India opened its doors to semi-finals while beating Pakistan

India 2-129 (Virat Kohli 78*, Virender Sehwag 29, Raza Hasan 1-22) beat Pakistan 128 (Shoaib Malik 28, Umar Akmal 21, Lakshmipathy Balaji 3-22) by eight wickets.

The man in form, Virat Kohli, played another solid innings which led India to a comfortable win against their arch rivals Pakistan in the ICC World Twenty20.

Pakistan scored 128 runs before their innings was folded back with two balls to spare. India plundered 129 runs for the loss of two mere wickets with 18 balls to spare.

Virat Kohli - In a fabulous form
Virat Kohli – In a fabulous form

Virat Kohli (India) was declared ‘Player of the match’ for his match winning unbeaten knock of 78 runs.

The 20th match of the ICC World Twenty20 was held at R Premadasa Stadium, on Sunday, September 30, 2012.

Mohammad Hafeez, the skipper of Pakistan, won the toss and elected to bat with a view to setting a difficult target for the rival team. He opened the innings with Imran Nazir and got 13 runs in the first five balls. Hafeez was dropped by Virender Sehwag off Zaheer Khan for one run on the last ball of the over. Imran Nazir was declared leg before wicket off Irfan Pathan on the second delivery of the next over for 8 runs. Shahid Afridi was promoted up in the order and dispatched two fours in the same over. His poor form with the bat continued when he was caught by Suresh Raina at deep square leg off Lakshmipathy Balaji for 14 runs.

The Green Shirts were in trouble at 3-43 in 6.4 overs when Nasir Jamshed was caught behind by the wicketkeeper MS Dhoni off Yuvraj Singh for just four runs. The Blue Shirts got a strong hold on the game when Kamran Akmal lost his wicket to the same duo, in an identical fashion for five runs. The boundaries were dried up and the fifth four was scored after 29 balls when Mohammad Hafeez got one on the last ball of the 9th over.

The miseries of  Pakistan multiplied when Mohammad Hafeez played the fifth ball of the 10th over from Virat Kohli on to his stumps after scoring 15 runs off 28 deliveries. They were reeling at 5-59 when the experienced, Shoaib Malik and the young  Umar Akaml  tried to stop the enormous invasion of the Indian bowling. They accumulated 15 runs with a couple of fours in the 11th over and 12 in the following over with a six from Umar Akmal.

The hundred of the innings was posted on board in the 15th over and things started looking good for the batting side. Shoaib Malik was caught by Rohit Sharma at midwicket off Ravichandran Ashwin for 28 from 22 balls with 3 fours as the score reached 106. Umar Akmal followed him nine runs later for 21 and the tail order batmen surrendered without much defiance. The entire Pakistan team was bowled out for 128 runs in 19.4 overs.

Lakshmipathy Balaji was the star performer with the ball and grabbed three wickets. Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuvraj Singh held two wickets each whereas Irfan Pathan and Virat Kohli claimed one each.

The Men in Blue had a bad start when Gautam Gambhir was caught and bowled by Raza Hasan on the second ball of the innings without opening his account. The wonder boy of cricket, Virat Kohli, joined in with Sehawg who hit two fours in the fourth over. The runs were being added at a reasonable speed by the two players as Virat Kohli hit the first six of the innings in the seventh over. The first fifty was scored in the next over as Kohli hit two consecutive fours in the 10th over but was dropped on the fifth ball at backward point by Umar Akmal off Yasir Arafat for 42 runs.

Virender Sehwag was gone for 25 off 22 balls with three fours as Yuvraj Singh replaced him. Kohli went on with his excellent batting and thrashed his fourth T20 fifty with a four in the 12th over. The Pakistani bowling looked ordinary and the batsmen were playing their shots at will, especially Kohli who was severe on the bowlers. The hundred of the innings was scored on the last ball of the 14th over and the two players were rushing towards the nominal target.

The dismal ground fielding of the Men in Green continued when Imran Nazir dropped Virat Kohli at 64 off Umar Gul. Yuvraj Singh scored the winning run on the last ball of the 17th over as India reached 129 with eight wickets in hand. Virat Kohli remained unbeaten for 78 off 61 balls with 2 grand sixes and 8 fours and Yuvraj Singh was at the other end with 19 runs.

India won the important match with a wide margin of eight wickets and find themselves in the race for the semi-finals.


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