Tuesday, September 25, 2007

India beats Pakistan in Twenty20 World Cup Final




India bowled out Pakistan with three balls remaining Monday to win the first Twenty20 World Cup final by five runs.

India hit 157 for five wickets at Wanderers Stadium before reducing Pakistan to 104-7 off 16 overs. Sohail Tanvir then hit 12 runs off four balls with two huge sixes to bring Pakistan back in contention.

Tanvir fell to make it 138-8 and Pakistan lost its last three wickets for 14 runs, Misbah-ul-Haq holing out to a catch by Sreesanth for 43 to end the match.

"We thought we would be able to chase between 150 and 160 easily," Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik said. "But we lost early wickets, and that didn't help us."

Rudra Pratap Singh and Ifran Pathan each took three wickets from their four overs for a combined total of just 42 runs, but it was Joginder Sharma who was asked to bowl the final over.

With Pakistan needing 13 runs off the last six balls, the rookie medium pacer opened with a horrible wide. He then bowled a dot ball before conceding a six. But he held his nerve and lured Misbah-ul-Haq into an attempted paddle, which went high into the air and straight to Sreesanth at fine leg inside the circle.

The catch gave India its first international title since it won the 1983 World Cup.

"We really wanted to do well because we played so badly in the World Cup," India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said. "And it was a real team effort that won the tournament for us."

India batted after Dhoni won the toss and mostly owed its total to 75 off 54 balls from opener Gautam Gambhir, who struck eight fours and two sixes.

His partners fell regularly and he was the last batsman dismissed when he was caught at short fine leg by Mohammad Asif off Umar Gul at the end of the 18th over.

India again struggled to accelerate its innings, with Yuvraj Singh - who smashed six sixes off an over against England - contained by the slow spin bowling of Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez.

Yuvraj made only 14 off 19 balls, and it was left to Rohit Sharma to hit an undefeated 30 off 16 balls at the end to lift the total to a defendable level.

"We should have got 180," Dhoni said. "But Pakistan's bowling was really excellent, especially Umar Gul."

Gul was the best of the Pakistani bowlers with 3-28.

Pakistan then started its innings badly, losing Mohammad Hafeez in the first over to Singh, but Imran Nazir compensated for that poor start by taking 21 runs off Sreesanth's first over.

With wickets falling regularly and Nazir run out for 33 by a great direct hit from Robin Uthappa, Misbah-ul-Haq had to try and lift his team with 43 off 38 balls.

Tailender Tanvir also hit two sixes right at the end, but Pathan led the Indian bowlers with 3-16, while Singh's 3-26 helped set up the middle-overs squeeze which eventually led to the victory.

"For us, the turning point was Imran Nazir's run out - we were always struggling after that," Malik said.

He also condoned Shahid Afridi's dismissal for a duck, caught in the deep for a duck off his first ball.

"That's the way Shahid plays; he is player of the tournament, so it's an honour to have him in our team," he said.

Source: http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5hoRc_-gspv5Tq9IpQrxPHIc9gXgQ



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