India v Pakistan, World T20 warm-up, Colombo September 17, 2012

Akmal assault wins it against hapless Indian bowlers

ESPNcricinfo staff

Pakistan 186 for 5 (K Akmal 92*, Hafeez 38, Malik 37*) beat India 185 for 3 (Kohli 75*, Rohit 56, Ajmal 2-22) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A day before the World Twenty20 begins in Sri Lanka, India's bowlers failed to defend 185 in a warm-up game after R Ashwin had reduced Pakistan to 91 for 5. Kamran Akmal's sustained assault finished the game with nearly an over left. Barring Ashwin, Kamran toyed with India's bowling as he swung six after meaty six in the company of Shoaib Malik, who bettered even Kamran with a strike-rate over 200 for his 37. What will worry India further is that they lost despite the use of five frontline bowlers, the warm-up game effectively allowing them the Supersub.

Pakistan won't be complaining, though. after an indisciplined show from their bowlers, they had their task cut out when they came out to bat. They started in belligerent fashion, but lost two wickets in Ashwin's first over. Kamran, though, made sure the momentum was not lost. He began with a good-looking cover-drive for a couple first ball, and lofted the second ball he faced for a six.

Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh then suffered at Kamran's hands before Ashwin came back to turn it around it with a mid-innings spell. In the 10th over he had Hafeez and Shahid Afridi caught at the boundary, before diving full length to his right to catch Umar Akmal off his own bowling. At that stage it seemed Pakistan had messed the chase up by playing around too much with the batting order, but Malik and Kamran had other ideas.

Sensible batting followed before the turnaround started in the 15th over when Kamran swung Zaheer Khan for successive sixes over long-on, and Malik drove him for four over mid-off. While runs seemed all too easy, the key over remained Ashwin's. All Indian eggs seemed to be in his basket as Kamran and Malik basically had their way with the others. By the time Ashwin came on to bowl the 18th over, the equation had changed completely.

Pakistan needed 29 now, and they could afford to take it easy in Ashwin's over. They were content with risk-free seven runs off his over, knowing well they could hit the others. And hit others they did. Kamran walked way across to Balaji in the 19th over to sweep a low full toss for a square leg over six, and Malik matched it with a loft over long-off to leave only six to get off the last over. Irfan conceded it through one loopy full toss.

It wasn't all doom and gloom for India, though, as one of their main batsmen extended his golden form, and another found some much-needed form. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma powered to fifties in a century partnership that seemed to have given India enough. While Kohli's was just an extension of an incredible run, Rohit's showing in both warm-up matches - he made 37 against Sri Lanka on Saturday - will be a big relief for the management. The only downside of Kohli and Rohit's dominance was that Yuvraj Singh has now faced just 17 deliveries in both warm-up games put together.

Kohli's supreme touch was evident when he nonchalantly clipped his first delivery through midwicket for four in the fifth over. His confidence spurred him to step out consistently to the Pakistan spinners. Rohit found confidence as his innings grew, and even overtook Kohli on the scoreboard briefly. Their partnership of 127 came at close to 10 runs an over. Like Ashwin for India, the Pakistan bowling unit had Saeed Ajmal fighting a lone, losing battle. He went at under a run a ball while others bowled poorly under pressure.

Kohli and Rohit found a way around Ajmal quite appreciably, but they were to find out the same done to their bowling unit, only much more emphatically.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Yasir on September 20, 2012, 10:26 GMT

    @From-INDIA-with-LOVE->Well Pak is also under rebuilding process.Right now we dont have any reliable batsmen and also bowling is not like that which used to be before..And that sharjah match in which we scored like 50 or 55 runs in both inngs agsint Aus..Lol i dont want to remember it.a complete nightmare for any Pak fan.Pak team was and is always like that.inconsistent as always.We were beaten by Ireland and nearly got beaten by BD in the recent Asia cup final.It shows how inconsistent our batsmen are

  • Yasir on September 20, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    @Sam->I also said the same thing that both the teams have never won a series in Aus and SA :)..And i remember Pak winning a match in SA during our last tour. Also in 70's or 80's,i wasn't even born at that time so i cannot say what happened during those matches and what umpires did..

  • sam on September 20, 2012, 3:44 GMT

    @SolidSnake well you are correct about India not winning a test series in Australia and SA. But Pakistan has not won a test series in SA, Australia and WI. Both teams have won a series in every other country. Moreover, no team could win a series in Pakistan in 70s and 80s as Pakistani umpires were amazing cheaters (Miandad used to boast not a single Pakistani umpire could rule him lbw in Pakistan). As for the last 2 whitewashes in Aus and SA, we lost because our middle order batsmen were playing test cricket when they should have retired and openers were injured but still playing with injury. Otherwise, we wouldn't have lost 8-0. May be 6-0, but not 8-0.

  • Anindya on September 20, 2012, 3:37 GMT

    @Solid_Snake: True we never won any series in SA and AUS (what to do we dont have great bowling line up like PAK) but in terms of victories in AUS and SA we are at par then what is the use of having a great line up and also in 2001-02 PAK managed to score some 50 odd runs in both the innings n Sharjah against the same team which an inexperienced Indian bowling (remember Zaheer Khan made his debut and Harbhajan was in his early days) line up had beaten..before 2011 we were doing pretty good outside..IND is going through a rebuilding process..we will again win outside subcontinent..yes I agree there are plenty to talk about legendary bowling of PAK but at the end of the day its the win that count..remember wining the battle and wining the war are two different things..

  • Yasir on September 19, 2012, 19:21 GMT

    In our last tour to Aus,who could forget that Sydney test where we needed only 150 runs to win and we lost that match.Nobody loses a math when the target is just 150 runs.Its our brilliant bowling which made the Aussies bend down but then our pathetic batting collapsed again. Atleast we won a match against Aus while we were host in Eng... Aus 88 runs all out..We crushed them completely and won that match..When was the last time India did something like that and crushing Aussies? Also we won against Eng as well in our last tour..The same Tour after that India came and played 4 matches against Eng..And got whitewashed..And also India got whitewashed in Aus too in their last tour.And guess what,that was not a mighty Aussie team yet India got white washed Well i can go on and on about our never ending Bowling achievements.If you have legendary batsmen,we got legendary Bowlers who have crushed every team in every country out there

  • Yasir on September 19, 2012, 19:08 GMT

    @From india with Love->India stood all high against ausies in 2000's? Well thats true but winning a series in Aus is another story.. India has never won a series in Aus and SA as well,Starting from day 1,India has won only 3 series wins in England.And thats it. If you are talking about winning matches only then guess what.Pak also has won test matches in SA,WI,Aus,NZ and also 3 famous series wins in England.So if you see the complete record then both the teams are the same. Standing tall against the Ausies then winning a test match only.On the other hand winning a complete series in Aus is another thing which India has never done. PS->And regarding our bowling..Atleast we managed to demolish the Aussies batting line up completely during our last tour and on so many other ocations.Though we lost all 3 matches thanks to the briiliant keeping of kamran akmal.

  • Anindya on September 19, 2012, 16:09 GMT

    @Ahmad Uetian:Well let me explain then, its a fact that PAK is always gifted with great bowlers especially great fast bowlers..but look at the achievements..still no series win in WI,AUS,SA,on the other hand IND never had nor they have a great attack but a balanced attack,having resources and proper use of resources are two diff things..just looked at what we have achieved with limited sources,won series in WI,ENG, won test matches in AUS and SA, the only team which stood tall against the mighty Aussies in dude victories are important but what matter is what is the significance of that in building a team and improving the standard of the that way victories in Sharjah had not done any great for PAK but put them in news for all WRONG REASONS

  • Yasir on September 19, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    And one more thing..T20 isnt the right format to judge the bowling of any team..You just have got only 20 overs and all you wanna do is hit really hard no matter who the bowler is.So if Ajmal is being hit,it dosent mean that he is a bad bowler.Ajmal or any other bowler need not to prove anything.Ajmal is Ranked 1st in T20.Being on 1st rank dosent mean that Ajmal would do all 4 of his overs as maiden

  • Yasir on September 19, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    @Ahmed->Bro also see that how India managed those runs in WC semifinal against Pak..Tendulkar was given like how many chances 3,4 or 5?He still couldnt reach his 100.I am not saying that its because of our fielding India got away.there are no ifs and buts in cricket.But it is the change of scene in that match. Sehwag was hitting Gull really hard and it seemed like India would reach 300+ easily.But then Wahab Riaz came up with his Magic and restricted India to 260..After watching that match who would say that our bowling isnt good.We only have our batsmen responsible everytime for our defeats.But we are proud of our bowlers.

  • Yasir on September 19, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    Also how about the 2nd warm up match? Pak batting collapsed against as usual but Pak bowlers managed to take out Eng on 112 runs only..And new players were introduced with main players sitting on the bench.If the backup players can bowl out Eng on 112 then its not hard to tell how our Bowling is..Everybody knows that our strength is in bowling.But i dont know why people say that it is 'so called best'..I praise indian batsmen alot as i know their class.But if Indian Bowling is not upto the mark then why dont you accept it rather than calling other team bowling attack as 'so called best'?

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