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Hafeez helps trip India in first T20

Mohammad Hafeez made 76 BCCI

Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez's quickfire 61 from 44 balls helped his side beat India, by five wickets, in the first Twenty20 International, played in Bangalore, on December 25.

Hafeez came to the crease with Pakistan reeling at 11 for two, with India's debutant fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar dismissing the openers with a brilliant display of swing bowling and then an over later breaching the defences of Umar Akmal.

At 12 for 3, the visitors were in trouble. But the calm presence of Hafeez and some enterprising batting from Shoaib Malik put a chase of 134 back on track.

Hafeez scored a fifty off 40 balls with six boundaries. His was an innings studded with cuts, flicks and lofted shots over deep cover. The 106-run stand between Hafeez and Shoaib Malik is the highest for the fourth wicket in Twenty20 internationals for Pakistan, and the third-highest by any team.

Pakistan, though, had another scare at the death, losing Hafeez and Kamran Akmal in quick succession when victory appeared secure.

Dinda took the penultimate over and he left Pakistan needing 10 off the last, which Malik helped achieve with a straight six off a Jadeja length delivery to win with two balls to spare.

Hafeez was named Man of the match for his match-winning knock.

Malik said Pakistan were struggling when Bhuvneshwar struck early but credited Hafeez for playing a "brilliant innings."

"We wanted to do well at the start of the series," Hafeez said. "[Mohammad] Irfan was the surprise package for us and everybody. We knew we had a good attack. We knew that [Umar] Gul is always good with the old ball. They restricted India where we wanted them to. Once the [India] spinners came on after the new ball, we knew we had a chance, we took a risk at the right time and it worked. It is a gift for the whole nation. It is Quaid day back home."