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4.6 overs (2 Runs) Fuller again, KL Rahul lofts it but doesn’t get the power right. The ball goes in the air and lands safely at long on. The fielder chases it. They collect two.
4.5 overs (1 Run) Fuller one, on middle, Rohit Sharma flicks it to deep mid-wicket for one again.
4.4 overs (1 Run) Slightly shorter this time down the leg side, KL Rahul moves across and works it to mid-wicket for one.
4.3 overs (0 Run) Fuller and on off, KL Rahul eases it to covers.
4.2 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Fifty up for India in next to no time. Touch fuller and on off, KL Rahul drills it over mid off for a boundary.
4.1 overs (0 Run) Slightly shorter angling into the batter, KL Rahul shuffles across and eases it to covers. Dot.
Spin for the first time as Mohammad Nawaz has been brought into the attack.
3.6 overs (0 Run) A couple of dots to end an expensive first over by Haris Rauf, 12 coming off it. Length ball, pushed a bit wide outside off, Rohit stays back and dabs it towards point.
3.5 overs (0 Run) Goes full and straight now, Rohit Sharma eases it towards mid on.
3.4 overs (1 Run) Pacy delivery, around the top of off, KL Rahul plays it late and to the right of the fielder at third man for a run.
3.3 overs (1 Run) Good length this time, angling it into the body. Rohit tucks it leg side and picks up a single.
3.2 overs (6 Runs) SIX! WOW! Rohit Sharma just knew a short ball was coming. It is shorter but at a very good height for the batter, around off and pulled all the way over the mid-wicket fence for a maximum.
3.1 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! No matter who the bowler is, the Indian batters are going after everyone. Rauf starts off with a fullish delivery around off, Rohit Sharma hangs back and just thumps it over wide mid off and picks up a boundary.
Haris Rauf comes in as first change.
2.6 overs (6 Runs) SIX! Up and over! Fuller and on middle, KL Rahul lofts it down the ground between long on and long off for a maximum. Fantastic start for India.
2.5 overs (0 Run) Bowls it outside off, KL Rahul defends it to point. Dot.
2.4 overs (1 Run) On a length and outside off, Rohit Sharma looks to block it but gets an outside edge towards third man. The fielder makes a good stop at the boundary line. They collect one.
2.3 overs (0 Run) Fuller and on middle, Rohit Sharma flicks it but finds the fielder at mid-wicket.
2.2 overs (1 Run) On a length and down the middle, KL Rahul gently flicks it to backward square leg for one.
2.1 overs (6 Runs) SIX! KL Rahul joins the party now! This is fuller and on off, slower too, KL Rahul nonchalantly lofts it over the wide long off fence for a maximum.
1.6 overs (1 Run) Fuller one on middle, KL Rahul eases it to mid on for a quick single. The fielder has a shy at the non striker’s end but misses. One run.
1.5 overs (2 Runs) Touch fuller and on off, KL Rahul lofts it but doesn’t get the power right. It goes over extra cover. The fielder from inside the ring chases it. They collect two.
1.4 overs (1 Run) Hasnain is really steaming in now and bowls this one around 148 clicks! Good length again, Rohit Sharma eases it to mid on for one.
1.3 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Rohit Sharma has made up his mind here. This is on a length and on off, Rohit Sharma knocks it over mid off for a boundary.
1.2 overs (0 Run) Slightly shorter, at 146 clicks and with some extra bounce as well, Rohit Sharma looks to play at it but misses. Close!
1.1 overs (1 Run) Length ball down the middle, KL Rahul covers his line and guides it to third man. They cross.
Mohammad Hasnain to bowl from the opposite end.
0.6 over (6 Runs) SIX! KABOOM! Rohit Sharma gets the first maximum of the match in the very first over. This one lands on a length and on middle, Rohit Sharma heaves it over deep mid-wicket for a biggie. Good start for India.
0.5 over (0 Run) Good length and outside off, Rohit Sharma eases it to mid off. Dot.
0.4 over (4 Runs) FOUR! Up and over. Slightly shorter again, Rohit Sharma dances down the track and lofts it over extra covers for a one bounce boundary! Rohit is off the mark in style.
0.3 over (0 Run) Slightly shorter this time and just outside off, Rohit Sharma makes a tight leave.
0.2 over (1 Run) On a length again, outside off, KL Rahul guides it past backward point and gets off that mark. Single is taken and India are underway!
0.1 over (0 Run) Naseem Shah starts right on the money! It is a length ball outside off, KL Rahul defends it to point. A dot to start with.
We are done with the pre-game formalities and it is now time to play! The umpires are out in the middle as the Pakistani players can be seen in a huddle. The Indian opening pair of KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma too make their way out to the middle. Naseem Shah has been handed the new ball and is ready to speed in. Two slips in place as well. Let’s play…
We are minutes away from the start of play but as is the norm in these multi-nation tournaments, the two sets of players will first lineup for their respective national anthems. It will be Pakistan’s national anthem first followed by the national anthem of India.
Hardik Pandya is down for a quick chat. He says that he needed a break and had a good rest in the last match. Further says that he has got a good training session for this big game and he feels refreshed. Adds that he loves the crowd around but his wife and his family are not around. Finishes by saying that he is the kind of person that sits in the room and tastes different food items but now he is more focused on the game and needs to be calm and win the game.
PITCH REPORT – Sanjay Manjrekar is pitchside. He says that there is an even covering of grass on this one. Wasim Akram joins him and says that it is totally different from Sharjah, it is slightly drier but there will be good carry and the team winning the toss should look to bowl first. Also goes on to add that there hasn’t been any dew so it won’t matter that much.
The Indian skipper, Rohit Sharma says that they would have bowled first as well. Further says that they need to play well and assess a good score. Adds that they have to be good from the start and not worry about external pressure. Says that injury is something that they cannot control and Ravindra Jadeja has been ruled out. Finishes by saying that Hardik Pandya comes back to the team and Deepak Hooda and Ravi Bishnoi will start as well.
Babar Azam, the captain of Pakistan says that they will bowl first. Adds that for them it is important to put pressure on India. Further says that they have a lot of takeaways from their previous loss against India. Ends by saying that the message for the boys is to play well and give their best. Says that Mohammad Hasnain comes in for Shahnawaz Dahani.
Pakistan (Playing XI) – Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Babar Azam (C), Fakhar Zaman, Khushdil Shah, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah and Mohammad Hasnain (In for Shahnawaz Dahani).
India (Playing XI) – KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma (C), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (WK), Deepak Hooda (In for Ravindra Jadeja), Hardik Pandya (In for Dinesh Karthik), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravi Bishnoi (In for Avesh Khan), Yuzvendra Chahal and Arshdeep Singh.
TOSS – The crowd is electric and the two captains are out in the middle for the toss. Babar Azam calls it correctly and Pakistan will BOWL first.