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Pakistan succumbs to heartbreaking defeat against archrival India in T20 Cricket World Cup

By Issy Ronald, CNN

(CNN) — Pakistan’s heartbreaking Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup continued as it succumbed to a dramatic six-run defeat against archrival India on Sunday following its shock loss to the USA earlier in the week.

After these two defeats, Pakistan’s progression in this tournament rests on a knife edge, dependent on the USA’s results, who now have a golden chance to make the knockout stages.

Such a scenario seemed unlikely for most of the match as India set a relatively low score of 119 all out and Pakistan began its run chase with composure, but key wickets lost at crucial times consigned it to a damaging defeat.

Often described as one of the greatest sporting grudge matches in the world, an India-Pakistan cricket match is always bound up in the geopolitical faultlines that separate the two nations.

They only play each other in international tournaments, and such was the level of excitement that on the morning of the game, it cost a minimum of $2,500 for a seat at the Nassau County International Stadium in New York.

Security, including monitoring the fence line, checking cars and patrolling using horses and drones, was increased ahead of the match, with a Nassau County official telling CNN that an earlier threat by terror group ISIS-K was considered credible until proven otherwise.

Rain delayed the start of the match by almost an hour and the sky was still gloomy when India’s opening batsmen Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli walked out onto the crease.

Rohit heaved the third ball into the stands for six to get India’s innings off to the best possible start, but they were forced to leave the field after just one over to take cover from another rain shower.

It seemed that India would continue where the opening pair had left off when Kohli opened his account with a glorious cover drive for four, but he was out just two balls later.

And Pakistan landed a hammer blow in the next over when Rohit hit the ball straight to Haris Rauf off Shaheen Afridi, removing both of India’s talismanic batters in quick succession.

It was left to Rishabh Pant to restore order and though he hit boundary after boundary, India always looked shaky without establishing any sort of partnership and collapsed from 89-3 to 96-7 in the 15th over, leaving little hope of posting a competitive score.

Eventually, the tail limped to 119 all out, a low score even on this temporary pitch which, with lots of uneven bounce and a sluggish outfield, has proven difficult to bat on throughout the tournament.

Pakistan made an assured start to its run chase, chipping away at India’s total and seemed completely in control of the match with star batsman Mohammad Rizwan anchoring the innings.

But the game turned on its head with six overs left when Jasprit Bumrah bowled Rizwan and took the momentum away from Pakistan. It set up a grandstand finish with Pakistan needing 18 runs off six balls in the last over and it ultimately fell just short.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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