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India's batting woes continued and with the exclusion of Ajinka Rahane in place of Sehwag, as the opening partnership didn't yield much once again. Opening bursts from Irfan and Junaid was a sight to be seen for fast bowling fans and the pair left India battered at 37 for 3 in 10 overs where Irfan picked up the wickets of Rahane and Gambhir while Junaid Khan once again took the scalp of his favorite bunny of the series; Virat Kohli. Once again, the middle order stumbled and Yuvraj, Raina and Dhoni trio did everything to guide the sinking Indian ship to a decent total. None of the three players reached a fifty but did contribute with scores of 23, 31 and 36 respectively. The spinners further damaged the Indian batting line and with Saeed Ajmal's five wicket haul, India were bowled out for 167 in 43.4 overs.
The much awaited Indo-Pak Series has finally begun with Pakistan bagging the very first T20. Let's take a closer look at what went down in the grounds of M.Chinnaswamy Stadium on the 25th.
Mohammad Hafeez, the Pakistani captain, initiated the nerve-wrecking match by winning the toss and opting field first. Much to Pakistan's advantage, the grounds and conditions in India are quite similar to that of Pakistan's and much of the rest of the subcontinent. However, playing India in India is bound be a pressure-inducing game, and it sure proved to be one.
Earlier, Pakistan handicapped cricket team reached India in the wee hours of Wednesday to play the ODI and T20 series. The Pakistani contigent was received by Physically Challenged Cricket Association of India (PCCAI) secretary Ravi Chauhan amid drum beats and dancing from the overjoyed crowd who raised slogans in favour of both the teams. Indian hadicapped cricket team had earlier visited Pakistan in June for a ODI and T20 series.
“Indian handicapped players have potential to beat any side of the world with their determination and devotion. TO provide them healthy activity and opportunity, we have decided to send our team to Pakistan to have maximum international exposure. There was no suitable side than Pakistan to play against as they are one of the best sides and the most respected teams of the world and to play with them will also help in bridging gap between the people of both the countrie.” PCCAI chief believed.
Meanwhile, PCAPH chairman Abbas Hashmi said: “We are feeling proud with the respect and love we received here in India in such a short time. We are here to promote love, peace, harmony and to play positive cricket and we present love from the government and people of Pakistan to the Indian people.”
Pakistan team held their net practice session yesterday at Nihar Singh Cricket Stadium where first ODI to be played between the two countries. All the 16 players participated in the practice session conducted by coach M Tahir.
“We would give tough time to India to return as winners as our team is well-balanced and the players are capable of beating any given opposition,” said Pakistan's captain Fayyaz.
Team manager Nasir Mehmood said: “The boys are in high spirits and we have selected a very good squad comprising youth and experience while our spinners will be the key in the series. Nihal and Kashif Nawaz are our secret weapons having ability to destroy any opposition with their accurate and good spin bowling.”
The series should provide as a mean to bridge the gap between the two arch-rivals and promote healthy activities for the disabled. It is pertinent to mention here that neither the governments, PCB or BCCI are funding the hadicapped cricket boards.
Mr Khan, who represents the players who have been accused, has spoken to all three players and they vigorously deny any wrong doing. "I have spoken to all three players over the past day and all three are shocked to see such ludicrous claims by Minhaz Uddin Khan, the Dhaka Gladiators media manager". said Mr Khan on behalf of the players.
He also said that all three players are on the verge of taking legal proceedings as the accusations could have an effect in their careers and private lives. He added, "All three players have given the go-ahead to proceed to taking Mr Khan to court in this regard. I will be going to Bangladesh in due course to take up this option. The players believe that such accusations could have a lasting effect on their images in the game".
The allegations by Mr Minhaz Uddin Khan were made by him to an undercover sting operation by India TV. They also alleged six umpires of doing match fixing - something that all officials have denied.
The sight of West Indian players dancing to the tunes of Gangnam style was enough to know who the night belonged to. As Bravo took a running catch to end the Lankan innings, glory had made its way to the Caribbean Islands after three decades.
After being set 138 to win, Sri Lanka just couldn't get going.Dilshan, bringing back the memories of 2009 final at Lord's , had his off stump uprooted at the start of second over by Rampual to walk back for nought. Sangakara then walked in to join Mahela Jayawerdene and even though they kept they scorecard ticking, they never really threatened the Windies.
Sangakara got off the mark with an edge that went wide of first siip before Jayawerdene was dropped at deep backward square leg in the next over, as Bravo ran over the ball. Jayawardene then slashed at Badrees' half tracker to provide it a deserved treatment. No further risks were taken though by any batsmen in the last two overs of powerplay.
Gayle and Narine further subdued them with two quiet overs as the required run rate crept to 8.25 an over. Finally Sangakara improvised to hit Gayle, who followed him till the end only to be picked up exquisitely over the cover fence for four. Sangakara then perished trying to break the shackles further against Badree, as Pollard took a good low catch on deep midwicket.]]>
After watching the first semi final both the teams would have prayed to win the toss and opt to bat first. West Indies were lucky enough to win it and elected to bat first. The pitch looked slow but a better from what we witnessed in the first semi final. Both teams made one change each. West Indies brought the slightly fit Dwayne Bravo in for his brother Darren Bravo, whereas Aussies brought the crowd beloved David Hussey in for Maxwell.
As Gayle and Charles walked in to bat, Charles was the one given the sense of duty to go hard at the bowlers. He hit a couple of boundaries before he was halted by Starc. Starc was express, hostile and efficient as he swung the ball viciously. Gayle kept himself quite, sensibly reading the pitch before unleashing in the fourth over. Samuels and Gayle made use of their long handle to hit some huge hits out of the ground. Samuels then perished as he was late in reading the slower ball from Cummins, deceived by a beautiful 116 kph delivery to go back in the hut.
Gayle once again reinstated his stance and let Bravo play some shots. His stance was apparent from the fact that he only played 14 deliveries in 9 overs. Bravo took some balls to settle down but then played some lofted inside out shots in an emphatic style. The idea from Windies was to rotate the strike and take an odd boundary in between. Gayle was himself the craftsman, realizing he was the key man in this innings.
Sri Lanka made it to the finals of the World T20 on a night that saw Pakistan imploding while chasing 140 on a tricky surface. Pakistan leaked 16 runs off their last over, which in the hindsight proved fatal as they went down by 15 runs at Colombo. While Sri Lanka battled for everything persistently, Pakistan had only themselves to blame for a horrendous shot selection at the worst of times.
Pakistan started the innings in a flamboyant fashion with Imran Nazir dropped first ball off an expansive cut shot at point by Dilshan, followed by a cracking drive towards cover from him off Mathews. In the next over, Kulusekara perplexed Nazir by briniging the ball into him. Pakistan rode onto Malinga's erratic start of 5 wides to move to 22 off 2.2 overs.
With Pakistan galloping, Kulusekara and Malinga hit back with an array of dot deliveries. Hafeez found it difficult to work away either of them and the run rate slumped from around 9 an over to just 6 by the end of the 4th over. Nazir then swept Mendis fine for a boundary to release the pressure in the 6th over, though Mendis got the better of him next ball with the one that rolled onto the stumps after hitting the bat.
Jayawardene played around with his bowlers, never letting Nasir Jamshed settle. Perera, Mendis, Herath and Mathews bowled from 7th to the 10th over. Hafeez tried to have a go at them and collected two boundaries off Perera and Mendis as Pakistan moved to 55/1 at the end of 9th over, the game still very much in their hands.
Mathews' over though turned the tide on Pakistan, as Nasir was given a dubious lbw decision and Kamran Akmal perished trying to chip a slower ball over the infield. Suddenly, Pakistan's task had gone stiffer with 58/3 at the halfway stage.
Things only got worse for Pakistan, as Shoaib Malik was squared up by a delivery from Herath that turned from off and middle. Hafeez, running out of partners went over Mathews only to be dropped at long on, as Malinga missed a sitter. Hafeez made them pay with 10 runs of Herath's next over which included the match's only six. Though, Herath got Hafeez stumped in the next over as the ball kept low.
Pakistan would Like to start their World cup T20 Campaign with a postiive when they take on arch-rivals India in their first warm-up game here on Monday ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 beginning on September 18.
No other Sporting rivalry is Greater than Pakistan India which is fueled by nationalism,
bloodshed and a shared history.
People talk of the Ashes as a big event; it really doesn't come close to what a Pakistan, India match.]]>