DUBAI: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam on Monday said he and his players were “proud” to have made history by beating India for the first time in a World Cup match.
Pakistan humiliated their arch-rivals, romping to a ten-wicket victory in the Twenty20 World Cup in Dubai on Sunday, sparking starkly contrasting reactions.
The win was Pakistan’s first in 13 World Cup matches (seven in the 50 over World Cup and six in the Twenty20 World Cup) dating back to 1992 in Australia.
“It is definitely a proud moment for me as well as for all my players that we have made history,” Babar told AFP in an exclusive interview.
This was Pakistan’s first ten wicket win in all Twenty20 internationals and the first defeat by this margin for India.
Babar said he had been part of two defeats against India, in the Junior World Cup in Australia in 2012 as skipper and then at the 2019 World Cup in England.
“I remember that we lost to India in the quarter finals of the Junior World Cup in 2012 so it was a much desired thing to beat India,” he said.
Babar said his team prepared well ahead of the tournament, despite New Zealand abandoning a tour due to a security alert last month without playing any of the eight limited over games scheduled.
England followed suit in withdrawing its men’s and women’s teams from touring ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup.
“We prepared well in the National Twenty20 in Pakistan,” Babar said. “Our plan was to keep things simple and through that we effected that turn around.”
Pakistan next plays New Zealand in Sharjah on Tuesday.
Biggest opening partnership in history of T20 World Cup
According to the official site for the T20 World Cup, Babar and Rizwan’s 152-run partnership was the biggest opening partnership in the history of the men’s T20 World Cup and Pakistan’s second-biggest partnership in a T20 International for any wicket.
Sunday’s explosive performance by the two cricketers overtook the previous record — 145 runs by West Indies’ Chris Gayle and Devon Smith against South Africa in 2007.
The third spot on the current ranking is also occupied by Pakistan, with Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt scoring 142 runs against Bangladesh in 2010.
“It was a partnership of the absolute highest quality, coming in both players’ T20 World Cup debuts, with neither having made the Pakistan squad five years ago,” the report said.
In addition, Babar and Rizwan’s 152 is the second-biggest partnership for any wicket in men’s T20 World Cup history, 14 runs shy of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene’s 166 against West Indies in 2010, the report said.
The partnership is also the biggest for any wicket in a T20I against India, it added.