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Mohammad Hafeez: “It was a terrific run-chase by the batsmen. The approach to a big target was very positive. Kamran was exceptional and Malik’s experience helped us. Even the bowlers put in great effort but the pitch wasn’t helping them. But it’s special to chase down a big total like this. This win will help the team going into the tournament.”
MS Dhoni: “We’ll need to take a call whether to play with an extra bowler and drop a batsman. I felt we didn’t bowl well in the last few overs and gave away some needless runs at the start. It will be a difficult decision to get the equation right… but if Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma can carry on playing like this, then we may get an extra bowler in sometime during the tournament.”
Pakistan 186-5 after 19.1 overs
Kamran 92*, Malik 37*
Stunning! Kamran Akmal’s eyes must have lit up at the sight of that full-toss from Irfan and he duly whips it for six over the covers. Quality batting from Kamran and Pakistan will certainly go in with a winner’s mentality into the tournament.
Pakistan 180-5 after 19 overs
Kamran 86, Malik 37
Excellent stuff from Kamran. He has premeditated what he wants to do, comes down on his knee and sweeps once over square-leg for maximum. Malik then gets in the act… scoring another six over the bowler’s head. Pakistan will certainly take the match to the last over… and they need only six from it.
Pakistan 164-5 after 18 overs
Kamran 78, Malik 29
Better from India… slightly at least. Just seven runs from it as the pressure builds on Pakistan. Still two overs to go with 22 runs needed for a Pakistan win.
Pakistan 157-5 after 17 overs
Kamran 76, Malik 25
Balaji taken to the laundry now. Akmal hasn’t spared a single bowler now as he heaves one over long on for six before freeing his arms on the off-side and finding the empty patch of green in the third-man region. 16 runs from this over and Pakistan are within touching distance of winning the match.
Pakistan 141-5 after 16 overs
Kamran 62, Malik 24
Harbhajan has had a nightmare of a match… at a time when he really needed something special. His last ball of the designated four overs has been smacked away for six over long-on by Malik. While Bhajji has given away 40 runs in 4 overs, Zaheer has also been torn apart by Akmal. He hit him for two sixes in the 15th over before Malik scored another four. India need a wicket.
Pakistan 111-5 after 14 overs
Kamran 46, Malik 10
Just the one boundary since the fall of Akmal and it comes via the bat of Shoaib Malik, who pierces the gap at mid-wicket. Kamran is batting really well on the other end and looks like the only one who can win it for Pakistan. It’s getting harder with every dot ball, but they’re still not out of it.
Pakistan 91-5 after 11.3 overs
Umar Akmal c & b Ashwin 2 (5b, 0×4, 0×6)
Brilliant stuff from Ashwin. Akmal is confused whether he should go for the sweep or not and lobs it in the path of Ashwin. The lanky spinner dives full length to take. That’s his fourth.
Pakistan 84-4 after 10 overs
Shahid Afridi c Khan b Ashwin 0 (2b, 0×4, 0×6)
Afridi doesn’t want to take anytime to settle down. He tries to clear Zaheer Khan at mid-off but can’t quite middle it… and the Indians are celebrating before Zaheer’s even taken the catch. Ashwin gets his third wicket.
Pakistan 84-3 after 9.3 overs
Mohammad Hafeez c Sharma b Ashwin 38 (29b, 4×4, 1×6)
Hafeez has been brilliant for Pakistan so far, but he knows things need to speed up and loses his wicket in quest for some quick runs. Well taken in the deep by Rohit.
Pakistan 74-2 after 8 overs
Hafeez 31, Akmal 30
Akmal is frustrating Harbhajan with his clever shots. He first narrowly evades the fielder at point before executing a deft late-cut. Both shots run away to the boundary and it means Bhajji has given away 22 runs in two overs. Not the performance he wanted.
Pakistan 52-2 after 6 overs
Hafeez 29, Akmal 10
Harbhajan costs 11 runs in his first over for India in quite some time. Kamran Akmal has given him a teaser of what could come if he gets in the mood with a huge six over covers. Some good running then between the wickets as they collect three runs in the fine-leg region to bring up the fifty.
Pakistan 33-2 after 3.5 overs
Nasir Jamshed run out 0 (0b, 0×4, 0×6)
Pointless and silly from Pakistan. They had a fairly good start and have lost two quick wickets in the space of three deliveries. A bit of a misunderstanding frmo the batsmen and Jamshed can’t get back in time as Dhoni takes the bails off in style.
Pakistan 30-1 after 3.3 overs
Imran Nazir c Raina b Ashwin 13 (11b, 1×4, 0×6)
Nazir was getting a bit impatient. Ashwin invites him for a big shot and he takes the bait, heaves it high into the air before Raina collected it brilliantly on the run. Fine fielding from the Indian.
Pakistan 19-0 after 2 overs
Hafeez 7, Nazir 12
That’s a great over for Pakistan. Hafeez follows up Nazir’s pulled four runs with a huge six over the off-side. Good positive start from the openers.
Pakistan 2-0 after 1 over
Hafeez 1, Nazir 1
Good start for India. Nazir likes a quick start and tries to heave at a short delivery. He’s lucky the inside edge wasn’t too close to his stumps. Zaheer and Irfan have opened the bowling.
PAKISTAN ARE OUT TO BAT
It’s almost surreal, the ease with which Virat Kohli is batting. Early in his career, he counted himself as a batsman who did not hit the sixes. He reckoned that he just didn’t have the power. But looking at him cruise to another fifty in the warm-up game against Pakistan just convinced one that the format doesn’t matter to him anymore…
Sports Editor Ashish Magotra is in Colombo to cover the World T20. Read his full diary here.
India 185-3 after 20 overs
Kohli 75, Yuvraj 4
Ajmal troubled Yuvraj from the very first ball. He almost got him LBW too, but the decision didn’t go his way. Just the one boundary since Sharma’s wicket and it comes as Gul’s delivery veers wildly to the offside— allowing Kohli to free his arms. Good innings from India, and they’ll certainly come out to bowl with a lot of confidence.
India 172-3 after 18.1 overs
Rohit Sharma b Saeed Ajmal 56 (40b, 6×4, 2×6)
Ajmal gets the breakthrough but it’s probably too late. He invites Rohit down the track, who misses and the stumps are disturbed. Fine innings though. And yes, Yuvraj is up next.
India 172-2 after 18 overs
Kohli 66, Rohit 66
Beamer from Sami which thunks into Kohli’s helmet and deflects for four runs. Bowler apologizes immediately and Kohli laughs it away too. But on the very next ball, he’s scores six over long-on. Probably it’s time to feel a bit bad for the bowlers.
India 153-2 after 17 overs
Kohli 57, Rohit 51
These two are stopping at nothing. Kohli brings up his fifty with a quality straight drive before Rohit slams a six over mid-wicket en route to his half-century. With the pressure off (not that he looked under pressure), Kohli then dances down the track and whacks another six over covers. Great entertainment.
India 117-2 after 14 overs
Kohli 42, Rohit 32
Kohli and Sharma absolutely pounding the bowlers now. Kohli is going for the shots freely and Sharma has also started hitting the big ones. He pulls one over square-leg and into the second tier of the stadium for six. On the other end, Virat has played some lovely boundaries— one of which was perfectly placed at long-on. India are cruising.
India 88-2 after 11 overs
Kohli 26, Rohit 19
Kohli makes it look too easy. He charges down the track and lifts one over extra-cover for four before slapping one over the bowler for another boundary. He is scoring at a strike-rate of around 140.00 now. Brilliant.
India 64-2 after 9 overs
Kohli 10, Rohit 13
Kohli and Rohit have settled in pretty quickly. There has been just the one boundary since Sehwag’s wicket as Rohit cut one away to the ropes. Afridi and Hafeez bowling in tandem now. Ajmal’s got the big wicket and we should see him come back later when Pakistan really need him.
India 45-2 after 5.2 overs
Virender Sehwag c Shahid Afridi b Saeed Ajmal 26 (14b, 4×4, 1×6)
So Ajmal strikes! He almost had Sehwag out at long-on but the fielder’s foot was already on the boundary-line. But the very next ball his tight ball fools Sehwag, who makes room to cut but it’s straight to Afridi. Great catch from the athletic fielder.
India 41-1 after 4.4 overs
Gautam Gambhir b Umar Gul 10 (16b, 2×4, 0×6)
There we go… and it looked like it was coming. Gambhir was clearly left frustrated without being able to play the shots he wanted to. He tries to pull one away and inside edges the ball onto the stumps. Umar Gul exults.
India 41-0 after 4 overs
Gambhir 10, Sehwag 26
Suddenly Gambhir just has to stand at the other end while Sehwag keeps hammering Pakistan’s bowlers at the other. He sweetly flicks one through the leg side before executing the perfect cover drive. Both raced away for fours.
India 27-0 after 3 overs
Gambhir 10, Sehwag 14
Sehwag’s helped himself to some quick runs. He first heaves at a delivery outside off-stump and the edge dissects keeper and first slip for four. But then he sees a short ball, rocks back and slams a six over point. Trademark from the Delhi-man.
India 6-0 after 1 over
Gambhir 5, Sehwag 0
Not the ideal start for Tanvir. He bowls a huge wide on the second ball before getting whipped away for four. Good start for Gambhir, but it must be said that he needs to stop poking outside the off-stump on inviting deliveries.
Twenty20 could be a batsman’s game… but this match will also see a battle of sorts between Saeed Ajmal and R Ashwin. This should be tasty.
Most interesting selection decision is that of leaving out Harbhajan Singh. After a much anticipated return, the spinner is left out. So is Piyush Chawla. Looks like Dhoni has enough faith in Ashwin to shoulder the spin responsibilities. Sehwag and Yuvraj can chip in too.
India have won the toss and will bat first. Even though this is a warm-up match, don’t expect it to be drab. Both teams will go for the win.
Pakistan Team: Mohammad Hafeez , Shahid Afridi, Imran Nazir, Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Nasir Jamshed, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Sami, Abdul Razzaq, Asad Shafiq, Raza Hasan, Yasir Arafat
Indian team: MS Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Irfan Pathan, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, L Balaji