Colombo, Sep 17: Kamran Akmal's magnificent half century took Pakistan to a five-wicket victory in the last over against India in their warm-up match ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 2012 here on Monday. Pakistan chased down the target of 186 with five balls to spare.
It was Kamran Akmal's show all the way in the second innings of the match. He remained unbeaten on 92 off 50 balls. He finished the match with a six off the first ball of final over bowled by Irfan Pathan. Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik associated for 95 runs in 7.4 overs for the unfinished sixth wicket partnership.
R Ashwin had done so well with the ball with figures of 4/23 off fours over on his 26th birthday. But Kamran Akmal spoilt his big day with a breezy knock.
Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh, the most experienced bowlers in the line-up, went wicketless for 71 in seven overs combined. Zaheer's figures were 0/31 in three while Harbhajan had a disappointing day with 0/40 in four. Irfan too was smashed for 0/41 in 3.1 overs. Lakshmipathy Balaji too was at the receiving end (0/41 in four) making it a dismal day for Indian bowlers.
Brief Scores: India 185/3 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 75 not out, Rohit Sharma 56, Saeed Ajmal 2/22) lost to Pakistan 186/5 in 19.1 overs (Kamran Akmal 92 not out, Shoaib Malik 37 not out, R Ashwin 4/23)
India innings report
Fine half centuries from Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma powered India to 185/3 in 20 overs against Pakistan in a warm-up match here on Monday.
Kohli was yet again the batting star for India as he continues to dazzle in all formats of the game. His unbeaten 75 off 47 balls with seven boundaries and two sixes was the highlight of the first half. Rohit too was in excellent form, a huge change from his recent struggles with the bat. Rohit made 56 off 40 balls with six fours and two hits over the fence.
After the early losses of Gautam Gambhir (10) and Virender Sehwag (26), Kohli and Rohit put on 127 runs in 12.5 overs. As a result, India's run rate shot up. After taking 41 and 35 balls respectively for the opening two fifties of the team, the third one was raised in 26 balls with Kohli and Rohit in tremendous touch.
Saeed Ajmal was the most impressive of Pakistani bowlers as he finished with 2/22 in four overs.
India captain MS Dhoni won the toss and chose to bat against Pakistan in their warm-up game ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 2012.
Gautam Gambhir, who had injured his hand in the previous practice match against Sri Lanka, was declared fit to bat. He and Virender Sehwag opened the batting at the R Premadasa stadium on Monday afternoon.
World T20 begins in Hambantota on September 18, Tuesday.
India are in Group A with England and Afghanistan. Pakistan are in Group D with New Zealand and Bangladesh.
Teams (12 per side. 11 batting, 11 fielding)
India: MS Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan, R Ashwin, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Harbhajan Singh.
Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Shahid Afridi, Imran Nazir, Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal (wicketkeeper), Shoaib Malik, Nasir Jamshed, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Sami, Abdul Razzaq.
Umpires: Billy Bowden (New Zealand) and Nigel Llong (England)
Match starts at 2.00PM