'That 50 is worth approximately 237'

Like before every India-Pakistan match, there was plenty of hype in the build-up.

Pakistan were given a pep talk by their greatest ever cricketer.

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.

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.

Here’s what one of the key officials of the Cricket Association of Bengal said about the surface.

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.

With the ball ripping and bouncing, scoring proved to be difficult.

Flat pitches are common in T20s, but the testing Kolkata surface was appreciated by some players.

Pakistan, though, hadn’t read the conditions properly, picking four fast bowlers and having only Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik as the spinners.

There was some puzzling captaincy from MS Dhoni as well. He gave his spinners only eight overs.

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.

As is becoming increasingly common in difficult chases, Virat Kohli was the man India were banking on.

He had already done the job once this month on a tough Mirpur surface, but this was a different type of challenge.

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.

Siddarth Ravindran is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. Twitter @SidRavindran

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.


Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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