• Wednesday, March 04, 2015

India stroll past Pakistan

Maintain unbeaten run in WC ties

Bishwajit Roy
India's Virat Kohli (L) and Suresh Raina celebrate after winning the ICC World Twenty20 Super 10s match against Pakistan at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur last night. PHOTO: AFP
India's Virat Kohli (L) and Suresh Raina celebrate after winning the ICC World Twenty20 Super 10s match against Pakistan at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur last night. PHOTO: AFP

What happens to Pakistan when it comes to locking horns in the ICC's global events with old foes India will remain a mystery for the followers of the game, at least for now. India triumphed over their archrivals with a seven-wicket victory last night in the opening Super 10s match of the ICC World Twenty20 in a way which was not dreamt or anticipated by the millions of fans all over the globe since this most emotional encounter had featured in the fixtures of this event.
It seemed that the tag "World" in the competition took away all the flavour and flare of Pakistan cricket which ultimately deprived the full-house at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur expecting a fierce battle between the most vaunted batting lineup and versatile bowling attack last night; thus India maintained their unbeaten record over their old enemies in the ICC's global competitions.
When Suresh Raina was dropped on the first ball of the 19th over and then smashed a six on the second which was followed by a winning run in the next one against pacer Umar Gul, there was no question for a sigh of relief for the Indians because the match's fate was decided much earlier, courtesy of disciplined Indian bowling effort. India overtook Pakistan's 130 runs with nine balls to spare.
History prevailed in Mirpur in front of an electrifying capacity crowd as Indian bowlers laid the platform for their batsmen to complete a simple job.
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma gave India the perfect start in chase of Pakistan's modest total in a 54-run opening stand before three quick dismissals jolted the innings and increased the likelihood of another thriller like the one in the Asia Cup less than three weeks ago at the same venue. But Virat Kohli (36) and Suresh Raina (35) kept their cool during their 66-run undefeated fourth wicket stand to complete a clinical win.
But India must be thrilled with their bowling attack, an aspect that was a cause for concern for skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni before the match. A bit of turn in the track gave Amit Mishra two important wickets and their ploy to play three spinners worked and killed hopes of watching a nerve-wracking encounter.
Kamran Akmal pounced on the short ball from spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the third ball of the innings for a boundary to confirm their intention after India put them into bat to avoid the dew factor in the second half, but a comical mix-up with Ahmed Shehzad in the second over sent him back to the pavilion.
On the first ball of the sixth over, Yuvraj Singh dropped Pakistan skipper Mohammad Hafeez at deep midwicket to deprive Mohammad Shami a wicket. Hafeez could not capitalise on his second life as spinner Ravindra Jadeja got a wicket in his first over with the batsman getting a top edge to see the ball swirl towards deep cover where Bhuvneshwar Kumar ran in from the deep and took a sharp catch.
Then Amit Mishra, who got the nod ahead of a third pacer, dismissed Shehzad with a classic leg-break as Pakistan were reduced to 47 for three in 8.2 overs. Shehzad danced down the track but did not get near the pitch of the ball, which turned past the outside edge and Dhoni completed the stumping.
With his reputation of performing well against India, Shoaib Malik staged a recovery act with Umar Akmal but was far away from producing anything special as he holed out to long-off trying a big hit to give Mishra another wicket.
Umar was quick to follow, a leading edge off Shami flying towards long-off where Suresh Raina waited to take a comfortable catch and his 30-ball 33 ended. And there was no Shahid Afridi magic with the bat as Raina took his third catch at deep square leg to see the dashing batsman, the hero of Asia Cup victory against the same opponents, on his way with a 10-ball eight.
Number seven batsman Sohaib Maqsood hit some late blows to give his team a total of 130.


Published: 12:01 am Saturday, March 22, 2014

Last modified: 9:46 pm Saturday, March 22, 2014

TAGS: Bangladesh India Pakistan ICC world cup WT20

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