Mirpur (Bangladesh), March 21 IANS | 9 months ago

India, riding on a fine show by its spinners, maintained its all-win record in an International Cricket Council (ICC) meet against Pakistan as they beat the arch-rivals by seven wickets in the tournament opener of the World Twenty20 at the Shere Bangla National Stadium here Friday.

Leggie Amit Mishra picked up two for 22 as Indian spinners put on a fine act to restrict Pakistan to 130 for seven in 20 overs. Mishra was adjudged as the Man of the Match for his miserly act with the ball.

While chasing, Virat Kohli remained unbeaten on 36 and Suresh Raina on 35 as India romped home safely with seven wickets in hand and nine balls to spare.

But the credit must go to the Indian openers Rohit Sharma (24) and Shikhar Dhawan (30) who laid the foundation of the chase with their 54-run stand.

Rohit finally came back to form with a blistering 21-ball innings that was studded with one four and two sixes. On the other end, Dhawan also kept the runs flowing hitting five fours in his 28-ball knock

Spinner Saeed Ajmal (1/18) was the best among the Pakistani bowlers and castled Rohit with a delivery that turned sharply in the eighth over. Two overs later, Ajmal took a good catch in the deep to get rid of Dhawan, who was done in again by a short-pitched delivery from Umar Gul.

Yuvraj Singh (1) also fell soon as from a comfortable 54 for no loss, India were down to 65 for three.

But Kohli and Raina made sure with their unbeaten 66-run stand for the fourth wicket that India reached home without any more loss. Kohli struck four fours and a six in his 32-ball. Raina also hit equal number of fours and a six in his 28-ball innings.

Earlier, Pakistan batsmen faltered right from the start after they were put in by India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Umar Akmal was the top scorer with 33 while Ahmed Shehzad (22) and Shoaib Maqsood (21) also made valuable contributions.

Dhoni's decision to attack with three spinners did the trick as the trio of Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja (1/18) and Ravichandran Ashwin (0/23). The three bowlers between then gave away just 63 runs from 12 overs.

The Pakistani batsmen also had to blame themselves for the poor show. Umar Akmal (8) was run out while attempting a dangerous single while skipper Mohammad Hafeez (15) when batting on five almost got himself out as Yuvraj Singh dropped him while attempting a dive.

Shehzad worked hard for his runs but was done in by a classical leg spinner's delivery from Mishra as he charged down the ground and was beaten by flight and Dhoni whipped off the bails.

Shahid Afridi (8), who played a stellar match-winning knock here at the same venue against India three weeks ago, failed to repeat the act and fell whileAsweeping pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Raina in the deep.

(Posted on 21-03-2014)

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