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Those two sixes, simply immortal.

Riyaz Ponmanichi/ Dubai

A well-settled Pandey was finding it difficult to put the bat on the ball against the top-quality Pakistan pacers. Babar throws the ball to his best bowler of the day Haris Rauf to bowl the 19th over. India despite a 100-plus partnership still needs 31 runs in just 12 balls.

Haris Rauf had a great start to his final over, only 3 runs were scored in his first 4 deliveries. The match was slowly slipping away from India. The required run rate gets daunting. Above sixty thousand Indian supporters at MCG, start to put their heads down sensing a certain defeat. On the other hand, Pakistani supporters were sensing an important victory, so were jumping up and down in joy. India’s backs well and truly were on the wall. Another 28 runs were required in the remaining 8 deliveries and Haris Rauf was bowling at his best. Pakistan skipper Babar, not aware of what was awaiting him surely was thinking 2 more good deliveries meant, one more World Cup match win against India that will make it 2 in 2 under him. Pandey could manage only a single on the 4th ball and goes at the non-striker end, his body language suggests he is ready to surrender. But the man at the other end wasn’t.!!!

Haris Rauf, steaming in to bowl his fifth delivery, full of confidence, Entire Pakistani supporters were backing him in every step of his run-up. In that electrifying atmosphere Haris might have forgotten to whom he was bowling, the King, had already planned his move. Haris landed the delivery at a good length on the middle stumps and bounced it above Kohli’s hips, a normal batter could have tried to pull or hook that delivery to square leg or mid-wicket. So the field was set for that shot. But Kohli is not an ordinary batter, he slightly made a move towards his leg stumps, took the ball from his middle stumps, and deposited it straight above the bowler’s head for a magnificent 6. Poor Haris Rauf helplessly watched the ball fly over his head. Haris surely had bowled a great ball, maybe the best in that over but unfortunately for him, the batter at the other end was King Kohli. The scoreboard reads India still needs 22 in 7 balls, it was not over yet.

Babar had a small discussion with his bowler before his final ball. Rauf looks shocked being at the receiving end of that unbelievable shot. Rizwan and Shaheen also join the chat, to keep the morale high of Pakistan’s best bowler of the day. Rauf once again runs in to bowl his final delivery. The plan seems to pitch the ball up aiming at Kohli’s legs. That will make any batter to hit for a 6, especially at MCG since the boundaries are too huge. But Kohli was in a different zone now, he could read bowler’s mind. A steaming Rauf pitched the ball at right length according to plan, this time Kohli making a move towards the middle stumps and flicked the ball at his legs above deep square leg for yet another unbelievable shot for a 6. The entire MCG got erupted. They could not believe what they have been witnessed. Simply Immortal. Haris Rauf, hand on his head, sitting on the ground, did not do a thing wrong but was punished for 12 runs in just 2 deliveries, those shots probably had decided the fate of the match. He was at a receiving end of a simply Immortal act, those two deliveries will haunt him throughout his entire career. That’s the impact of those two hits, simply unbelievable.