India's 181 riding on a fifty from an out-of-sorts Virat Kohli was not enough in the end to continue their winning streak against Pakistan in the Asia Cup.
Pakistan's victory by 5 wickets with a ball to spare in the Super 4 stage fixture on Sunday night was almost an identical turnaround of their defeat the previous Sunday, when they met in the first group stage, for yet another nail-biting affair in Dubai.
In their first meeting, India had won by the same margin in wickets, and took just one ball less. Fans of both countries, and a good number of neutrals even, would be whetting their appetites for a decider to these duels in the desert. And what better occasion than the final?
Before we get to that, today it was allrounder Mohammad Nawaz who set up the stage for Pakistan to chase down a challenging total. He came to bat number four and joined Rizwan Ahmed to form a partnership of 73 off 41 balls in the third wicket stand.
This partnership has eventually changed the game. Nawaz posted 42 off just 20 deliveries with six fours and two sixes. Rizwan was firm at the other end of the wicket. Before falling for 71, he brought the match too close to winning for Pakistan.
During the 18th over, Arshdeep Singh missed a dolly from Asif Ali who smashed a six and a four in the 19th over and pushed India out of the contest. Arshdeep was handed the ball in the last over to defend 7 runs but he failed to do so.
Khushdil Shah took a single of the first ball of the last over. Asif hit a four in the second ball through the off side of the field. Asif failed to take any run off the third ball and he skied the ball of the fourth delivery and was dismissed with Pakistan needing two of the last two balls.
Iftikhar Ahmed didn't push it further. Arshdeep missed a yorker and delivered a full toss, Iftikhar drove it to straight and picked up a double to seal the game.
It was only the third defeat of India to Pakistan in T20Is in 11 matches.
Earlier, after putting in to bat first after losing the toss, India made a great start hitting 54 in 5.1 over in the first wicket stand.
Indian captain Rohit Sharma hit 28 off 16 balls while his partner Lokesh Rahul scored 28 off 20 balls.
Shadam Khan removed Rohit while Haris Rauf dismissed Lokesh before they get more furious against the Pakistan bowling attack.
Virat Kohli, who has been struggling with his form for a while now, scored 60 off 44 before being dismissed off a run-out effort by the Pakistan fielders in the last over of the innings.
Hardik Pandya, the hero of India in the first win of India against Pakistan in the ongoing Asia Cup, returned a duck this time.
For Pakistan, Shadab two wickets conceding 30 runs while Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris and Mohammad Nawaz bagged one wicket each.
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