ICL World 20s: India ease past Pakistan, enter finals

Published: Monday, April 14, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Hyderabad: India XI produced yet another clinical performance to outclass Pakistan XI by 32 runs and book final berth in the ICL 20s World Series at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium here on Sunday.

India rode on brilliant half-century from Tejinder Pal Singh to post a formidable 176/6 in stipulated 20 overs. In-form batsmen Ibrahim Khaleel and Abbas Ali chipped in with useful 35 and 22 respectively.

In reply Pakistan was limited to 144/6 despite some useful contributions from the batters up the order. India pacer Ganapathi Vignesh was the pick of bowlers with 3/22.

India sent in to bat courted early trouble when the young Paki seamer Riaz Afridi struck in his first over to remove Vignesh (6) caught Naved Latif.

However the in-form batsmen Khaleel and Jhunjhunwala laid a strong platform for India with a brisk 66-run stand for the second wicket.

The highlight of the lovely partnership was the heady cocktail of some quick running between the wickets combined with the odd hit to the boundary.

Just when the young duo was taking the game away from the Pakistani side, Arshad Khan struck with the penultimate ball of the 10th over sending back the dangerous Khaleel for a well made 35.  Kahleel's 30-ball knock was studded with five boundary hits.

Jhunjhunwala (26 off 36) kept his reputation of conceding wicket after getting good starts intact when the former Bengal Ranji batsman holed to Afridi off Arshad.

TP Singh (52) and Abbas saw off the initial scare and opened the arms to stroke 50-run stand off just 27 balls. The left-hand duo hit some enchanting shots on either side of the wicket.

TP was severe on Naved Rana hitting him for two boundaries and a six in the 18th over of the innings before being castled by the same bowler. TP clobbered four boundaries and two sixes in his 32-ball innings. Abbas' 14-ball 22 was inclusive of two boundaries.

In reply the Pak side got off to a great start getting 40 runs off the first 3 overs with Abdul Razzaq looking in fine touch. However the departure of Nazir (retd hurt)&dismissal of Humayun in the fourth over put breaks on the Pakistani chase.

Just when Razzaq was looking to take the match away from the Indians, Vignesh struck in the 6th over to remove dangerous all- rounder for a well made 38 off only 17 balls.

At the half way thro' the Pak innings the equation read: 98 more runs in 60 balls with 8 wickets in hand. The key for the Pakistani team was the unpredictable Hasan Raza, who was battling it out with Imran Farhat in the middle. The duo shared a brisk 74-run stand to take Pak score to 125 in 17 overs but that wasn't enough to help their side's cause.

Raza scored run-a-ball 46 while Farhat's (32 off 36) labourous knock was ended by T Kumaran. 

Some brilliant bowling by Kumaran&the wily Murtaza in the final overs, backed by some superb out fielding left Pakistanis with a Herculean ask of 56 runs off the last 3 overs.

In the end the superb all round performance from the Indians saw them register their third straight win by a comprehensive margin of 32 runs.

The young skipper Satish Rajgopalan - reminds us the ex-England captain Mike Brearley for his intuition, clear thinking and good understanding of the situations- marshalled his bowling resources exceptionally well. He unsettled Pak batsmen by mixing bowlers well allowing 'em to bowl in short spells. 

Brief Scores:

ICL India176/6 in 20 overs (Tejinder Pal Singh 52, Ibrahim Khaleel 35, Abbas Ali 22; Arshad Khan 2 for 29) beat Pakistan 144/6 in 20 overs (Hasan Raza 46, Abdul Razzaq 38, Imran Farhat 34;  Vignesh 3 for 22, Ali Murtaza 2 for 22, Riaz Afridi 1 for 17).


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