Sunday, June 15, 2008

Pakistan’s exciting win over India to lift Kitply Cup

Pakistan lifted the Kitply Cup by defeating India by 25 runs in the sensational day/night final of the triangular series here on Saturday.

Chasing a difficult target of 316 runs, India after a shaky start took up the challenge and never gave up the fight till the last wicket fell when captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was caught at deep mid-off with teen balls remaining.

Dhoni made 64 runs off 59 balls with three fours and two sixes and Yuvraj Singh scored 56 off 59 balls with five fours and one six. Opener Gautam Gambhir also contributed a significant score of 40 runs off 33 balls with four fours and one six.

Other main scorers were Irfan Pathan (28), Yusuf Pathan (25) and Ruhait Sharma (24).

Umar Gul was the most successful bowler from Pakistan as he grabbed four wickets for 57 runs while Shahid Afridi and Iftikhar Anjum claimed two wickets each and Fawad Alam and Suhail Tanvir took one wicket each.

Earlier, a grand second wicket partnership of 205 runs between Salman Butt and Younis Khan helped Pakistan amass a huge score of 315 runs for the loss of only three wickets after captain Shoaib Malik won the toss and elected to bat first.

Both Salman and Younus hammered centuries to take Pakistan to a formidable position against India against whom they were embarrassedly beaten by a record margin of 140 runs on Tuesday at the same venue.

Left-handed opener Salman Butt scored 129 before retiring hurt with cramp. He hit 12 fours and three sixes in his seventh hundred, fifth against India, and also completed 2,000 runs in his 52nd match in ODI cricket.

Younus, after getting ducks in two previous games, displayed magnificent stroke-making to smash 108 runs off 99 balls with three huge sixes and eight fours in his fourth ODI hundred.

After the match ended, Younus Khan was declared the man-of-the-match and Salman Butt won the man-of-the-series award.

Pakistan began their innings cautiously after losing Kamran Akmal (15), and Salman and Younus took the score to 100 in the 24th over but then they opened their arms and played strokes freely as Pakistan reached 200 in the 37th over. They parted before Pakistan reached 300 in the 49th over.
Pakistan plundered 90 runs in the last 10 overs after Butt and Younus set the stage for the final onslaught.
Misbah-ul-Haq also contributed significant 33 runs off 21 balls with four boundaries and one six.

Shahid Afridi (10) and Shoaib Malik (11) were at the crease when Pakistan set India a difficult target of 316 runs on completion of the allotted 50 overs.

Irfan Pathan took two wickets for 59 and Ishant Sharma got one for 57 and Pyush Chawla conceded 85 runs from his 10 wicketless overs, the third-most expensive spell by an Indian in one-day internationals after Javagal Srinath (87) and Thiru Kumaran (86)..

India: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain, wk), Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma.

Pakistan: Salman Butt, Kamran Akmal (wk), Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik (captain), Shahid Afridi, Fawad Alam, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul, Iftikhar Anjum.

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