India v Pakistan, Asia Cup, Mirpur

Kohli's near escape and a Saeed Ajmal special

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the Asia Cup match between India and Pakistan in Mirpur

Siddarth Ravindran in Mirpur

March 18, 2012

Comments: 49 | Text size: A | A

Saeed Ajmal leaps for joy after dismissing Sachin Tendulkar, India v Pakistan, Asia Cup, Mirpur, March 18, 2012
Saeed Ajmal is jubilant after getting Sachin Tendulkar to edge his doosra to slip © AFP
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Series/Tournaments: Asia Cup
Teams: India | Pakistan

The slip
Virat Kohli's sensational one-day form continued in Mirpur, and he had put India well on course to complete their largest successful chase. There were a few edges towards third man during his innings, but the major concern came when he was on 121. He tried to power a full ball from Umar Gul, but didn't connect well. The ball rolled safely to the leg side, but he lost his bat during the follow-through. To his horror, it flew towards the stumps. Gul watched expectantly, but the bat narrowly missed off stump, and Kohli went on to mete out more punishment to the Pakistan bowlers.

The interruption
The Shere Bangla stadium was already abuzz with the fans raucously supporting Pakistan, and the PA system blaring out the latest pop hits. All that was drowned out by the roar of a military jet flying around the stadium, and thrilling the crowd by doing a loop. Part of the military routines ahead of the independence day celebrations on March 26, the jet flew past the ground several times. The umpire Ian Gould even stopped Ashok Dinda from bowling till it had passed and left a slightly quieter atmosphere for play to resume.

The doosra
Sachin Tendulkar was playing one of his carefree innings, and had completed a quick half-century. He had shown ominous signs of form, including an utterly effortless uppercut that went over slips and over the third man boundary. Pakistan's fielding was in pieces, with 17 coming off the 17th over from Wahab Riaz, and India had the momentum. It was time for Saeed Ajmal's doosra to work its magic, and it did. Tendulkar was looking for the turn, and closed the face, getting an edge to slip.

The collision
In the 38th over, Umar Akmal gently played the ball towards square leg. Virat Kohli rushed in from deep midwicket, and Rohit Sharma from deep backward square leg, neither realising that the other was also closing in on the ball. Kohli crashed into Rohit's shoulder and both men were down on the ground, reminding some of the recent collision between Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan in Sydney. Like then, neither player was seriously hurt, getting back on their feet after a bit of medical attention. At the SCG, though, Raina had managed to hang on to the ball for a catch, this time the ball trickled through allowing an all-run four.

The catch
Even as India's spirits were being crushed by the Pakistan batsmen, Raina gave it a lift with a blinder at extra cover. Younis Khan played a firm lofted inside-out stroke towards Raina, and would have felt he had enough on it to clear the fielder. Raina skipped to his left, before leaping and stretching his right hand across his body to pluck it out of the air. With Pakistan already at 323, there was little elation from Raina despite a spectacular effort.

The late-effort
When Mohammad Hafeez clubbed the first ball of the seventh over above Gautam Gambhir at mid-on, Gambhir expected that the quick outfield would help it to the boundary. Initially, he only made a half-hearted amble towards the ball, before realising that Hafeez hadn't timed it too well and that he had a chance of hauling it back. He then switched to full speed but it was too late, and the ball beat him to the rope.

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by yoohoo on (March 19, 2012, 20:03 GMT)

@jmcilhinney - Indians haven't played Ajmal before much, and especially they haven't played him in a test. Once they play him in a test then they will figure him out, just like it took 2-3 tests to figure out Mendis etc. etc. Even then they played him quite well yesterday, they made him irrelevant mostly.

Posted by Nampally on (March 19, 2012, 17:05 GMT)

@satish619chandar: I am glad to note your agreement on inclusion of Rahul in XI.India has thrived on batting skills of Dravid, Sachin, Sehwag & Laxman. Now that these guys are exiting, so is India. While there are lots of batting stars like Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Pujara, Tiwary & Rahane in the back ground, there are no bowlers. Three seamers in 140KPH range exist in Ishant, Yadev & Aaron - none of them in the Asia Cup squad. However 2 of the future potential spinners in Ashwin & Rahul are in the squad. Is there any justification for dropping Rahul for 10 ODI's in a row, when the Indian bowling is so doleful? How will India develop bowlers when they never play in the XI?It is good to have all rounders but you need 4 specialist bowlers in XI first to have any chance of winning ODI's.India was lucky to chase 330 runs Vs. Pak. Rahul would have bowled 10 overs @<5 runs/over +2 or 3 Wkts - what did Yusuf do in bowling + no batting!.When you don't use the bowlers, Dhoni should stop complaining

Posted by   on (March 19, 2012, 15:22 GMT)

Many don't seem to realize that net-run-rate doesn't matter, if Bangladesh beats SriLanka. Bangladesh had beaten India in the league game, and hence they will walk into the finals. As simple as that. The BD boys had been playing the most spirited game, consistently, and as a team, and as such, I won't be surprised to see them in the finals. I won't be surprised, even if they beat Pak and lift the cup. If it happens, I would say, "well done; and they deserved it for their 100% efforts -- by everyone in the team!"

Posted by csowmi7 on (March 19, 2012, 11:49 GMT)

India should play against Pakistan in a test match. Ajmal can bowl over after over and it would be an amazing contest.

Posted by iamgroot on (March 19, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

Saeed Ajmal is dangerous bowler. Even though his arm bent may be little discomforting still he is a terrific bowler. And dhoni please kick out RG sharma and take manoj tiwari. And in bowling department please include Rahul sharma.... PK, VK, Irfan pathan are all having tough time bowling in these conditions. Not just these even pakistan bowlers had tough time bowling on these wickets. But still PAk bowling is better than the current bowling set up of india. Indian team bowling dept should be Rahul sharma, Ashwin, VK , pathan. The only reason VK above PK is because VK is slightly better in this tournament. And yusuf should remain too in the team ahead of Jaddu.

Posted by satish619chandar on (March 19, 2012, 6:29 GMT)

@Nampally : I too feel they should prefer Rahul now as he can bowl in death overs too and he can be deceptive as he is a new comer and not many teams would have had a look on him.. Especially with the form Irfan had shown with bat.. He looked more than adequate with bat and need to be used as the allrounder at 7.. Are the team mgmt afraid to use him at 7 thinking it will affect his concentration on bowling? Irfan is now more experienced to balance both batting and bowling..

Posted by rohanblue on (March 19, 2012, 5:14 GMT)

@Rajorshi Kumar Sen - let bangladesh support whoever they want, 1.21 billion is enough fr team india......

Posted by iammadhu on (March 19, 2012, 4:34 GMT)

i hate these flat tracks.. whats the point if there is nothing for seamers

Posted by sandy_patel on (March 19, 2012, 4:14 GMT)

@shahbazhussain :- till now there is no player i guess

but SA hashim amla is coming

he has 9 centuries in 57 matches

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 19, 2012, 4:10 GMT)

@spinkingKK, I'm inclined to agree. Hafeez and Jamshed got off to a great start but they seemed to cruise without trying to accelerate even though they had wickets in hand. Of course, if they'd tried to up the pace and got out and then Pakistan had collapsed we'd be singing a different tune, but they obviously underestimated India's ability to chase down a big total. Noone should have done that after Hobart but particularly not now.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 19, 2012, 3:15 GMT)

Any India supporters want to say anything about England's woes against Ajmal now? If he can do an apparently in-form Tendulkar in conditions very familiar to the batsman then I think England can be somewhat excused for having troubles against him in unfamiliar conditions. Even when I watch close-up, slow-mo replays of him and I know that the ball's a doosra, I still can't pick the difference, so I'm not surprised that batsmen have trouble. Those replays are from behind though, so maybe there's some give-away from in front. I guess Kohli didn't have too much trouble.

Posted by saqskhan on (March 19, 2012, 1:32 GMT)

My Asia XI... 1)Hafeez (spinner)2)Tendulkar,3)Kohli,4)Sangakkara,5)Shakib (spinner), 6) Afridi (spinner),7) Dhoni(Wk &C) 8)Angelo Matthews(medium pace) 9)Ajmal(spinner)10) Umar Gul (pace) 11)Malinga (pace)

Posted by   on (March 19, 2012, 0:43 GMT)

India losing the match will in no way guarantee a place in the final for Bangladesh. In fact, if India had lost this match, then it would have become a 3 way race between Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India. So that can't be the reason for supporting Pakistan. Imagine Sri Lanka chasing against Bangladesh to get a bonus point or to better their run rate of India & Bangladesh.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 23:57 GMT)

umar akmal and rohit sharma are the guys who are wasting their talents!!! they have the best techniques in the world!! they shud make it useful

Posted by Nampally on (March 18, 2012, 23:51 GMT)

India's attrocious bowling was on display again to give a relatively average Pakistan batting a huge total. I am mystified why Dhoni clings to All rounders- Jadeja & Yusuf pathan, when neither can be termed as a bowler. India's bowling is so weak & batting so good, that there has to be balance some where to win matches. India desperately need a Specialist bowler like Rahul Sharma - who is "stingy wkt. taker". He is the best Indian spinner in the squad & I place him above Ashwin. When India is crying out for a bowler, Dhoni's total disdain for bowling is amazingly foolish. It is true, the seamers are bowling poorly. But filling in all rounders, who cannot bowl well & will not get a bat, is pointless especially when India needs BOWLERS. It is lucky that Tendulkar & Kohli Have come big for India but even they can fail. Hence Dhoni must reinforce his bowling- not with part time bowlers but those bowlers who have skills - accuracy, direction, spin & consistency. This is common sense.

Posted by Fieldsight on (March 18, 2012, 22:07 GMT)

I propose a South Asia 11, with current lot....Kohli,Tendulkar, Jayawardene,Sangakkara,Ajmal, Hafiz, Tamim, Shakib,Mashrafi,Umar gul, Dhoni,

Everybody please take off and add names as you feel best! I think, pace bowling needs adjustments!!

Posted by spinkingKK on (March 18, 2012, 21:56 GMT)

I beleive Pakisthani batsmen failed to capitalize on the tremendous opening stand. They could have aimed between 380-400 at that stage. Instead, they seems to have aimed at 350 and then, 320. 400 would have been hard to get. But, Indian batsmen playing the way they are, even that could have been achieved.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 21:50 GMT)

Can we see another duel between India and Pakistan?

Posted by Fieldsight on (March 18, 2012, 21:45 GMT)

In an answer to Rajorshi kumar Sen, I guess, Bangladedshi crowds were banking on a defeat for India, so that Bangladesh would have a better chance at the points table.

And secondly, for generations of Bangladeshis, (Grandfather, father, son) were entertained by pakistani cricketers, Fazal Mahmud, Hanif Mohammed, Mustaq Mohammed, Imran Khan, Intekhab Alam, Zahir Abbas, Saeed Ahmed, Wasim Akram, Wakar Younus, Javed their mind set is to support Pakistan, although the country had a dubious political and miliary and social record against Bangladesh.(they did not even allow a single Bengali player in Pakistani team.

However, Shakib rightly said, they would want to defeat Lankan team, or at least try to...without help from the points table. I personaly would support the Bangladesh team.Good luck to our team

Posted by noitsnothim_itsme on (March 18, 2012, 21:38 GMT)

@Rajorshi Kumar Sen - Logic is quite simple, Bangladesh chances improve if India loses, now they must WIN against Sri Lanka!

Posted by Dalajit on (March 18, 2012, 21:30 GMT)

Let me tell you, if anybody watch out for a batsman who can get pass Sachin's ODI records of highest runs and century than this is only VIRAT KOHLI. He is a true ODI batsman and looks like similar talent of Sachin and the way he is scoring his runs, it is not impossible that Sachin's records can not be beaten. India go t another Sachin while Sachin is about to retire, what a replacement. This guy can even take more pressure than Sachin while chasing and now the most dependent batsman of Indian team. Great going VIRAT, you have created many more fans after today's innings, you are already my favorite cricketer in my facebook even gone passed to Dhoni. Keep playing like this, you are a true match winner. Love to see you batting with Yuvraj in future...

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 21:20 GMT)

@Rajorshi - It made sense that Bangladeshi's supported Pakistan since Pakistan had already qualified no matter what. India's winning meant they would have to win against Sri Lanka

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 21:16 GMT)

Dead pitch and a batsman's dream.. credit due to all centurions for playing amazing cricket. Bowlers shouldn't be criticized. As always another thrilling and an entertaining cricket match between India and Pakistan. These two really need to play each other more often.. Hats off to Kohli, every century seems to be outshining the last one. The final between the two would be justiified and wanted from every cricket fan

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 20:50 GMT)

@Rajorshi - It made sense that Bangladeshi's supported Pakistan since Pakistan had already qualified no matter what. India's winning meant they would have to win against Sri Lanka

Posted by cricketenjoy on (March 18, 2012, 20:38 GMT)

@Rajorshi. It makes perfect sense for the Bangladeshi's to support the Pakistani team. A big Pakistan win would help their country qualify even if they were to loose to the Sri Lankan team in a close match.

Posted by Happy_AusBang on (March 18, 2012, 20:21 GMT)

Rajorshi, I don't know what you are trying to insinuate. I thought it is pretty obvious. Bangladesh want to knock India off so they could progress to the finals. Other than that, smaller teams always get a kick out of eliminating the bigger teams. I don't see why that should be an issue for you. Focus on the game mate, don't worry about the support!

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 20:21 GMT)

complete classic innings frm virat the way he played it looks he will gona break all batting records he is true champion nd the interesting thing is his batting under pressure is very awesome . i m Pakistani but let me tell u he is the god of cricket not sachin sry for sachin fans

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 20:20 GMT)

We have seen the best cricket between two rival. Both team has done wonders. Pakistan batting click today but no match to the power of Indian batting. I am suprise the way Indian chase the target such a ease. I was disappointed to see our fast bowlers and Afridi bowling below par. I was suspicious about Afridi's performance. He used to hit every ball but today he did opposite. His bowling is also not effective. Pakistani bowlers did not bowl as per their field. They also did not go after weak point of Indian batsmen. I think we will face India again and coaches and players should look into their mistakes. They should try to make a plan today and implement it in their practice.We should also think about including Rehman and Sarfaraz as specialist wicketkeeper.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 20:08 GMT)

It should also include Sachin's bowling and the dropped catch off his bowling, which might have been a tragedy for India

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 19:37 GMT)

Pakistan can never win against India even if Pakistan scores 400 runs.I hv never seen Pakistan played good under pressure like India.Pakistans doesnt hv any team spirit.they played for themselves..while India played for the country...Thanks Allah that Pakistan batted first....

Posted by drdani on (March 18, 2012, 19:16 GMT)

a very well played match..irrespective of the result we were certainly well-entertained..with a innings like this, kohli's side deserved to win..being a pakistani m v much please to see the effort put in by our players..we did lost but not by much..better luck next time guys!!

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 19:14 GMT)

virat is the new big batsman in world cricket

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 19:13 GMT)

@ Rajorshi Kumar Sen - Because India losing this one would have made chances even brighter for Bangladesh to qualify but now they must defeat the Lankans

Posted by 30-30-150 on (March 18, 2012, 19:03 GMT)

So the decision to play Wahab Riaz backfired as expected.. India would have won anyways...

Posted by rohanblue on (March 18, 2012, 19:00 GMT)

i agree with @Plz_Dont_Get_Whitewashed, i m also indian fan, bt ajmal is surely magical, undoubtedly the best spiner in d world now....

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 18:55 GMT)

Kholi was briliant .. rohit was fantastic .. Hafeez and Nasir was brilliant again and younus was good .. ajmal hafeez was on the song .. good game of cricket ..

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 18:46 GMT)

Bangladesh were supporting Pak bcuz had india lost this match, BD were almost a certain in final ...

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 18:35 GMT)

Can someone please get Misbah out of this Pakistan team please please please??????

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 18:29 GMT)

The people were supporting Pakistan mainly because a Pakistani win would mean India would be out of the tournament. We have a superior run rate compared to Sri Lanka. So even if we were to lose to Sri Lanka by a narrow margin, we would have made it to the finals. Now it has become a must win game for us. Also most people did not know that the net run rate will not play a role if India wins. People got to know later that only a victory over Sri Lanka will be enough regardless of what run rate India ends up with.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 18:25 GMT)

Pakistan main bowlers are Gul and Ajmal. Surprisingly Hafez too bowled well in this match. Where the plot was lost for Pakistan is when Ajmal was attacked in one over by Kohli. Soon Mishab taken away Ajmal and brought Hafez, here Mishab should have continued with Ajmal by giving him one more over. In one over Gul too was attacked and he gave away 15 runs or so. Whatever it was one of the coolest knocks played by Virat Kohli under a lot of pressure. Both teams gave their hundred percentage and made the match a thriller. This match was better than the World Cup semi final which was played in Mohali last year. Pakistan do have very good players and they must get enough chances to prove their talent. India too have to make Rohit Sharma an compulsory player in Tests and ODI's. Bowling is weak link for India, I would like to see some new young bowlers like Tyagi, Mithun and lot of them who we see in IPL for than in international matches. hope for best.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 18:24 GMT)

Virat Rocksssssssssssssssss

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 18:18 GMT)

final On lets see Who Gona win i think india is in with Big chance Now So Indo pak one More lets see who is Ready for it More Hope Virat have Same anger and I hope Wahab is out from team forever and Hope to see Afridi colors more in next and Hope this coming match make more Fun and intrest :) Good game All

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 18:11 GMT)

@ Rajorshi Kumar Sen: I am sure the reason for the Bangladeshis supporting Pakistan against India is that they identify with the common religion. Its interesting that their upcoming independence day celebrates freedom from Pakistan and would not have been possible without India's help.

Posted by shahbazhussain on (March 18, 2012, 17:53 GMT)

I dont think if any of the two teams played wrong. The both teams played superbly. and really really really hats off to angry young man, he go talent and he has proven it from his start of the career. Can any body tell if if anybody ever have scored 11 hundreds in 81 innings? I really cant recall it if anybody ever has done than him? Even Sachin scored 12 centuries in his first 150 innings. I really rate this guy who is gonna break all records that Sachin has. whether it be most runs, most 100s, most 50s most man of the matches. Virat Kohli is Champion! I am Pakistani, but when Virat plays, I really admire his batting, his fielding and his temper and anger that he shows. I am big fan of this guy. He is the future of Criceket not just for India but for everybody who loves cricket. Virat is my guy of choice gonna hit the cricket world very hard!

Posted by Plz_Dont_Get_Whitewashed on (March 18, 2012, 17:51 GMT)

As an Indian fan - I feel that Saeed Ajmal is MAGICAL !!.... Why doesn't Misbah bowl him along with "Prof" Hafeez in tandem for 15-16 overs continuously?!?!.... Both of them combined could pick 3-4 wickets and give very few runs! ... Poor Captaincy by Misbah I must say. :)

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 17:39 GMT)

when Kohli's bat slipped, he wasnt pulling the ball. He played a hard cover drive. Please correct it.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 17:35 GMT)

Interesting to see majority of Bangladesh nationals supporting Pakistan in a India-Pakistan match. A split in the support would have made sense for a neutral team.All the more curious to know the reasons for this support.

Posted by timus6778 on (March 18, 2012, 17:33 GMT)


Posted by khurramsch on (March 18, 2012, 17:28 GMT)

poor batting by paksitan apart from hafez,nasir& younas, rest of themcouldnt capatalize.afridi scored 9 singles off 15 balls? they scored 329@6.5. they were scoring over 6 from no accelration. last 15 overs 111 runs with 10 wickets in hand. rubish by bowlers very rubish. they were too expensive afridi , gul cheema & rubish of all wahab who was picked for 1 year old performance. evrybody saying indias bowling weak i think they did wel in end & not let pak escape as throughout runrate was 6-6.5. kohli was brilliant & played very well.

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Tournament Results
Bangladesh v Pakistan at Dhaka - Mar 22, 2012
Pakistan won by 2 runs
Bangladesh v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Mar 20, 2012
Bangladesh won by 5 wickets (with 17 balls remaining) (D/L method)
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Bangladesh v India at Dhaka - Mar 16, 2012
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Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Mar 15, 2012
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