Tenth Match

Asia Cup

At R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, July 25, 2004 (day/night). Pakistan won by 59 runs. Pakistan 5 pts, India 1 pt. Toss: Pakistan.

The bye India's ninth-wicket pair stole off the last ball gave them and not Pakistan a place in the final. Losing by 59 runs rather than 60 ensured India gained - and Pakistan lost - a bonus point. And results in the remaining second-phase games meant India finished two points ahead of Pakistan - though behind on net run-rate. The game itself, however, was a triumph for a Pakistani team who somersaulted back to their best form. Leading the way was Shoaib Malik, who hit 143, a career-best in all cricket. His unorthodox century, which came from 127 balls, included some audacious strokes and two grassed chances in the slips. Malik was well supported by Inzamamul- Haq and Yousuf Youhana, and they set a mountainous challenge. India quickly lost Sehwag, but Tendulkar and Ganguly weathered a terrifyingly hostile spell from Shoaib Akhtar to keep them in the hunt. However, the run-out of Kaif at 151 for five opened up the tail, and India swapped the quest for victory for the easier goal of achieving a bonus point. They cut that fine, too, but just made it, meaning Pakistan's fate was no longer in their own hands: they would progress only if Sri Lanka, already guaranteed a place in the final, beat India.

Man of the Match: Shoaib Malik.

© John Wisden & Co