COLOMBO: Lifting their game with it mattered most, India produced a clinical performance to outplay arch-rivals Pakistan and win by eight wickets with 18 balls to spare in their World Twenty20 Super Eight clash at the Premadasa Stadium yesterday.
After restricting Pakistan to a paltry 128 all out in 19.4 overs, India raced to victory in 17 overs, riding on Virat Kohli’s breezy unbeaten 78 off 61 balls, which included nine boundaries and two sixes.
Kohli and Virender Sehwag set the stage for victory through a 74-run partnership off 61 balls for the second wicket.
Pakistan put up a shoddy fielding performance, dropping Kohil when he was on 42 and 64, but it was a spirited comeback by India, who had lost to Australia by nine wickets in their first Super Eight match. Yuvraj Singh with an unbeatean 19 and two wickets also put on a great show.
Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat in front of a packed stadium. Their skipper Mohammad Hafeez had an early escape when Sehwag at slip dropped him off Zaheer Khan, who bowled a better length in this match.
First batsman to go was Imran Nazir, when Irfan Pathan trapped him leg before with a ball that straightened, although Nazir looked unhappy with the decision.
Pakistan promoted Shahid Afridi up the order and he hit 14 runs from 12 balls before pulling Laxmipathy Balaji straight to Suresh Raina on the deep square-leg boundary.
Yuvraj, whose inclusion in the team had come in for criticism from former Indian cricketers Ravi Shastri and Sanjay Manjrekar, struck to dismiss Nasir Jamshed, who edged the ball to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The same pair also removed dangerman Kamaran Akmal for five.
Kohli, who was introduced as a part-time bowler, took the vital wicket of Hafeez. Attempting to steer the ball into the off-side, he played on to his stumps.
With five wickets down for 59 runs in 9.5 overs, Pakistan had squandered the advantage of winning the toss.
Shoaib Malek and Umar Akmal put on 47 runs in 5.3 overs, but Ravichandran Ashwin then dismissed Malek, who swept the ball straight to Rohit Sharma at mid-wicket for 28.
Two overs later, Umar Akmal, who was hitting the ball well, pulled Ashwin into the hands of Raina at deep mid-wicket for 21.
Yuvraj also displayed his brilliance as a fielder by running Yasir Arafat out with a direct hit, while Balaji took two wickets in the last over to bowl out Pakistan with two balls left.
India lost opener Gatuam Gambhir for a duck to the second delivery of their innings, when he offered a simple return catch to Raza Hasan.
But Sehwag, batting under pressure due to his bad recent form, Kohli and Yuvraj saw India home with ease.
A decent team always deserves to win. India has a good batting line where as Pakistan does not have at all. There is absolutely no batsman on whom you can rely. Miracles do not always work that the no.8 or no.9 will make runs. Now Pakistan must appoint proper batsmen. As far as fielding is concerned Pakistani players have no training of any type:run-out, catches, saving runs, giving calls, descipline nothing. For sure Kohli had been dropped twice. One should win with grace and loose with grace.
fans1 October 2012 18:10jump to comments