Wednesday 25 June 2008 

Dhoni And Raina Centuries Help India Secure Massive Win

Suresh Raina scored a 66-ball century as India almost broke the world record margin of victory against Hong Kong in their Asia Cup match in Karachi.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni also scored a hundred as India racked up 374 for four before bowling Hong Kong out for 118 to secure a 256-run victory, one short of their 257-run margin over Bermuda last year.

India's bowlers were as dominant and ruthless as their batsmen, with Piyush Chawla combining with Dhoni to have Tabarak Dar (21), Hussain Butt (four) and Courtney Kruger (three) stumped - Dhoni equalled his own (shared) record for stumpings in an ODI innings.

Skhawat Ali (nought) was trapped in front by RP Singh and James Atkinson was caught and bowled by Yusuf Pathan for 23. Irfan Ahmed (25) hit five fours before he was run out by RP Singh and India looked odds on to secure an early finish.

Munir Dar hit a boundary before he was caught by Pathan off of Chawla, gone for four with India on the brink of a record win and even more so when Singh was again the architect of a run out, this time Roy Lamsam the man on his way for 16.

Virender Sehwag ended things swiftly with the wickets of Afzaal Haider and Nadeem Ahmed, both men failing to score as Hong Kong were bowled out for 118.

Earlier, Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir brought up India's 100 in 65 balls to get them off to a good start before Raina and Dhoni took over.

India won the toss and were soon into their stride with Sehwag, as ever leading the way with two sixes and 13 fours as he reached a half-century in just 27 balls to set India up and the 100 was brought up in just 65 balls as Hong Kong, who gave Pakistan a bit of a scare yesterday, were treated with disdain by the opening pair.

Sehwag was caught by Irfan Ahmed off of the bowling of Najeeb Amar for 78 from 44 deliveries and he was swiftly followed back to the pavilion by Gambhir who was caught by Roy Lamsam off the same bowler for 51.

Rohit Sharma was run out for 11 as India's run rate was slowed but at 162 for three after 26 overs, they were well on top of the situation, and even more so once Raina and Dhoni got going.

Raina was caught by Irfan Ahmed off of Afzaal Haider for 101 having hit five sixes and seven fours in a brutal display of hitting, matched only by Dhoni, who hit six sixes on his way to a century off 90 balls.

Dhoni finished unbeaten on 109 from 96 with Robin Uthappa on 15 from nine balls. Pick of the bowlers for Hong Kong was Najeeb Amar, who picked up two for 40.

Hong Kong lost by 155 runs to Pakistan yesterday with India set to face Pakistan tomorrow before heading for the Super Four stage of the competition.

Manpreet Gony was handed a One Day International debut for India while Hong Kong were unchanged.

© Cricket World 2008