In their first face-off of the T20 at Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday, Pakistan and India did what they were expected to do: fight neck and neck. For India, the pressure was from the home ground itself, though it was understandably equal, if not greater for the Pakistan squad fighting not to disappoint an excited audience back home. The crowd relapsed into pin-drop silence, at virtually every master stroke or ball by the green shirts but was invariably overjoyed whenever their heroes would play well.

For India, the start seemed full of promise despite the intimidating seven-footer Irfan. Things started to change with the first fall of the wicket. From then onwards, the Indians could not keep the momentum going and fell prey one after the other to Ajmal’s dexterity and the rest of the bowling legion. The team managed to bag a total of 133 runs, that appeared manageable to chase initially, when till the third over, three of the top order Pakistani batsmen were back in the pavilion. Shoaib Malik and skipper Muhammad Hafeez, however played consistently to turn the odds in their favour wrapping up the match with an impressive five wicket win. The two unpleasant incidents, one where an indecent run out bid was made on Hafeez and the other when Ishant Sharma scorned Kamran Akmal after bowling a tricky delivery reflects poorly on the gentleman’s game. Pak-India cricket has its pressure but the players must keep cool heads about them.