Like before every India-Pakistan match, there was plenty of hype in the build-up.
— sudarsan pattnaik (@sudarsansand) March 19, 2016
Pakistan were given a pep talk by their greatest ever cricketer.
— PTI (@PTIofficial) March 19, 2016
But there were worries that there may be no game as a thunderstorm hit Kolkata hours before the scheduled start. The whole ground was under covers for hours, before the weather finally improved.
Covers coming off is cricket’s sexiest reveal.
— Jarrod Kimber (@ajarrodkimber) March 19, 2016
The toss was delayed, and there were speeches from several megastars before the game eventually got underway at 8.30pm local time. Exactly the time when Earth Hour was to be observed.
So I’m assuming nobody in India and Pakistan is participating in earth hour
— Tanmay Bhat (@thetanmay) March 19, 2016
Here’s what one of the key officials of the Cricket Association of Bengal said about the surface.
— Arun Venugopal (@scarletrun) March 19, 2016
The Eden Gardens pitch turned out to be a raging turner, though the tracks in two World T20 matches earlier in the week had been far more conventional T20 surfaces.
How could the Eden Garden’s pitches be so different one match to the next? #notimpressive
— Brian Lara (@BrianLara) March 19, 2016
Shane Warne should had bowled on this pitch. He could have made the ball bounce and return to his hands.
— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) March 19, 2016
With the ball ripping and bouncing, scoring proved to be difficult.
— Alt Cricket (@AltCricket) March 19, 2016
Flat pitches are common in T20s, but the testing Kolkata surface was appreciated by some players.
Brilliant pitch. It is exciting to see the ball rag. #IndvsPak
— Ravi Bopara (@ravibopara) March 19, 2016
Wow again!! The ball at Eden Gardens is turning even more than it was in Nagpur. This amazing contest is even more interesting. #INDvPAK
— Shane Watson (@ShaneRWatson33) March 19, 2016
Pakistan, though, hadn’t read the conditions properly, picking four fast bowlers and having only Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik as the spinners.
— Graeme Smith (@GraemeSmith49) March 19, 2016
Pakistan omitting a spinner for a pace bowler .. U got to be kidding me..
— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) March 19, 2016
There was some puzzling captaincy from MS Dhoni as well. He gave his spinners only eight overs.
On a raging turner, Ashwin doesn’t finish his quota, Yuvraj doesn’t bowl, and Hardik and Bumrah go for 57 in 6 overs
— Sambit Bal (@sambitbal) March 19, 2016
It was a struggle for Pakistan’s batsmen, but thanks to cameos from Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik, the target for India was a reasonably stiff 119. Pakistan fans expected Mohammad Amir to deliver, but the man who struck twice early was the recalled Mohammad Sami.
— Andrew F Fernando (@andrewffernando) March 19, 2016
And now the whole country will take one big U-turn on Sami #IndvsPak
— Mansoor Ali Khan (@_Mansoor_Ali) March 19, 2016
As is becoming increasingly common in difficult chases, Virat Kohli was the man India were banking on.
I want bae to look at me the way every Indian is looking at Virat Kohli right now. #IndvsPak
— Gautam (@gautamverma23) March 19, 2016
He had already done the job once this month on a tough Mirpur surface, but this was a different type of challenge.
— Mohammad Kaif (@KaifSays) March 19, 2016
After India’s initial jitters, Kohli produced another chasing masterclass to help maintain India’s perfect record against Pakistan in World Cups and World T20s.
That 50 is worth approximately 237 on this pitch….
— Glenn Maxwell (@Gmaxi_32) March 19, 2016
Siddarth Ravindran is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. Twitter @SidRavindran
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo