Pakistan beat India, lift Kitply Cup

June 15th, 2008 - 1:38 am ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, June 15 (IANS) An all-round performance helped Pakistan beat India by 25 runs to clinch the Kitply Cup one-day tri-series here Saturday. For Pakistan, centuries by Man of the Match Salman Butt (129 retired hurt) and Younis Khan (108) helped it pile a formidable 315 runs for the loss of three wickets in their allotted 50 overs at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

In reply, India gave a tough fight but were bowled out for 290 runs in 48.2 overs. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni waged a lonely fight with his brilliant 64 after his deputy Yuvraj Singh (56) departed the scene.

It was a good toss to win for Pakistan and captain Shoaib Malik wasted no time in opting to bat to exploit the excellent batting conditions. The Pakistan batsmen responded well and despite losing wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal early in ninth over played cautiously to stabilise their innings.

Akmal’s loss brought experienced Younis in the middle and he along with Butt added fluency to the Pakistan’s innings. Both batsmen went on to go past the century mark as they smacked Indian bowlers all over the ground for their 205-run second wicket partnership.

Dhoni did try to shuffle his bowlers and tried as many as eight bowlers but to no avail.

Even the move to bring young leg-spinner Piyush Chawla backfired as he ended up being the most expensive Indian spinner in an ODI, conceding 85 runs in his 10 overs. Only Irfan Pathan proved to be effective snapping two wickets for 59 runs.

Even the wicket of Younis in 42nd over and Butt’s getting retired hurt didn’t arrest the flow of runs, with Misbah-ul-Haq accelerating the damage making a quickfire 21 ball 33.

India got off to a bad start losing Virender Sehwag for two in the second over. Gautam Gambhir (40) and Rohit Sharma (24) tried to build the innings. But their 59-run stand was broken after Rohit mistimed a hook off Umar Gul and was caught by substitute Nasir Jamshed in deep-backward square leg.

A 59-ball 56 by Yuvraj kept India in the hunt but he too couldn’t convert his innings into a big one that could save the team. Dhoni made a last ditch effort to take India through but started losing partners at the other end.

With nine chips down, Dhoni charged Shahid Afridi in the 49th over with a huge six before being caught at deep mid-wicket.

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