Ind v Pak, Super Eights, Group 2, WorldT20 2012, Colombo

Steady India thrash anxious Pakistan

The Report by Sidharth Monga

September 30, 2012

Comments: 523 | Text size: A | A

India 129 for 2 (Kohli 78, Sehwag 29) beat Pakistan 128 (Malik 28, Balaji 3-22, Ashwin 2-16, Yuvraj 2-16) by eight wickets
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Virat Kohli plays a shot towards the off side, India v Pakistan, Super Eights, World Twenty20, Colombo, September 30, 2012
Virat Kohli scored his eighth fifty-plus score in his last 11 international innings © Associated Press
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India-Pakistan matches - never mind the tournament context - often tend to be a contest as much of nerves as of cricketing skills. Keeping in with recent times, where India have tended to come out the mentally stronger side, Pakistan's batsmen tried too hard and imploded to waste a dream start and post the lowest total of the Super Eights stage of this World Twenty20. Virat Kohli, who had scored 183 in his previous match against Pakistan, then steered the chase of 129 with his eighth fifty-plus score in his last 11 international innings.

This was a game where one of two jinxes would be broken. It was India, needing to win this to stay alive, who posted their first Super Eights win in World Twenty20s since 2007. Pakistan were still without a win over India in any World Cup match. Pakistan were every bit a team with a bogey attached to them. They tried flamboyance with the bat and failed, and didn't show heart to back up their talented bowling and attack. India, on the other hand, did the small things well after a nervous start, and were there to accept every opportunity that Pakistan presented.

Anxious more than enthusiastic, Pakistan began with 26 runs and five boundaries in the first two overs, but regressed in the coming overs. Some of their batsmen just froze, including captain Mohammad Hafeez who scored 15 off 28, and they took 6.5 overs to score the next 26. Pakistan played 53 dot balls against bowling that was steady at best. Add to that two balls they didn't even make India bowl.

It might look like a canter looking at the scorecard, but the match had got off to an edgy start. India even looked a little meek and Pakistan tried to intimidate them. Zaheer Khan brought back memories of his first over in the 2003 World Cup final, bowling three wides in his first over here. One of them, nearly a regulation take for the keeper, found its way to the boundary. The first ball Imran Nazeer faced he smoked away to the cover-point boundary. The first ball he faced from the other end, he inside-edged Irfan Pathan for four, but the bowler came back with a trademark lbw in the same over.

In the second over, out came the six-or-nothing Shahid Afridi. It was a pair of Pathans opening for India against one of the more celebrated Pathan cricketers, who was full of intent. The first ball: whacked away to long-on, the fourth: thrashed through covers. Even against Zaheer, Afridi kept swinging at everything. MS Dhoni went to the surprise pick, L Balaji, in the fifth over. Balaji began with a slower bouncer that Afridi didn't pick, and then got him caught in the deep with the regulation bouncer in the same over.

If this was a pressure match, it showed the most on Pakistan captain Hafeez, playing his 100th consecutive international for Pakistan. He would have had a perfect day had he gone to a shooting range. Almost every shot he played went straight to a fielder. As the dot balls piled on, it seemed the perfect time to introduce Yuvraj Singh, whose fitness has recently been questioned.

Yuvraj had set the tone for the day early when he dived full length to save four runs off the first legitimate delivery of the match. Now he teased the Pakistan batsmen with his slow tossed-up non-turners. With pressure mounting thanks to Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed was the first to fall, trying to slog-sweep Yuvraj. Dhoni showed he had recovered from his earlier slip as he caught the underside edge cleanly. Kamran Akmal, too, edged Yuvraj in his next over, Dhoni again pouching the sharp chance. Yuvraj would fill in with a direct-hit run-out from point later.

Shoaib Malik continued his love of playing India, and added 47 with Umar Akmal, but that was the last bit of fight Pakistan put up. When the time came to step up, R Ashwin's three remaining overs came in handy, and he got them both caught at deep midwicket. The pressure of the dot balls earlier was too much.

All India's pre-match moves were working. The part-timers went for a combined 3 for 37 in their six overs, which justified playing only four bowlers. Balaji returned figures of 3 for 22. For a moment in the chase, though, it seemed it wasn't going to be all easy. Pakistan's new spinner Raza Hasan removed Gautam Gambhir for a duck, but they ran into a Kohli-sized brick wall.

Making his comeback, Virender Sehwag played a useful hand too, adding 74 for the second wicket, but it was his partner at the wicket who was the star of the show. It helped that it was Pakistan who were meek now. Attacking men were conspicuous in their absence, and when Kohli edged Afridi through the vacant slip in the ninth over, with the run rate still about a run a ball, the match had completely slipped out of Pakistan's hands.

Kohli remained calm even after Sehwag's fall, summing up India's calmness on the big night.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (October 2, 2012, 15:57 GMT)

Now, what u guys will say about Pak performance today??? Being a Pakistani i am proud of my team who just thrashed Aussies and u can see Fear in their eyes...The fair of Shameless defeat against PAK...M.Hussey is the key player who just take his time to get settled and ensure that Aus will make 112 in order to qualify for the Semi Finals...Hats off to PAK...Now what my fellow Indians will say about our bowling attack??? Now u can compare it with your team's bowling attack...

Posted by mark2011 on (October 2, 2012, 13:33 GMT)

@ jasonpete on (October 01 2012, 05:26 AM GMT); & mathewjohn2176 on (October 01 2012, 05:52 AM GMT) we know how to appreciate but do not BOAST!!!.. u ppl boast when u win and insult ur opponents.. now dont try to be a saint or pretend it, when it coms to u r turn. it may have hurt u undertandably. But that is the trueth.. u know great AUS capt, Allan Border told way back 20 yrs ago that u need 25% luck and 75% talent to win a cricket match ... if it not luck, what then Vrat is playing on?? how many drop chances...is it true or false?? go and see those matches again, but that does not mean Vrat bad player, he is really good talent, but on top of that he is running on luck. Otherwise see what happnd to the Rohit Sharma.. is he not good player??, but whats happning to him...all going wrong... lot indian write him off .. so whers is the appreciation for Rohit's talent.. before u point out other do ur part right mate first.

Posted by CricfanAarshi on (October 2, 2012, 8:28 GMT)

India will win, it just has to use some brains if they r playing against the Aussies.. Australia is so far the best... So, best of luck 2 the Men in Blue!! Jai ho! Will be in total support of the Indians!! Also, keep going, Virat!

Posted by jango_moh on (October 2, 2012, 5:25 GMT)

@VivtheGreatest..... i agree with you partially.... the only world class bowler is ajmal, gul to a certain extent.... but pakistan has a good variation of spinners which i dont think we have... afridi/hafeez are more than useful(compared to say yuvraj/sehwag etc).... but yeah, they def dont hve the pace resources that they used to... its just ok, ppl go overboard saying they hve a great bowling attack... goes to show perceptions are hard to remove...

Posted by VivtheGreatest on (October 2, 2012, 4:25 GMT)

I dont know who has propogated the myth that Pakistan have a good bowling attack. Do they think they still have Wasim and Waqar?!! LOL! The only good bowler in their side is Ajmal, the rest are all mediocre. The likes of Arafat wouldnt get into most other teams. Then they go around calling the Indian bowling ordinary. The fact is the bowling standard of both teams is the same and our batting is far, far superior. This myth of the 'great ' Pakistani bowling seems to be believed by some Indians also without thinking clearly

Posted by indiafan76 on (October 2, 2012, 0:20 GMT)

Here is the scenario for India to Qualify: 1) Aus win vs Pak: India can qualify by winning against SA or by loosing to SA by not more than 3 runs or with 1-2 balls to spare. This will keep them above SA in NRR and also above Pak assuming Pak didn't loose by less than 2 runs 2) Pak win vs Aus: India has to win against SA and have a better win compared to Pakistan's win by 1 ball or 2 runs.

For Pak to qualify, Pak has to win and hope India don't have a better win. They have almost no chance if they loose. Either Ind or SA will overtake them on NRR very easily.

If both India & Pakistan win their matches, it is unlikely that Aus will loose out on NRR (Pak has to beat them by 40 runs to do that). So it will be between Ind and Pak on NRR (Scenario#2 outlined above).

Posted by   on (October 1, 2012, 20:46 GMT)

india maintain the 100% record that never loose a game agaainst pakistan on t20 world cup.great all round performance by team india.superb batting by kohli and some great bowling by R.Aswin ang Yuvi.chakde india....

Posted by cjscanada on (October 1, 2012, 20:05 GMT)

@TSJ07, I beg to differ on Harbhajjan. The spell against England is distorting. He is not the bowler he used to be. I do hope and wish him the best. Think Yuvraj, Raina or Sehwag would be better option with the ball. Hope Bhajji proves me wrong. The Englishmen threw their wickets rather than Bhajji earning it. When you compare a performance you would want to see it over at least a 6 to 10 games before proclaiming how good or bad a player is. I like the aggression of Hassan and Dhannanjay better. It is to early to say how Dhannanjay will pan out but he seems a very good prospect.

Posted by cjscanada on (October 1, 2012, 19:53 GMT)

@Mazii aaw, I feel so bad for you. Despite the loss I really appreciate the comments from the Pakistani's. I sincerely hope they qualify for the semi finals. I want the Asian teams to reign.The Pakistani's are the most candid and fair commentators on cricinfo at the same time passionate. I like Jayawardene and think he is a cool Captai and also the Sri Lankan team. I think they have a very balanced team but I do not understand the negative vibes between the Sri Lankan and Indian fans. I want one of the Asians to lift the cup, preferably India. I would not mind if Pakistan or Sri Lanka lifts it as long as it is an Asian. Sri Lanka are doing really well, so congratulations to their team and Pakistan is a great side, much better than India skill wise but they need to believe in themselves. At the end of the day may the best side win. I love the WI side for the flavor they have in their batting. Please, please do not let the Aussie's brag about this world cup. Good luck to all.

Posted by khankijaan on (October 1, 2012, 19:37 GMT)

Congratz Team-india for such a fine performance.. ,this was all expected ,,1ce again PAk were unable to break that jinx against Ind in Worldcups...but the fact remains there that Pak r a very capable side and renowned for bouncing back very quickly ...it was just that the indians had psychological edge over Pak in WC that led them to the 1 sided victory...but 1 has to admit that indian bowling is certainly not threatening and against a good batting line-up those bowlers r gonna falter again(as they did badly against aussies) ...majority of pak fans have bashed Hafeez and co very hard..but m sure those same ppl r gonna cheer their victory 2morrow...so keep patience guys ,u have got a lot of match -winners,,,

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