Mirpur, Mar 21: India put up a thoroughly professional performance to thrash arch-rivals Pakistan by seven wickets in a one-sided opening group league encounter to launch their ICC World Twenty20 campaign in style, here today.
At a packed Sher-e-Bangla Stadium, the Indian spinners did a commendable job in restricting Pakistan to a modest 130 for seven after electing to bowl.
Chasing the target, the Indian batsmen sent the opposition bowlers on a leatherhunt to canter home by seven wickets with nine balls to spare.
India thus maintained their clean slate against Pakistan in World Cup events as this is their fourth victory against the traditional foes in the marquee tournament of shortest versions.
Two in-form batsmen Virat Kohli (36 not out) and Suresh Raina (35 not out) made useful contributions as they added 66 runs for the unbroken fourth wicket to finish the match in style.
Kohli hit four fours and a six during his 32-ball knock, while Raina's runs came off 35 balls with equal number of boundaries and six. The victory also was a sweet revenge for India's last over loss against Pakistan at the same ground in the Asia Cup less than a month ago.
Today everything went right for the 'Men In Blue' as they outbatted, outbowled and out-thought Pakistanis with Dhoni marshalling his resources really well. After three quite overs, Rohit Sharma (24) decided to attack Junaid Khan as he cleared the short fine leg fielder for a boundary and slashed hard enough over point to get a six. The over got India 12 runs.
Spinners restrict Pakistan to 130/7
Indian bowlers did an excellent job by restricting Pakistan to 130/7 in 20 overs.
Spinners R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra and Yuvraj Singh bowled 13 overs between them. Though Yuvraj was expensive in his only over, the specialist trio were superb (3/63 in 12).
Jadeja was the most economical with 1/18 in four overs. Mishra, playing in only his second T20I after his debut nearly four years ago, produced figures of 2/22 in 4 overs with one wicket-maiden.
Ashwin opened the bowling but did not have any success. He, however, bowled a tight spell with 0/23 in four.
Pakistan were kept under check right from the start and managed only 50/3 in the first 10 overs. Umar Akmal was the top scorer with 33.
Pakistan touched 130 thanks to Sohaib Maqsood scoring 15 (best of the innings) in the final over by Mohammad Shami.
Suresh Raina took three catches. Shahid Afridi failed with the bat as he departed for just 8 runs.
Though the pitch is slow and assisting spinners, Pakistan have an uphill task to defend 130.
India captain MS Dhoni won the toss and opted to bowl.
India went in with three spinners in R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami are the two pacemen in the Playinig XI.
After winning the toss, Dhoni had no hesitation in bowling first. With the threat of dew later, the skipper did not want to take risk.
Pakistan have three fast bowlers in Umar Gul, Junaid Khan and Bilawal Bhatti. Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi and captain Mohammad Hafeez will be the spinners.
India: MS Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami.
Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Kamran Akmal, Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Sohaib Maqsood, Shahid Afridi, Bilawal Bhatti, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan.