India chased down the modest total of 129 that Pakistan set in the Group 2 match on Sunday in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup at the R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Riding on an unbeaten 78 by Virat Kohli, India won the match with 18 balls to spare. The victory opens up the Group 2 standings nicely with India, Pakistan and South Africa all standing the chance of making the semi-finals.
Indian innings summary: Virat Kohli anchored yet another successful limited overs chase for Indian cricket team. He seems to have made this his habit, one that fans are going to absolutely love. V.Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh played supporting role, after India got off to a disastrous start losing G.Gambhir in the very first over. It was a team effort though. The game was probably won in the first half, when Indian bowlers kept Pakistan down to a moderate score despite a rollicking start.
The Pakistan bowlers were sharp for most part of the innings but there simply was not enough runs on the board. The Indian win now opens up Group 2 of the ICC T20 World Cup nicely.
In his post-match conference, Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez is all praise for Virat Kohli on a pitch that was "not easy to bat on". M.S.Dhoni recalls what happened in the first half of the innings, points out that it was a team effort, with almost all the bowlers chipping in. Virat Kohli, who gets yet another man of the match award, says the key to his approach today was to "stay as relaxed as possible".
17th over: India score the winning runs with three overs to spare. Three easy singles does it. Yuvraj scores the winning runs. Kohli remains unbeaten on 78 from 61 balls. Yuvraj scored 19 runs from 16 balls.
16th over: Virat Kohli peppering the field with some incredible strokes. Beautiful off-side play by easily the most elegant of Indian batsmen based on current form. Gul goes for 16 runs. This seems done already. india 126/2.
15th over: Shahid Afridi over went for 10 runs. Yuvraj Singh joined the party with some delectable strokes. India 110/2. The fielding side is now looking lost.
14th over: Virat Kohli is in blistering form. He tonked the first ball of the over from Saeed Ajmal over the bowler's head for a flat six! India 100/2.
13th over: Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez into the attack. Shot of the over came from Yuvraj Singh, who swept powerfully the last ball of the over to square leg boundary. India 91/2, now favourites to win this match.
12th over: Saeed Ajmal into the attack. Virat Kohli reaches yet another well-compiled half century. With eight wickets in hand, and less than run-a-ball required, India favourites to wrap this game now. India 84/2.
11th over: Afridi snared Sehwag at the long on boundary, Umar Gul catching it just inches away from the boundary rope. New batsman is Yuvraj Singh. India 77/2
10th over: Yasir Arafat's first ball was beautifully stroked into extra cover boundary by Virat Kohli. But two boundaries from India's best batsman notwithstanding, the key moment in the over was when Umar Akmal nearly plucked one out of the thin air at gully. Kohli got a life, and it is fair to say, so did the Indian team. India 70/1.
9th over: Shahid Afridi should have had Virat Kohli off the third ball of the over. But the edge was not taken as there was no slip. A boundary resulted instead. Eight runs from the over. India 59/1.
8th over: Raza Hasan finishes his quota of four overs. Brilliant bowling by the 20-year-old spinner. Four overs, 22 runs, 1 wicket. India 51/1.
7th over: Shahid Afridi, now a bowler more than a batsman, comes into the bowling attack. Virat Kohli danced down the track to smack a six over long off, into the stands, but Indian batsmen just seem to be warming up for now. India 45/1.
6th over: Saeed Ajmal's first over went for six runs. Virat Kohli cracked a short ball for a boundary off the backfoot past covers. India 36/1.
5th over: Raza Hasan bowled five beautiful deliveries but got his radar wrong to Sehwag once who paddled the ball for a boundary. But beautiful bowling from the young Pakistani spinner. It takes some doing to keep Virat Kohli and V.Sehwag quiet. India 30/1.
4th over: V.Sehwag gets going after playing the watching game thus far. Two boundaries off the Umar Gul over, India 22 for 1.
3rd over: Raza Hasan back into the attack. After four dot balls, gave away a single on the fifth ball of his over. The young Pakistani spinner has begun brilliantly for Pakistan. Just two runs from the over. India 11/1
2nd over: Umar Gul gives away just three runs. Interestingly V.Sehwag seems to be approaching the game with some degree of caution. India 9/1
1st over of chase: Not the start Indian cricket fans would have wanted. Gambhir out for a duck to young Pakistan spinner Raza Hasan. Virat surviving a close edge. India 6/1. Virender Sehwag yet to take strike. India 6/1.
First innings summary: Indian team should be quite pleased with its bowling effort, having bundled Pakistan out for 128 runs. But in the mid-innings chat, R.Ashwin calls it a "dicey score". One which makes it a bit tough for batsmen, on whether they should go all out attack or just play it easy. But whatever the score, V.Sehwag is going to chase it the only way he knows. Do join us in a few minutes for the Indian chase.
Last over of the innings: L.Balaji gets two wickets in two balls, after Umar Gul tonked a six off the second ball of the over. Pakistan all out for 128.
Nineteenth over: Zaheer Khan keeps the scoring down with some accurate bowling. But the moment of this innings so far was the pick up and throw from Yuvraj Singh that sent Yasir Arafat back to the hut. Yuvi is having a brilliant game. Pakistan 122 for 8.
Eighteenth over: Brilliant bowling from Ashwin. Just one run from it and he also got rid of Umar Akmal! The bright young batsman from Pakistan, after being off the strike last over, tried to pull Ashwin out of the ground only to find Suresh Raina's safe hands in mid-wicket. India now on the top. Pakistan 115/7.
Seventeenth over: L.Balaji kept it tight. Four dot balls, one wild swing that went for six from new batsman Yasir Arafat. Seven runs from it. A good over still. Pakistan 114/6.
Sixteenth over: Brilliant bowling by R.Ashwin to get rid of Shoaib Malik. Caught by Rohit Sharma at mid-wicket. Just four runs from the over. India take the upper hand again in the match. Pakistan 109/6
Fifteenth over: L.Balaji comes back. Pakistan looking to score maximum runs. After keeping it tight first four deliveries, Balaji gave away a boundary in the fifth delivery. Eight runs from the over. Pakistan 105/5.
Fourteenth over: After two expensive overs, R.Ashwin puts the cork on the leakage. Just five runs from the over. Good variations, including the carrom ball. Pakistan 97/5.
Thirteenth over: Irfan Pathan back into the attack. Umar Akmal cracked a massive 6 over mid-wicket. Pakistan batsmen are looking to rebuild here. Both Malik and Akmal are looking confident. Pakistan 92/5.
Twelfth over: Costly over from Virat Kohli. 15 runs from it. Two boundaries, one from a free hit delivery, with both Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal showing some intent. Pakistan 80/5 from 12 overs.
Eleventh over: Yuvraj into his third over. His loopy spin bowling has the batsmen struggling. Pakistan batsmen just playing around for singles. Current score 65/5. Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik at the wicket for Pakistan.
Tenth over: Half way through Pakistan's innings. Pakistan 60/5. Kohli accounted for Pakistan's captain Mohammad Hafeez, after he played on. New man in for Pakistan is Umar Akmal. Yuvraj seems to have swung the match India's way. Indian fielding has been very sharp.
Ninth over: Pakistan now 56/4. Yuvraj got Kamran Akmal caught behind by MSD. India seems to be on top now. Hafeez who has seen a procession of batsmen from his end of the crease seems to be finally counter-attacking.
Eighth over: Virat Kohli gave away just three runs. His medium-fast bowling from short run-up just breezed past the over. MSD now using up the fifth bowler's quota fast. New batsman is Kamran Akmal.
Seventh over: Yuvraj Singh takes a wicket and gives just two runs! Part-time this now. Accounted for Jamshed's wicket. Caught behind by M.S.Dhoni. Pakistan 44/3.His loopy slow left-arm spin seems to be working just fine. Pakistan run-rate is below 7 runs now.
Sixth over: R.Ashwin into the attack. A relatively quiet over. A run-out chance missed after a misfield by S.Raina. But India seems to have clawed back into the match. Pakistan 42/2
Fifth over: Super over from L.Balaji. Three runs and a wicket. Slows the pace of scoring with his slow-medium deliveries. Afridi holed it out to Suresh Raina at deep square leg trying to pull another small bouncer. Pakistan 35/2.
Fourth over: Looks like Irfan Pathan too has hit the rhythm now. Two dot balls to start the over. S.Afridi pushed the third delivery to short leg for single. Yuvraj splendidly saves a boundary at long on after Afridi smacked one right back. Two runs taken from fifth ball. Pakistan end the over at 33/1
Third over: Zaheer Khan restores sanity to proceedings. He has kept the Pakistan captain Hafeez quiet for the first four deliveries. Just two runs from the over. Pakistan 28 for 1.
Second over: A mixed bag. Irfan Pathan got Imran Nazir LBW second ball, after he inside edged the first delivery for a bounary. But Pakistant sent S.Afridi one-down. He scored two boundaries from the remaining four balls. Pakistan now 26/1. Bold move? Gamble?
First over: Looks like Zaheer had not adequately warmed up before taking to the field. An expensive over from India's spearhead. Sprayed it a bit all over the place despite getting the ball to move. V.Sehwag dropped a difficult chance off the last delivery. M.Hafeez might consider himself lucky. But poor start from India. Pakistan 13/0.
Fourth delivery a wide on the leg side. 11 runs from the first three balls
Third ball: Imran Nazir smacked the third ball of the over to point boundary for a four.
First legal delivery: First legal delivery smashed towards cover but brilliant save by Yuvraj Singh at mid-off.
7.30 p.m.: Zaheer Khan starts with a wide deliver, way off target.
7.29 p.m.: Pakistan openers Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Nazir are ready to face Zaheer Khan.
7.25 p.m.: National Anthems of India and Pakistan being played at the R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Both teams have taken the field.
Toss update: Pakistan has won the toss and elected to bat. Indian captain M.S.Dhoni says he was looking to bowl anyway, having gone in with his tried and trusted 7 batsmen formula. Team changes from India: Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla make way for V.Sehwag and L.Balaji.
We will catch up with live action starting 7.30 IST.
In the meanwhile, follow up on the match preview report - Rivals face-off in crucial contest
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