ICC WT20: India Beat Pakistan By Nine Wickets
India 159-1 (Sharma 80, Gambhir 52no) beat
Pakistan 158-6 (Misbah-ul-Haq 37no) by nine wickets
ICC World Twenty20 warm-up, The Brit Oval
By Aaron Kumar
India scored a comprehensive nine-wicket win over Pakistan in an ICC World Twenty20 warm-up match at The Brit Oval, getting home with three overs to spare.
Pakistan had asked them to chase 159 after they made 158 for eight in their 20 overs.
Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first but they made the worst possible start when Shazaib Hasan was bowled for 0 in the first over by Praveen Kumar to leave Pakistan 2 for one in the first over of the match. Kamran Akmal came in to bat at number three and opened his account first ball with a glorious cover drive for four.
Pakistan made a flying start to their innings as Ahmed and Akmal scored boundaries all around the wicket, RP Singh went for 16 in his first over, it took a brilliant bit of fielding from Suresh Raina to run out Akmal; Raina dived in from the covers and through the stumps down, to run out Akmla who was backing up a long way at the non strikers end.
Two more wickets fell with the score on 45 as Ahmed couldnt handle the extra bounce from Ishant Sharma and mis time a pull shot to be caught by Raina and in the very next over, Shahid Afridi edged the first ball of his innings to MS Dhoni, to give Irfan Pathan his first wicket of the game.
Shoaib Malik and Younis Khan set about repairing the damage but Ojha who was one of the heroes of the IPL, struck with his second ball, when he had Malik caught by Dhoni for 14, Malik's wicket left Pakistan reeling on 63 for five in the ninth over.
Shoaib Malik and Misbah-ul-Haq played with caution as they tried to bat Pakistan into the game, Khan brought up Pakistan's 100 in the 14th over with a glorious cover drive for four.
Some big hitting late in the innings from Misbah (37 not out) and Yasir Arafat (25 not out), took Pakistan up to 158 - the duo put on 45 from 27 balls.
Chasing 159 for victory India made a postive start as Gautam Gambhir smashed two boundaries off the first over of India's innings which was bowled by Umar Gul.
Rohit Sharma and Gambhir continued to play at a steady right Gambhir brought up India 50 in the sixth over when he smashed two runs through mid on.
The duo continued to play in a positive fashion as India reached 88-0 after ten overs and looked on course for an easy victory.
Sharma raised his 50 in the 11th over with a well-placed single it came off just 37 balls.
Sharma continued to play in an attacking manner and he hit some lusty blows he was eventually caught on the boundary for a superb 80 from 56 balls.
Dhoni and Gambhir saw India home by nine wickets with three overs left Gambhir was unbeaten on 52.
© Cricket World 2009