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India beat Pakistan by three wickets in cliffhanger

Zeecric Bureau

Dambulla: India came out victors of the crucial tie against Pakistan with a three wicket victory to travel through to the Asia Cup finals.

India won the crucial tie against Pakistan with a super victory with the Drama, Twists, Tragedy match. No team was on top for most of the match. Sehwag struggled to give momentum at the start and it was left to Gambhir and Dhoni to provide the innings some boost. Their 98 run stand got India closer to the game, with both reaching their half centuries.

However, India lost some quick wickets towards the end, but Raina was spectacular as he struck some big sixes towards the end. However, the match went into the last over as Aamer held his nerve, but Bhajji struck the final nail in the coffin for Pakistan as he swung the second last ball of the match for a maximum to seal a famous win.

This moment is similar to Miandad`s last ball six against India in the final at Sharjah in 1986. India win an absolute thriller by three wickets and book their place in the finals of the Asia Cup.

Some needle at the end as Akhtar said something to Harbhajan after bowling his final ball. Harbhajan did not like that, went after him - much like he went after Symonds. Then after the match was won, Harbhajan was roaring, hugging his team-mates in delight. Akhtar was coming from third man, pointed his fingers at Harbhajan and asked him to leave the field. Some gestures cant be decoded, but a stunning end to a nerve-wracking game.

Dhoni and Gambhir brought India to the brink of victory after India lost Sehwag and Kohli very cheaply against Pakistan.

India lost their first wicket in the form of an uncharacteristically slow Virender Sehwag who was done in by the good line and length of Abdul Razzaq.

A quick-fire fifty by Kamran Akmal towards the death ensured that Pakistan posted a challenging 268-run chase for India before all their wickets fell.

The openers gave Pakistan a good start, playing cautious cricket in the initial overs and by taking on the bowlers once they got their eye in. Salman Butt looked in ominous touch as he got to his 14th ODI fifty. Afridi, Kamran Akmal came in and chipped in with useful runs.

At one stage it looked like Pakistan would get a lot more runs looking at the way Afridi and Akmal were batting but nonetheless, they would be happy with the effort their batsmen put in. The Indian bowlers came back well and picked wickets towards the end to restrict their batsmen from going great guns. The Indians will also be very of the difficult batting conditions under the lights.

Skipper Shahid Afridi looked in good touch but was found plumb in front of the wickets to a straight Praveen Kumar special, becoming the sixth man to walk back to the pavilion as the death overs approached. He was soon followed by Abdul Razzaq as Praveen kept the tempo up, ending his night with a couple of sticks in his bag.

Scorecard: India Vs Pakistan»

Ravindra Jadeja got a much needed wicket in his kitty as Umar Akmal was the fifth man to go, caught behind by Dhoni as the attempt by the batsman tried to paddle it fine towards the boundary went awry.

Harbhajan spun into action on being introduced into his second spell, claiming Umar Amin to send shockwaves down the opponent’s dressing room that had seen its top order cooling its heels as captain Shahid Afridi walked out to bat.

The ‘Turbunator’ had made his presence felt as soon as he was introduced into the thick of action, claiming Imran Farhat in his second over.

Zaheer Khan took the second wicket for India as he clean bowled Shoaib Malik to bring in the middle order as the scorecard read 144/2 at the end of the 29th over. The agony did continue as a terrible attempt for stealing a cheeky run cost Salman Butt his wicket just when he looked set for a big ton.

Pakistan had started on a positive note with openers Salman Butt and Farhat milking the bowlers for a steady flow of runs. Pacers Zaheer, Praveen Kumar and Ashish Nehra did try for a tight line and length but the arch rivals too did their homework ahead of the tie.

India (Playing XI): Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni(w/c), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra

Pakistan (Playing XI): Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, Umar Amin, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi(c), Kamran Akmal(w), Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Akhtar, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Aamer

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