Dominating India crush Pakistan by 140 runs

June 11th, 2008 - 1:13 am ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, June 10 (IANS) Indian cricketers made the best use of their Twenty20 experience to halt Pakistan’s 12-match winning run by beating them by 140 runs in the second match of the Kitply Cup tri-series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium here Tuesday. The explosive opening pair of Virender Sehwag (89) and Gautam Gambhir (62) gave an electric start with their century run stand. Yuvraj Singh (55) added to the agony of the undisciplined Pakistani bowlers to help India pile up a mammoth 330 for the loss of eight wickets from 50 overs.

It was a tough ask for the Pakistanis as they kept on losing wickets. Captain Shoaib Malik came back to form and fought a lonely battle with his 53 off 67 ball but couldn’t save his team from getting bundled out for 190 in 35.4 overs.

It was an impressive performance by an inexperienced Indian bowling attack with Praveen Kumar and Piyush Chawla picking up four wickets each.

Indian new ball bowlers made the best use of the moist conditions and Praveen tormented the batsmen with his late swing. The Meerut boy was on a hat trick after he removed opener Salman Butt (9) and Younis Khan in successive deliveries in the third over. But new batsmen Mohammed Yusuf (11) negotiated a late swing to deny the bowler the feat.

Yusuf, however, didn’t last long and in the fifth over missed another Praveen’s late swinger, which rapped his pad and the umpire didn’t hesitate to lift his finger.

With Yusuf’s exit it was all over for Pakistan and it was just a matter of time for the Indian bowlers to stamp their domination on the batsmen.

Opener Kamran Akmal (38) tried to resurrect the innings with Misbah-ul-Haq (24). The duo punished Praveen for 17 runs in the ninth over to raise some hopes of a fight back. But Praveen again struck in the 13th over to remove Akmal, who tried to swing his bat but mistimed it to give an easy catch to debutant Yusuf Pathan at mid-on.

The Pakistani captain along with Shahid Afridi (23) made a last effort to rescue the team but failed to negotiate the sharp turns of young leggie Chawla.

Earlier in the day, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni elected to bat on a cloudy day. The Pakistani bowlers failed to utilise the moist conditions and bowled wayward coupled with some sloppy fielding.

Sehwag and Gambhir pounced on the opportunity and tore apart the bowlers to stitch a 155-run partnership. Even left-arm-pacer Sohail Tanvir, who was the highest wicket-taker in the IPL, failed to do the trick and conceded 54 runs from 5.4 overs but picked up the crucial wicket of Dhoni (24).

Gambhir started the big hitting with a four in the third ball of the day off Gul and was lucky to get a reprieve in the fifth ball when Younis Khan dropped him in the second slip.

Sehwag also quickly caught up with his state mate and took Gul to task. Two consecutive fours off Gul in the fifth over made it clear that it was going to be a bad day in office for the Pakistani bowlers.

Malik decided to replace Gul with another left-armer Wahab Riaz but the result was same as Gambhir cut the newcomer for a four through the point.

In his second over Riaz was again punished this time by Sehwag, who turned it to leg for another four. The bowler kept on and in his last ball tried to seduce Gambhir, who again went after a wayward delivery and was twice lucky to be dropped by Younis again.

India’s fifty came up as early as the seventh over and with two easy catches going down luck was nowhere near the Pakistani bowlers. Both Gambhir and Sehwag faced some problems in adjusting to the late swings but found the odd edges racing towards the boundary.

Sehwag made the best use of the life he got when he was on 43 after Akmal failed to hold on to his thick edge off Ifitkar Anjum. Sehwag started to walk back but when he reached the boundary rope he was asked to come back as TV replay showed that the catch was grounded.

Riaz dismissed both openers in a space of a couple of overs but went on to have a torrid time. He gave away 86 runs from his 9.2 overs and was not allowed to complete his last over as he let slip two beamers. It was the most expensive spell by a Pakistani against India, conceding one more than what Ata-ur-Rahman did in Sharjah back in 1996.

Rains held up the game for 10-15 minutes during India’s innings but the Indian batsmen were bang on target and crossed the 300-mark easily.

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