Virat Kohli moved to tears after remarkable World Cup rescue act, India v Pakistan result, scores, video highlights

Indian superstar Virat Kohli has played one of the greatest T20 innings of all time to guide his side to a famous win over Pakistan in a thrilling World Cup clash.

After being set 160 to win, India looked all at sea when it slumped to 4-31 in the run chase before an innings of epic proportions from the former captain.

Kohli finished the match unbeaten on 82 off just 53 deliveries, but was forced to watch from the non-striker’s end as Ravichandran Ashwin hit the winning runs off the final delivery of India’s innings to give his side a four-wicket victory in front of over 90,000 raucous fans at the MCG.

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The 33-year-old was overcome with emotion after Ashwin hit the winning runs, triumphantly punching the MCG turf before appearing to fight back tears.

“You look at all the great wins over the years and I think you’ll find very few to compare to this one,” legendary Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle said after Ashwin’s winning runs.

“This match was gone and Virat Kohli pulled it back. What an absolute champion.

“I think I’m spotting a tear in Virat Kohli’s eyes. I’ve seen Virat Kohli play for so many years, I’ve seen some of his best innings, but I have not seen a tear in his eye and I think I spotted a tear.”

Kohli was understandably named the Player of the Match for his outstanding knock, and was left speechless by his own heroics.

”I honestly have no words. I have no idea how that happened,” he said.

“Hardik (Pandya) kept telling me just keep believing we can do it in the end. Honestly, I’m lost for words.”

The pulsating contest was widely lauded as one of the greatest matches in T20 history after Pakistan looked to have the match in the bag before Kohli’s heroics in the final three overs of India’s innings.

“You will not see a better game of T20 cricket than that, and you probably won’t see a (better) innings in T20 cricket,” former Australian captain Mark Taylor said on Nine’s coverage.

“You’ll see hundreds and bigger scores, but under pressure and behind the eight-ball, to make that 82 like Virat Kohli did and to guide his side through that was just extraordinary. That’s as good an innings as you’ll see in the short format of the game.”

Since entering the international arena what seems like aeons ago in 2008, Kohli has forged a reputation as arguably the greatest chaser in the game’s history and he showed exactly why, expertly going through the gears.

The former captain began his innings in incredibly circumspect fashion, scoring just 15 runs off the first 24 deliveries he faced, as batting partners came and went at the other end.

After a scratchy start saw skipper Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav all in the sheds early, India gambled by sending Axar Patel up the order to pinch hit, a gamble that spectacularly backfired when the left-hander was run out.

However, Patel’s dismissal bought arguably the world’s most valuable T20 cricketer to the crease in Hardik Pandya, and the all-rounder, along with his ex-skipper, began the rescue mission.

Pandya struck some lusty blows off Mohammad Nawaz shortly after the mid-innings break to get India within striking distance, before Kohli took over.

With India needing 48 off the final three overs, Kohli went into overdrive.

First there was a trio of boundaries off Shaheen Shah Afridi in the 18th over that gave India a sniff.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam then turned to his trump card, paceman Haris Rauf, who had been excellent to that point, to effectively kill the game in the 19th over.

Rauf, as he had done all night, kept things in check off the first four deliveries of the 19th, leaving India with 28 to get off eight deliveries. Kohli then played perhaps the greatest two shots of his career.

With the penultimate ball of the 19th over, Rauf went short and at Kohli, who backed away and stupendously thrashed the ball back over the bowler’s head for six.

Kohli brings up 50 in style

Rauf then countered by going full and at the stumps with his next delivery, and Kohli responded with a trademark flick of his wrists, sending another ball careening into the stands.

Incredibly, the drama was not yet done.

Babar turning to Rauf left Nawaz, who’d been attacked earlier in the innings to give India some momentum, as the only bowler left to bowl the final over.

The left-arm spinner started the over in sensational fashion, with Pandya caught trying to slog the first ball of the over into the nearby Melbourne Park.

A single and a two off the next two balls put Pakistan ahead of the game, with India needing 13 off the final three deliveries. Then came the turning point.

Nawaz had gotten away with a high full toss earlier on in the over and dished up another one to Kohli. This time, the Indian star whacked it over the rope, but there was a further punishment, with the umpires calling it a no-ball after deeming the ball to have gone above Kohli’s waist at the point of impact.

A Nawaz wide off the next ball gave India a second chance at a free hit and it proved pivotal.

Having sprayed the ball all over the pitch in the final over, the left-arm spinner finally got one on target, bowling Kohli off the free hit delivery, only to see the ball cannon off the stumps past the fielder placed at short third man, allowing India to add three more crucial runs.

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It was cruel and there were protests from the Pakistanis but unfortunately for them, India had not broken any laws.

The three left Kohli helplessly watching at the non-striker’s end to finish the match. Having taken India to the precipice, he now needed the others to finish the job.

Stream every Australian men’s T20 World Cup match plus selected other matches, including the finals, live and free on 9Now

37-year-old veteran Dinesh Karthik came and went, stumped off the penultimate delivery of the match.

Coming in his side needing two to win off one delivery, Ashwin expertly coaxed Nawaz into bowling a leg side wide, before lofting the spinner down the ground to seal a victory that will be spoken of for generations to come.

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