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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

India register their biggest win over Pakistan

India stopped Pakistan to win 12th match in a row by crushing 140-run defeat in the second match of the One-Day International tri-series, at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium, in Dhaka on Tuesday.
An all-round performance by the Indians checked Pakistan's march towards a 13th consecutive victory. The Indians, having elected to bat, piled up a massive 330 for 8, thanks to some stupendous batting by the top-order. Openers Virender Sehwag (89) and Gautam Gambhir (62) hit sparkling half-centuries and shared an amazing 155-run partnership to lay a strong foundation for the big total.
Pakistan, in reply, were bundled out for 190 in just 35.4 overs, giving India its biggest win against them.
Skipper Shoaib Malik waged a lone battle with a 53-run knock, unable to find an able ally at the other end.
Praveen Kumar (4 for 53) spoiled Pakistan's run-chase, claiming three quick wickets, including two off consecutive deliveries.
Young spinner Piyush Chawla also returned brilliant figures of 4-40.
Pakistan were tottering at 26 for 3 inside the first five overs after Kumar scalped Salman Butt (9), Younis Khan (0) and Mohammed Yousuf (11).
However, Kumar was creamed for 17 runs in the ninth over of the innings when Kamran Akmal, who looked in sublime touch, and Misbah-ul Haq reeled off four boundaries to take Pakistan's score to 58 for 3.
Akmal (38) then hoicked Kumar for a big six but the Uttar Pradesh bowler had the last laugh when he sent back the Pakistani wicketkeeper-batsman to the hut.
Akmal, who was on the offensive, mistimed a low full toss and ended up caught at mid-on by Yousuf Pathan.
Misbah (24) too joined Akmal in the dressing room when teen sensation Ishant Sharma beat him with a pacy, rising delivery and induced an edge, which was taken comfortably by M S Dhoni.
The big burden of climbing the run-mountain then fell on the shoulders of skipper Shoaib Malik and out-of-form Shahid Afridi , as the asking rate soared to seven runs an over.
A much-needed partnership once again eluded the Pakistanis as Afridi (23) succumbed to over-aggression, failing to build on a good start.
He walked out of his crease to hit young spinner Piyush Chawla but missed the line completely and Dhoni had no trouble with the stumping.
Earlier, Sehwag (89), Gambhir (62) and Yuvraj (55) tore apart the Pakistan attack as the top order fired in unison.
After Sehwag and Gambhir put on a 155-run opening stand in just over 21 overs, India seemed set for a 350-plus score but subsequently lost the momentum and settled for a little less.
Umar Gul was the pick of the Pakistan attack, which had a highly forgettable day. The seamer claimed three wickets for 61 runs in his 10 overs.
Wahab Riaz, who was not allowed to complete his quota of 10 overs because he fired two beamers at the Indian batsmen, and Shahid Afridi claimed two wickets each.
Pakistan cut a sorry figure as a fielding unit, with Younis Khan twice dropping Gambhir, when the batsman was on four and 29.
Younis first grassed one in second slip off Gul in the very first over and fumbled again at wide slip when Gambhir's hard slash went through his fingers, Wahab being the bowler this time.
Stumper Kamran Akmal should also take a share of the blame as he dropped Sehwag off Rao Iftikhar when the batsman was on 43.
Sehwag had started walking back to the pavilion before he was stopped and eventually called back after replays showed that Akmal had grounded the ball before pouching it.
The lapse proved costly, as Sehwag replied with a 76-ball 89, which was studded with 13 boundaries and a huge six off Wahab.
Akmal eventually redeemed himself when he caught Sehwag off the pacer but the damage had already been done by then.
Gambhir's run-a-ball 62 included six hits to the fence, and both he and Sehwag looked still in Twenty20 mode as they treated the Pakistani bowlers with characteristic disdain.
Yuvraj took time to get into the groove but once he got going there was no looking back for the dashing left-hander, whose 54-ball 55 included three fours and as many sixes.
In the middle order, Yusuf Pathan (4) and Rohit Sharma (9) failed to impress, while Mahendra Singh Dhoni (24) and Suresh Raina (26) could not convert their cameo knocks.

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