Colombo: Sep 30, 2012
Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuvraj Singh gave a fine exhibition of controlled spin bowling as India bowled out arch rivals Pakistan for a lowly 128 in their second 'Super Eights' match of the ICC World Twenty.
Pakistan captain Mohammed Hafeez's decision to bat first on a slow Premadasa track failed to produce the desired result as Ashwin and Yuvraj frustrated the opposition batsmen by maintaining superb line and length.
Ashwin, who operated from round the wicket, had superb figures of two for 16 from four overs while Yuvraj also had identical figures but from three overs.
The duo snapped four Pakistan wickets for only 32 runs in seven overs and it was the reason why Hafeez and Co could not reach a respectable total. Lakshmipathy Balaji also complemented the 'spin twins' with impressive figures of 3/22 in 3.4 overs.
The only notable partnership was of 47 runs between Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal. Malik was the top scorer with 28 before he gave an easy catch to Rohit Sharma. Last match?s hero Umar Akmal played a pull shot off an Ashwin delivery but couldn't clear Suresh Raina in the deep.
India versus Pakistan matches are never short of drama and this match was also not an exception. Zaheer Khan's first over saw him bowl three wide deliveries and then being square driven by Imran Nazir for a boundary before Virender Sehwag dropped the opener at first slip.
Irfan Pathan started off the collapse by removing Nazir who had shuffled a long way but the umpire thought that left-arm seamer?s incoming delivery would have hit the stumps.
Nazir stood his ground for a while before leaving.
To everyone's disbelief, Shahid Afridi walked in at No 3 and smashed the first delivery from Pathan over his head and then another boundary off the bowler through the cover region.
However, with the former Pakistan captain, opposition teams always fancy a chance and Balaji bowled a short one which Afridi tried to pull it over mid-wicket boundary but was caught by Suresh Raina at the boundary ropes. Afridi made only 14.
Yuvraj then got into the act as he removed left-hander Nasir Jamshed and wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal in quick succession to reduce Pakistan to 49 for four. Both hurried onto their shots.
Jamshed tried to play a slog-sweep which was smartly taken by Dhoni while Kamran tried an expansive cover drive of an arm ball only to give the Indian captain his second catch.
Pakistan captain Hafeez scratched around for 28 balls for his 15 before he dragged one onto his stumps off part-timer Virat Kohli?s bowling.
Umar and Malik then got together to conjure a partnership but Ashwin dismissed both of them in quick succession to end Pakistan?s chances of a big score. (PTI)
Brief Scores: Pakistan 128 all-out in 19.4 overs (Shoaib Malik 28, Umar Akmal 21; Ravichandran Ashwin 2 for 16, Yuvraj Singh 2 for 16) vs India