Crick Down the Legside

September 27, 2009 4:12 AM

Purposeful Pakistan beat rivals

The SubContinental showdown lived up to its pre-match billing with 550 runs and no shortage of incident as Pakistan saw off India by 54 runs.
The majestic Malik cracked 128 to set up the platform, although Yousef's 87 from 88 balls was just as crucial in setting the 300-plus total which put the game beyond India's reach.
The normally mercurial Harbhajan went for 71 off his 10 overs and, with Tendulkar going cheaply and the injured Yuvraj looking on from the stands, Indian's box office names were no draw for their more committed, though sometimes just as errant, rivals on the big occasion.
Gul and the ebullient Aamir did their best to help by overstepping and providing enough free hits to fill a career album - but India failed to capitalise.
Their reply hinged on two run-outs, ironically both involving the dependable 'Wall', Rahul Dravid, who held the innings together with a typically resolute 76, but illustrated his shortcomings with the shorter form of the game by failing to score off 27 balls.
His yes-no with Gambhir, who was playing beautifully, let Pakistan back into the game, and a similar bout of indecision would cost him his own wicket towards the end when there was an outside chance of victory.
Unfancied Pakistan now have two wins out of two. For India, the hard work begins.

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