Sunday, 27 September 2009

Pakistan beat India to reach semis


Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Yousuf shared a record fourth-wicket stand to help Pakistan beat India by 54 runs and reach the Champions Trophy semi-finals.

Pakistan compiled 302 for nine after winning the toss and batting before restricting their arch rivals to 248 all out to spark a pitch invasion from delighted Pakistanis.

The victory led Pakistan to the top of Group A with four points from two matches ahead of Australia on two.

India and the West Indies have no points.

It's a knockout

"From now on, it's like a knockout for us," India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said on Saturday after his side's first match in Group A had ended in defeat.

"If we don't play well, we can pack up and go back home."

Shoaib (128) and Yousuf (87) put on 206 in 193 balls, the biggest stand for any wicket in the Champions Trophy and a fourth-wicket record for Pakistan.

The previous record in the competition was 192 for the first wicket, shared by Indians Virender Sehwag and Saurav Ganguly against England in Colombo in 2002 and Chris Gayle and Wavell Hinds for West Indies against Bangladesh in Southampton in 2004.

Pakistan's previous best for the fourth wicket was an unbroken stand of 198 between Kamran Akmal and Misbah ul-Haq against Australia in Abu Dhabi earlier this year.

Shoaib cracked 128 in 126 deliveries, with 16 fours, to record his seventh one-day international century.

The 27-year-old really hit form in the latter stages of his innings, needing just 27 deliveries for his second 50.

Yousuf's 87 featured seven fours in a classy display of wristy strokemaking.

Left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra struck twice with the new ball for India and finished with four for 55.

However he had little support, with only Ishant Sharma pegging back the Pakistan batsmen with two for 39.

Bad call

Rahul Dravid top-scored for India with 76 before being run out in the 42nd over, Umar Gul's fine throw from the cover boundary beating him after Harbhajan Singh had called for a third run.

India were given a powerful start by Gautam Gambhir, who lashed 57 off 46 balls, while Suresh Raina added 46 in 41 deliveries.

Pakistan, though, eventually cruised to victory after claiming the last five wickets for 43 runs.

Naved ul-Hasan, Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal all picked up two wickets.

Seventeen-year-old fast bowler Mohammad Aamer also grabbed two for 46 including Sachin Tendulkar for eight.

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