Pakistan Beat India As England, Ireland, South Africa & West Indies Also Win
The final round of warm-ups ahead of the ICC World Twenty 2012 ended with wins for England, Ireland, India, South Africa and the West Indies.
Ireland produced an impressive comeback to beat Bangladesh by five runs, England came out on top of a similarly close game against Australia to win by nine runs, Pakistan confidently chased down a stiff target to overcome India by five wickets while South Africa proved too strong for New Zealand, as did the West Indies for Afghanistan.
Pakistan began their hotly-anticipated clash with India poorly, offering up some wayward bowling early on which allowed India to race away thanks to Virender Sehwag's 30 in 14 balls.
Pakistan gradually repaired some of the damage but India had an excellent score on the board as half-centuries from Virat Kohli (75 not out in 47 balls) and Rohit Sharma (56 in 40) guided them to 185 for five.
In reply Mohammad Hafeez hit 38 in 29 balls and as the match hung in the balance as Pakistan slipped to 84 for four, Kamran Akmal delivered a stunning innings of 92 not out in 50 balls, hitting six sixes to steer the 2009 champions to victory with five balls to spare.
Opener Paul Stirling was on top form for Ireland against Bangladesh and his 71 in 41 balls helped set up their win as they posted 164 for six batting first.
Ed Joyce continued his good recent form with 39 and despite 52 from captain Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh fell short as they lost their last eight wickets for 54 runs to be bowled out for 159, Kevin O'Brien taking three for 24.
Reigning champions England took a confidence-boosting win over Australia in a repeat of the 2010 final. Their top order set things up as thanks to Alex Hales (52), Luke Wright (35) and Eoin Morgan (30) they powered to a score of 172 for six.
Shane Watson then hit 37 in 26 balls and Michael Hussey 71 in 51 but after their partnership of 74 was broken, Hussey was unable to build the partnerships his side needed to take the win, all five England bowlers picking up at least one wicket.
The margin of victory was the same for South Africa, who defeated the Black Caps in their first match since arriving in Sri Lanka.
54 in 30 balls from AB de Villiers was the outstanding innings as the Proteas made 186 for six, JP Duminy making 30 and both openers Richard Levi and Faf du Plessis scoring 24 in 20 balls.
Ross Taylor bettered de Villiers' attempt at leading by example as he scored 75 in 42 balls but he lacked support as Dale Steyn ripped through the batting to return four for 25. New Zealand will have been concerned by the failure of all but three other batsmen to reach double figures.
There was some concern for South Africa, however, after Albie Morkel suffered back pain while bowling and was forced to leave the field. He will monitored overnight and he may have to undergo an MRI scan.
Afghanistan were fresh from a strong result against Sri Lanka 'A' but they proved no match for the all-round strength of the West Indies.
Asghar Stanikzai made 53 in 50 balls but three wickets from Fidel Edwards and two from Sunil Narine limited them to 122 for seven.
Chris Gayle then smashed 65 not out in 48 balls to hurry his side to victory for the loss of Dwayne Smith (13) and Johnson Charles (12).
© Cricket World 2012
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