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Monday, September 24, 2007


CRICKET Twenty20 India - 0
Thousands of sub-continental cricket fanatics were on the high veld here with all their flag-waving, jingoism and obsession for the game.

In the end, skipper MS Dhoni's men triumphed over Pakistan in a nerve-shredding match by five runs.

Master blaster Yuvraj Singh did not hit a single six as opener Gautam Gambhir provided the ballast to India's total of 157-5 with 75 including one six that crashed into the electronic scoreboard.

In reply Pakistan lost wickets at regular intervals with none of their middle-order big guns making a telling contribution.

Their demise was complete when Misbah- ul-Haq's attempt to flick Johinder Sharma over fine leg was caught by Sri Sreesanth.

This event has been an unqualified success in contrast to the poor format and meaningless matches during the 50-over World Cup this year. Dhoni said: "I will treasure this for the rest of my life."

India crushed all the preconceived ideas about Twenty20 — they had played just one match in the format before this event.

Dhoni won the toss but only Gambhir looked fluent against Pakistan's attack.

Yuvraj struggled with an elbow problem and his 14 runs came from a pedestrian 19 balls.

But Rohit Sharma caned 30 runs from 16 deliveries at the end of India's innings.

In Pakistan's reply, Imran Nazir belted 21 from Sreesanth's opening over before RP Singh took two important early wickets. Then match-of-the-match Irfan Pathan grabbed three more.

But Misbah whacked Harbhajan Singh for two sixes and No 9 Tanvir Sohail twice deposited Sreesanth over the boundary.

Misbah hit another six early in Sharma's final over before perishing. Cue the most manic celebrations imaginable.


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SoSuechtig, Burajiru