DUBAI: Openers Mohammed Rizwan and Babar Azam hit half-centuries as Pakistan outclassed India by 10 wickets in the Super 12s match at the ICC T20 World Cup, in Dubai, on Sunday.
The thumping victory ended Pakistan's losing run against India across all World Cups.
Babar scored 68 off 52 balls, while Rizwan stroked 79 from 55s as Pakistan chased down India's total of 151 for 7, made possible by a gutsy 57 off 49 ball from skipper Virat Kohli, with 13 balls to spare.
Rizwan got Pakistan's reply off to a phenomenal start, smashing ten runs off the first three deliveries of the innings. And while the Pakistan openers slowed the scoring rate, the partnership was exactly what their side required, eating away at the target with minimal risk while not allowing the required rate to climb too high.
The pair shared the strike 30-balls apiece in the first ten overs, with Rizwan on 35 and Azam on 34. At the midway point of the run-chase Pakistan were 71 without loss, with 81 runs required.
Earlier, Virat Kohli hit a dogged half-century to help India recover after the loss of early wickets and finish on a healthy 151 for 7.
India were on the backfoot early after pacer Shaheen Afridi dismissed Rohit Sharma (0) and KL Rahul (3) in his first two overs.
Suryakumar Yadav, preferred ahead of Ishan Kishan, also failed to make most of the opportunity and was caught behind off Hasan Ali for 11, and India were reeling at 31 for 3 in the sixth over.
Kohli then led the recovery in the company of Rishabh Pant (39 from 30 balls), as the duo put on 53 runs for the fourth wicket.
India's skipper and Pant were the only two batsmen to go past the 20-run mark.
Kohli's 57 off 48 deliveries was his 29th T20 half-century for India and his 10th at World Cups, and came at a particularly important time for his team after a fiery opening spell from Afridi blew apart the top order.
But Kohli anchored India's recovery, helping his side to 60/3 at the midway point of the innings, before upping the scoring rate in the second half of the innings.
Kohli's fifty means he goes above Chris Gayle and become the leading half-century scorer in T20 World Cup history with 10. He now averages 83.4 across 17 World Cup innings. Agencies