Pakistan defeated India by five wickets in Bangalore
It is the first time in five years that the two teams have met in a bilateral series
India scored 133-9 in its 20 overs
Captain Mohammad Hafeez top scored for Pakistan with 61 as it won with two balls to spare
On a day of national celebration in Pakistan, the country’s cricket team provided the perfect present for Quaid Day by defeating archrival India in its Twenty20 encounter in Bangalore, India.
On the 136th anniversary since the birth of Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s players marked the day in style with a hugely impressive performance.
The Quaid-e-Azam was the man who helped secure the formation of the state of Pakistan on August 14, 1947, and went on to become the nation’s first ever governor general.
He is highly revered and his memory was not forgotten by Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez, who dedicated the victory to the national hero.
“It is a gift for the whole nation, it is Quaid day back home,” said Hafeez following his team’s five-wicket victory.
Pakistan’s joy came following an enthralling contest during the first bilateral series between the two teams in five years.
Needing to surpass India’s 133-9, Pakistan fought back from a nightmare start to snatch victory with just two deliveries remaining.
Pakistan’s hope of trumping its fierce rival appeared to have faded when India reduced the visitor to 12-3.
But Shoaib Malik, who is married to Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, hit 57 from 50 balls, which included a giant six to win the game.
It was a game which India had looked set to run away with as openers Gautam Gambhir (43) and Ajinkya Rahane (42) put on 77 for the opening wicket.
But a huge collapse, which accounted for nine wickets and just 47 runs, allowed Pakistan back into the contest.
Umar Gul took 3-21 and Saaed Ajmal 2-25 as India finished on 133-9 from its 20 overs.
India’s low total looked less than formidable but an early crisis almost left Pakistan facing an embarrassing defeat.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar produced a blistering spell on debut, taking 3-9 as the top order was ripped apart.
It was only when Malik and Hafeez finally got themselves into the contest with a 106-run partnership that Pakistan finally looked to threaten.
When Hafeez fell for 61, the tourist needed 16 from the remaining 17 deliveries to win.
And despite a few nervous moments, it was left to Malik to seal victory, smashing the ball for six with three balls to go before sparking scenes of celebrations amongst his teammates.
Malik said: “We were struggling when the debutant bowler, I don’t remember his name, took those early wickets, Hafeez played a brilliant innings.
“You are playing against India, pressure is always there, but you have to play according to the situation.”