India ease by Pakistan in T20 World Cup opener

C.RAJSHEKHAR RAO
Last updated 08:06 22/03/2014
India v Pakistan
Reuters
TOO EASY: India extended its reign over Pakistan in world tournaments with a comprehensive seven-wicket victory.

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India extended its reign over Pakistan in world cricket tournaments with a comprehensive seven-wicket victory in the World Twenty20 on Friday.

India, which has beaten Pakistan three times in previous World Twenty20s and five times in the World Cup, comfortably reached 131-3 in 18.3 overs after limiting Pakistan to 130-7.

Virat Kohli (36) and Suresh Raina (35) produced unbeaten knocks in adding 66 together to see the team win the Super 10 opener in style.

Kohli and Raina both struck four fours and one six each as a full house at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium, divided in support between India and Pakistan, was spared some tense moments.

Raina pulled pace bowler Umar Gul for a six and then glanced the next delivery for an easy single to long leg to complete the win with nine deliveries to go.

The two built on a steady 54-run stand between openers Shikhar Dhawan (30) and Rohit Sharma (24), Kohli keeping his cool despite India slipping to 65-3 at one stage with Yuvraj Singh (1) falling early.

Dhawan top-edged a hook shot off Umar Gul to deep fine leg while Sharma tried to cut off-spinner Saeed Ajmal from too close to the body. Yuvraj was bowled to a pitched up delivery from seamer Bilawal Bhatti but Pakistan's bowlers failed to get another wicket.

Earlier, India's decision to play an extra slow bowler paid off as legspinner Amit Mishra bagged 2-22.

Mishra removed Ahmed Shehzad (22) and Shoaib Malik (18) even as Pakistan, put in to bat, lost other wickets to indiscreet shots.

"I've been given a lot of confidence by the team management despite not securing a regular place in the playing eleven," Mishra said. "I was told to bowl in my natural style, which is by tossing the ball up. That's how I got my wickets."

Umar Akmal top-scored for Pakistan with a 30-ball 33 and was involved in an important 50-run partnership with Malik for the fourth wicket that helped stabilize the innings to some extent.

Pakistan was unsettled by some quick bowling changes from India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni as he opened with off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and had tried his five main bowlers within the first eight overs.

Pakistan slipped to 47-3 by the ninth over. After Kamran Akmal was run out on the follow-through by new-ball bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar for eight, captain Mohammad Hafeez and Shehzad were out trying to force the pace.

Hafeez, having survived on one when Yuvraj failed to latch on to a difficult chance at deep mid-wicket off Mohammad Shami, got a leading edge off left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja and was caught at deep cover for 15.

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Shehzad was stumped by Dhoni after being beaten by a big spinning delivery from Mishra.

Sohaib Maqsood produced a brisk 21 off 11 deliveries with two fours and one six and was run out off the last ball of the innings.

"The pitch was a little damp and the ball was not coming onto the bat," Pakistan captain Hafeez said. "Once we got that 50-run partnership I thought we should have got to a total of 150. We've lost this match but there is still a long way to go in this tournament."

- AP

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