India Beat Pakistan to Enter Cricket World Cup 2011 Final

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World Cup 2011
World Cup 2011

India set up a World Cup final clash with Sri Lanka by inflicting a 29-run defeat on arch-rivals Pakistan in their semifinal match clash at the PCA stadium in Mohali Today.

An all-round Indian bowling performance, helped by some athletic ground fielding, propelled India into its third World Cup final.  Chasing 261, Pakistan collapsed from 2/103 to 213 all-out to hand India the victory in the World Cup semifinal at Mohali on Wednesday.

Sachin Tendulkar capitalized on six reprieves to crack 85 while Suresh Raina provided the late sparks as India posted a competitive 260 for nine in their high—voltage World Cup semifinal clash against arch rivals Pakistan here today.

For Pakistan, pacer Wahab Riaz was the pick of the bowlers with a career—best 5/46, eclipsing his previous best of 3/22 against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2008.

Tendulkar, however, could not make the most of the Pakistani fielding lapses as he missed his 100th international ton as the hosts lost wickets at regular intervals on a PCA track which offered some assistance to the bowlers.

Virender Sehwag (38) and Raina (36 not out) were the other notable scorers as many of the Indian batsmen got the starts but could not translate them into big knocks in a highly surcharged match watched by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani and a host of other dignitaries.

For Pakistan, pacer Wahab Riaz was the pick of the bowlers with a career—best 5/46, eclipsing his previous best of 3/22 against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2008.

The Indians were at a shaky 205 for six in the 42nd over but some lusty shots by Raina in the power play took India beyond the 250 mark, which is more or less the average first innings total at this ground.

Pakistan now need to score at an asking rate of just over five runs an over to make it to the final of the mega event to be played in Mumbai on April 2.

Electing to bat, the Indian innings began with a flourish as Sehwag unleashed a flurry of strokes against the Pakistan pacers, picking up Umar Gul for special treatment by clobbering him for five boundaries in his second over.

The Delhi dasher slammed the third ball of the innings to the cover boundary to complete 1000 runs against Pakistan in his 29th match, thus becoming the fifth Indian batsman to achieve the milestone.

Sehwag was at his destructive best in Gul’s second over as he spanked him for as many as five boundaries much to the delight of a capacity crowd who lustily cheered every stroke.  Sehwag’s belligerence was shortlived as Wahab Riaz, who was introduced in place of Abdul Razzaq, struck in his very first over by trapping him leg before. His breezy 38 came off just 25 balls and contained nine boundaries. Sehwag attempted to flick the ball to an incoming ball and was rapped on the pads. The Indians asked for a review of umpire Simon Taufel’s decision and television replays showed that the ball would have indeed hit the middle stump.

After Sehwag’s dismissal, Tendulkar took upon himself the responsibility of scoring the runs quickly and an exquisite glance of Gul to the fine leg region stood out.

Tendulkar then produced another stunning shot off Riaz as he crouched on one knee and played the square drive to the point boundary, in the process completing 400 runs in the World Cup for the third time.

With runs coming easily, Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi introduced spinner Saeed Ajmal in the ninth over of the contest and the off—spinner conceded just three runs.

There was a lot of drama in Ajmal’s third over as Tendulkar survived two appeals of consecutive deliveries.

Umpire Ian Gould first upheld a leg before wicket appeal against Tendulkar who asked for a review. Television replays showed that the ball would have missed the leg stump and the decision was overturned.

The very next ball, the Pakistanis appealed for a stumping chance and again the verdict went in Tendulkar’s favour, drawing thunderous cheers from the crowd.

A few minutes later, Tendulkar got a reprieve when he was on 28 as a diving Misbah—ul Haq dropped a catch at the mid—wicket region with Shahid Afridi being the unlucky bowler.

Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir put on 68 runs for the second wicket in 13 overs before Mohammad Hafeez struck for his team by evicting the left—hander with a lovely flighted delivery.

Gambhir stepped out to drive the ball through the gap but was deceived by the flight and Kamran Akmal whipped off the bails in a flash to leave India at 116 for two.

The Pakistanis gave Tendulkar another ‘life’ when he was on 45 with Younis Khan dropping a catch at the extra cover region with Afridi being the unlucky bowler again. Tendulkar then hit Afridi over the extra cover boundary to notch up his 95th ODI half century.

Virat Kohli, who joined the action after Gambhir’s departure, never looked comfortable in the middle and Wahab Riaz brought an end to his vigil soon. Kohli played a strange shot and offered a simple catch to Umar Akmal at backward point.

A hushed silence descended at the stadium when local boy Yuvraj Singh was dismissed for a first—ball duck, leaving India in a spot of bother at 141 for four.

Tendulkar and Dhoni then tried to steady the innings by curbing their stroke play and playing cautiously. They were quite content to keep the scoreboard moving with gentle pushes and nudges while dispatching the loose deliveries to boundary.

Tendulkar, who was having a charmed life, was dropped for the fourth time by Umar Akmal at wide midwicket as the champion batsman attempted to pull the ball. It was Hafeez who was the unfortunate bowler.

But in the very next over, Tendulkar finally ran out of luck with spinner Ajmal getting the prized scalp.

He went for a stinging drive but could not really time the ball well and Afridi, unlike his teammates, did not make a mistake at short extra cover. His knock of 85 came off 115 balls and was laced with 11 boundaries.

Dhoni, who was dropped by wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal on 24, could not capitalize on the reprieve as he became Riaz’s fourth victim, trapped leg before to a sharp incoming ball. Dhoni went for the referral but without luck.

The winner of this match will face Sri Lanka in Saturday’s final in Mumbai.

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1 COMMENT

  1. india is great
    india is my life
    or mujhe vishwash hai india won the match
    india beats a paak
    and next chance of shri lanka\
    lanka k raavan ko shri ram ne maara
    or lanka ko ab bharat maaregi

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