India score big win over arch rivals Pakistan to keep their hopes alive

India score big win over arch rivals Pakistan to keep their hopes aliveColombo: Virat Kohli scored a brilliant half century to help India beat their arch nemesis Pakistan in a crucial Super Eight matchup of the T20 World Cup at the R Premadasa Stadium here today.

Needing to win the match to keep their hopes alive in the tournament, India displayed a clinical all-round performance to register an empathic eight wicket victory.

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Brief scores: 

India 129 for 2 (Kohli 78, Sehwag 29) beat Pakistan 128 (Malik 28, Balaji 3-22, Ashwin 2-16, Yuvraj 2-16) by eight wickets

Match facts:

Toss: Pakistan, chose to bat


Powerplay: 42 runs, 2 wickets (0-6 overs)

4's: 9, 6's: 2


Powerplay: 36 runs, 1 wicket (0-6 overs)

4's: 14, 6's: 2

Man of the match: Virat Kohli


Kohli, who has been in great form for quite some time now, once again rose to the occasion and played a gem of an innings to score an unbeatable 78 off 61 deliveries.

India chasing a meagre target of 129 got off a shaky start and lost Gautam Gambhir in the first over of the match. It was Kohli and comeback back Virender Sehwag who joined forces to steady the Indian ship and stitched a partnership of 74 to take the match way from Pakistan.

The duo played sensibly and without taking any unnecessary risks and kept the scoreboard ticking. Sehwag scored 29 off 24 deliveries which included four boundaries. After his departure, Kohli and Yuvraj Singh piled up one more crucial partnership to take India home. They both put up 54 for the third wicket. 

Kohli’s knock consisted of eight boundaries and two sixes, whereas Yuvraj scored 19 laced with two fours.

Earlier batting first, Pakistan got off a flying start and but the Indian bowlers came back brilliantly to cramp Pakistan’s innings. Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni decision to play with four bowlers was very well justified by the part-timers as Yuvraj and Kohli accounted for three wickets amongst them.

Yuvraj lived up to his reputation of getting important breakthroughs ended with figures of 2-16 in three overs, whereas Kohli took 1-21 in three overs.

Indian bowlers picked up wickets at regular interval and one point of them they were reduced to 59-5 and looked like would bundle Pakistan below 100, but a partnership between Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik took them beyond the three figure mark.

Malik scored 28 of 29 deliveries including three boundaries, while Akmal hit 21 off 18 balls and struck a six.

For India the wrecker-in-chief was Laxmipathy Balaji with 3-22.

Both the teams now have two points from as many games and India trail Pakistan in the points table marginally by the virtue of run-rate and find themselves in a must win position in the next match. 

By Indian Sports News Network