India thrash Pakistan in World Twenty20 Super 8s
Virat Kohli rushed India home to an 8 wicket win against Pakistan in their Group 2 Super 8 clash in the ICC World Twenty20 on Sunday.
Kohli slammed 78* (61b, 4x8, 6x2) in India’s successful chase of Pakistan’s 128 all out and took 1/21 in his 3 overs earlier in the day.
Zaheer Khan began with an alarming first over after Pakistan chose to bat first. 26 came off the first two overs including 9 in wides but Irfan Pathan (1/30) began the fight back with the wicket of Imran Nazir in the second over. Zaheer (0/22) regained composure to bowl a much better second over.
Pakistan’s experiment with Shahid Afridi at no.3 ended when Balaji had him holing out to Suresh Raina at deep midwicket for just 14. Yuvraj Singh (2/16) had Nasir Jamshed and Kamran Akmal dismissed in his first two overs while Virat Kohli bowled Mohammad Hafeez (15) to leave Pakistan stuttering at 59/5 in the 10th over.
Dhoni bowled out his part timers, allowing Umar Akmal (21) and Shoaib Malik (28) to build a sixth wicket partnership of 47. It was to be Pakistan’s most solid partnership, once it was broken by Ashwin in the 16th over, Pakistan slid from 106/5 to 128 all out in the 20th over. Ashwin (2/16) finished with the wicket of Umar Akmal while a superb pick up and direct hit from Yuvraj caught Yasir Arafat short of his ground. Balaji (3/22) bowled a great final over, giving away only 6 runs and taking two wickets to bowl Pakistan out for 128.
India’s chase began with Gautam Gambhir chipping a simple return catch to Raza Hasan off the second ball of the chase, departing for a duck leaving India at 1/1. Early on, a tentative Kohli played a few nervous edges while Sehwag too made a relatively determined start in his return to the side after two games on the bench.
The duo then dealt with Afridi beautifully, especially Kohli who used both the crease and his feet well to handle the variations in length and flight. He crunched cover drives against the faster bowlers when they came on but was lucky to be dropped when on 42 off Arafat by Umar Akmal in the 10th over.
Virender Sehwag (29, 24b, 4x4) was dismissed in the next over, off Afridi when Gul took a great catch at the long off boundary and ended his 74 run partnership with Kohli for the second wicket. Kohli brought up his 50 soon off 42 deliveries. Yuvraj and Kohli gathered steady runs in their partnership, running hard with not more than a boundary per over against Hafeez, Ajmal and Afridi.
Umar Gul’s return signaled the need to quicken things up to move ahead of Pakistan on NRR in the points table, Kohli was fortunate to again be dropped when he tried to hit one over deep midwicket. The duo brought up their 50 run partnership in just 33 balls. Yuvraj hit the winning runs, sealing the 8 wicket win but a good over from Saeed Ajmal kept India from finishing above Pakistan in the NRR table; however they closed the gap to 0.026.