DUBAI: Pakistan finally got the monkey off their back with a 10-wicket thumping of arch-rivals India but skipper Babar Azam refused to get carried away and reminded his jubilant team mates to stay focused on the task ahead at the Twenty20 World Cup.
Babar led by example as Pakistan outclassed neighbours India in a World Cup showdown for the first time in their 13th attempt, triggering wild celebrations at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.
“We prepared well, and just kept the history out of our mind,” Babar, who combined with opening partner Mohammad Rizwan to chase down the target, said after the memorable victory.
“We applied our plans and got the results. We, the openers, kept it simple and built a partnership and because the wicket was getting better so we just wanted to keep batting till the end.”
The 2009 champions face New Zealand in their next Group II assignment on Tuesday and Babar warned his team mates against dropping their intensity.
“It won’t get easier just because we beat India,” said the elegant opener.
“We will take the confidence, but we’re taking it one match at a time, and there’s a long way to go in the tournament.”
Shaheen Afridi was adjudged man-of-the-match for his 3-31, which included the prize wicket of India captain Virat Kohli, who topscored for his side with a classy 57.
Afridi rattled India early with the new ball, dismissing openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in his successive overs to deny them a strong start.
“It was a historic moment for all of us,” Afridi told reporters.
“This was the first time I bowled three overs on the trot in powerplay. I got some swing in the first two overs and my effort was to earn quick breakthroughs for my side which, fortunately, I was able to achieve.
“Bowling yorker with the new ball has been my strength and I tried the same against Rohit. It luckily worked.
“Batting against the new ball was tough, so credit goes to Babar and Rizwan for the way they played.”
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