On Sunday, joyful cricket supporters flooded the streets across Pakistan to celebrate their team’s T20 World Cup victory over India in Dubai. Pakistan cruised to a 10-wicket win over their South Asian neighbours, their first-ever win by ten wickets at the World Cup level.
In Pakistani cities, firecrackers, honking automobile horns, and bursts of gunfire erupted.
“Pakistan zindabad,” fans sang as they danced and sang (long live Pakistan). Housetops in the capital, Islamabad, Peshawar, and Karachi erupted in joyous gunfire.
“Congratulations to the Pakistan Team, particularly Babar Azam who led from the front, as well as the amazing performances of Rizwan & Shaheen Afridi,” Prime Minister Imran Khan, who led Pakistan to the World Cup triumph in 1992, tweeted.
Imran Khan, who is on an official visit to Saudi Arabia, watched the game.
“Our squad has demolished the mystique of the Indian cricket team,” Shoaib Akhtar, a former Test cricketer and fast bowler, said in a video message on Twitter. We are a civilised people who will not say anything negative. Well done, India. you’ve done a fantastic job, but it’s not enough to overcome the strength of Babar and Rizwan.”
In front of 20,000 fans in Dubai and a global TV audience of hundreds of millions, skippers Babar Azam (68) and Mohammad Rizwan (79) guided their team to victory with 13 balls to spare.
Despite a brave 57 from skipper Virat Kohli, left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi set up victory with figures of 3-31, limiting India to 151-7.
The two South Asian neighbours have had volatile relations in recent years. The two comings are dangerously close to war during a military stalemate in February 2019 after an attack on Indian security forces in the disputed area of Kashmir’s Pulwama town.
Since their independence in 1947, the two countries have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir, which they both claim in full but administer separately.
Since 2012, Pakistan and India have not played a bilateral series. The two teams last met in a World Cup match in Manchester in 2019, which India won by 89 runs.
Afridi was named man of the match after taking three wickets.
Pakistan’s first-ever ten-wicket victory over any opponent in a T20 match, while India also suffered its first-ever ten-wicket defeat.
“This is just the beginning; we’re confident in our ability to expand on it now,” Babar said after winning the first round of the round-robin Super 12 stage.
“We’ll keep that in mind.” We weren’t under much pressure, and we weren’t thinking about our record versus India. We carried out our intentions well, and the early wickets were quite beneficial.”