Kolkata: Indian middle-order star Virat Kohli scored an unbeaten half century to help India register a comfortable six-wicket victory over arch rivals Pakistan at Kolkata's iconic Eden Gardens in the World T20 on Saturday.
The home side put their campaign back on track after being defeated by New Zealand in the opening match of the tournament.
Chasing a target of 119 runs on a pitch which was hellish, the top three Indian batsmen returned to the pavilion with this 23 runs on board. Kohli and Yuvraj Singh came to India's rescue once again as the duo together a 61-run, fourth-wicket partnership to win the match for India.
Kohli (55 not out) and Yuvraj batted with both caution and aggression to blunt the much-famed Pakistan bowling attack. Pakistan pacer Mohammad Sami bowled well to claim Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina's wicket in his opening over but the Pakistanis simply lacked the firepower to contain Kohli.
Yuvraj was dismissed after scoring 24 runs but Kohli, who was joined by captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, remained focused and remained unbeaten on 55 runs with seven boundaries and a six.
"It's important to keep a calm head," said Kohli after the match winning innings. "It was a challenging wicket out there but that's what you need as a cricketer, you need new challenges, every innings you play. It was just about keeping calm and trying to work it out, how to go about it... you need to watch the ball, to play it late," he added after being named man of the match.
Dhoni praised Kohli for having "the hunger to perform" on such a big stage. "His biggest plus - he takes everything as a challenge," Dhoni added.
Pakistani batsman Shoaib Malik also praised Kohli. "Credit to Virat. He was the only difference between the two teams," said the Pakistan star.