India successfully navigated the challenging bowling performance by Pakistan’s new ball seamers, ending the powerplay unscathed at 61/0. Naseem Shah posed the most significant threat for the Indian team, coming close to taking a wicket with his very first ball after Shaheen Afridi dropped a difficult catch.
The right-arm fast bowler unquestionably deserved a wicket in the eighth over, were it not for some disastrous fielding by Pakistan. In this crucial moment, the 20-year-old bowler delivered a short and wide ball on the third delivery, enticing Gill to play a forceful shot.
However, Gill mistimed the shot, resulting in a thick outside edge off his bat. The ball soared at shoulder height towards the slip fielders, where Salman Agha Ali occupied the first slip position, with Iftikhar Ahmed to his right. It appeared that a catch was imminent.
However, in a baffling sequence of events, wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan initially moved towards the flight of the ball but then abandoned his attempt. Salman, half-heartedly, raised his hands but failed to reach for the ball. Meanwhile, Iftikhar remained in a crouched position, merely observing as the ball sailed between him and Salman, eventually reaching the boundary.
Shah expressed his frustration at the lack of communication among the three fielders, which cost him a potential wicket. Meanwhile, on social media, Twitter users wasted no time in criticizing Pakistan’s reputation-damaging fielding performance.