In cricket matches in the subcontinent, there is a tendency to hand over the Man-of the-Match award to the highest scorer. Virat Kohli would have qualified, guiding India to a seven-wicket win. But it was Amit Mishra who turned the class act on Friday.
With two crucial wickets of and Shoaib Malik returning figures of two for 22 off four overs in this format was match-winning. That too when such a performance comes from a wrist spinner who has never quite settled in the side coming out to play against Pakistan, a match which makes or breaks careers, it is all the more commendable.
Virat on the other hand is a seasoned campaigner. He has bailed India out of many situations in the past and comes into this tournament having scored in South Africa and New Zealand with equal ease.
The late cut to the thirdman fence after taking four balls to get off the mark was class. His six over mid-wicket off Mohammad Hafeez early in the innings stamped his confidence and the composed running between the wickets with Suresh Raina meant India were over the Pakistan hurdle without major hiccups.
Virat read the wicket well and quickly got used to the spongy bounce and slow turn. He did get some help from the slight dew that just about helped the ball come on to the bat a touch better than when Pakistan were batting. His two boundaries of Junaid Khan in the 18th over left him stranded at 36. Pakistan hadn’t scored enough for him to get to a fifty, which looked getable till Raina at the other end freed his arms.