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