Mohali, March 30: In the end Pakistan were not good enough to run down India's 260/9, falling short by 29 runs as the home side go through to the summit clash against Sri Lanka at Mumbai on April 2. Pakistan got off a to a brisk start in their innings with Mohammad Hafeez leading the charge with 43, before India pegged back the visitors as Yuvraj came to the party with a double strike to remove Asad Shafiq (30) and Younis Khan (13). India kept chipping away at the Pakistani line-up as all five bowlers used, including Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh and Munaf Patel picked up 2 wickets a piece. Pakistan middle-order stalwart Misbah-ul-Haq stuck it out to the end with a valiant 56, which of course went in vain. (scorecard) (Pictures).
Misbah's last stand
Misbah seemed to be biding his time for the batting powerplay. In the meantime, Pakistan lost Wahab Riaz to Nehra as the visitors were reduced to 199/8. Then Misbah took a single off the same bowler to bring up Pakistan's 200 in the 46th over when the powerplay was thrust upon them. But in Nehra's next over, he got Umar Gul out lbw for 2 and Pakistan had slid to 208/9 in 46.1 overs. Then in a last ditched attempt, Misbah brought up his fifty with a six off Munaf. But in the end, the task was beyond the batsman and India won by 29 runs.
Afridi to the rescue?
Abdul Razzaq came to the crease to join Misbah with the score at 142/5 in 33.3 overs. Pakistan reached 150 in the 37th over, but almost immediately lost the wicket of Razzaq when he was bowled by Munaf Patel for 3. with captain Shahid Afridi coming to the crease. Then in the 40th over, Yuvraj nearly got the wicket of Afridi, but Nehra grassed a catch in the deep as Pakistan moved to 177/6 in 40 overs. Then after Afridi and Misbah tried to stay in the hunt by consolidating, Bhajji had the former caught for 19 off 17 ball and Pakistan had slumped to 184/7 in 41.5 overs.
Umar, Misbah fight back
In the 28th over, Umar Akmal was nearly run out but Yuvraj made a mess of it, knocking off the bails without gathering the ball. In Yuvraj's next over, Umar got stuck into the bowler, carting him for a four and six and followed up with another six in Yuvi's following over as Pakistan climbed to 141/4 in 32 overs. But Umar's defiance was cut short for 29 off 24 balls, when Bhajji bowled him with a quicker doosra asPakistan slid to 142/5 in 33.3 overs.
Yuvraj Singh was brought into the attack with Pakistan at 84/2 in 19 overs. But he couldn't make any immediate impact, going for 5 runs in his first over. Asad Shafiq and Younis Khan took Pakistan to 100/2 in 23 overs. But Yuvraj came back to bowl Shafiq for 30 off 39 balls as Pakistan were reduced to 103/3 in 23.5 overs. Pakistan added just 3 more runsat the halfway stage in their innings. But then they lost Younis Khan for 13 to Yuvraj.
Pak slip after brisk start
Chasing India's 260/9, Pakistan's inning got off to the perfect start with Kamran Akmal slapping Zaheer Khan for two fours in the first over. Indian paceman Ashsih Nehra got off to a better start, conceding just 4 runs. In the 7th over, Hafeez and Akmal teamed up to take a four each off first-change bowler Munaf Patel as Pakistan climbed to 38/0 in 7 overs.
Two overs later, Zaheer got the opening breakthrough for India when he hadKamran out caught at point for 19 off 21 balls. But Hafeez stood firm to take Pakistan past 50 in the 10th over. After 15 overs, Pakistan were 70/1 with Asad Shafiq and Hafeez at the crease.