T20 World Cup: Pakistan fans, players & pundits reflect on end of '29 years of hurt'

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It was a night that exceeded the wildest dreams of Pakistani fans.

They beat India, their biggest rivals at the Men's T20 World Cup, but they also thrashed them in a most emphatic manner.

It was an important win that made captain Babar Azam's dad weep in the stands.

India had won all previous World Cups meetings between the sides. "29 years of pain" were over in Dubai.

Aatif Nawaz, a Pakistani fan and Test Match Special commentator, said that "I have rarely in my life felt happiness as this."

"I can't remember a moment that I have not enjoyed more than this."

It hurts to lose to your greatest rivals at a World Cup.

It is heart-wrenching to do this 12 times without ever being able strike your own blow.

All might feel a little better after the 2007 World T20 final and the semi-final for 50-over in 2011. Sachin Tendulkar's magical performance in Centurion 2003.

Nawaz stated that it was a remarkable outcome because no one expected it to be achieved in such a way, and to occur so spectacularly.

"This win will bring joy to the entire country. It will put a smile upon everyone's faces in such difficult times.

"The India players were very kind. It is a great gesture. This has brought joy to all of Pakistan."

Fans back home watched the game at restaurants, shops, and cinemas. People flocked to the streets to celebrate the win. Pakistan's Prime Minister, Imran Khan, a cricket legend, tweeted his congratulations.

Pakistani fans celebrated the occasion with fireworks in Peshawar

This was the first meeting between the sides since 2019, which was also another win for India at the 50-over World Cup.

Although the noise was loud inside the Dubai International Stadium, it became quieter as Pakistan started their chase for 152. Most Indian fans fled as they raced towards victory.

However, the green shirts remained put. They were able to enjoy their moment.

All went well for Pakistan. They won the toss, and they bowled first knowing it would be easier to chase the lights under the lights.

India was 6-2 after 15 balls. India had 6-2 after 15 balls. Rohit Sharma, India’s great opener, and KL Rahul (one of the best players in the world), were blown out by Shaheen Afridi, pace bowler. He stood with his arms outstretched, begging the crowd, as his teammates celebrated with him.

Virat Kohli was always a man for big occasions and stood firm. But Pakistan kept chipping away. Although the resulting number, 151-7 was not an impossible figure, it was still significant.

Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Mohammad Rizwan marched out to the middle of the crowd, aware that their history was against them. They don't look flustered.

Rizwan sent the third ball of the innings into the stands. Rizwan followed his lead and flung the ball over while Babar stood with his arms crossed, chewing on his lips, wondering what he could do.

Babar jumped into the air after scoring the winning runs. Rizwan ran half of the field, before racing back to embrace his captain.

Kohli was the first to approach them. He hugged them both and smiled big as he congratulated their run.

Both sides are aware of the importance of this win and how important India-Pakistan matches were.

Rizwan later said that "the entire of Pakistan" was watching the event - and he understands how it feels to sit there, unable or unwilling to do anything.

He said, "Congratulations to Pakistan and all its people. We were all waiting for this win."

"I used to see all the Indo-Pak matches on TV and was able to spot where we had made mistakes.

"But today's match was great, and after Shaheen took those wickets, we were confident that we would win."

They won. Pakistan provided a memorable night for their fans.


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