magnificent batting performance as they remained unbeaten on 68 and 79 respectively to chase down the target with 13 balls remaining.

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