Ind vs Pak: India exults after beating Pak, to face Sri Lanka in final
Man-of-the-Match Sachin Tendulkar scored 85 as India beat Pakistan by 29 runs in the World Cup semi-final at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Wednesday. Score | Latest match photosThey now meet Sri Lanka in the final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.The clash that was being billed as the “final ahead of the final” saw India batsmen score 260 even as Pakistan paceman Wahab Riaz finished with a fiver.Chasing 261, Pakistan were all out 231 with Misbah-ul-Haq top scoring with 56 on board.Earlier, Mohammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal batted according to the merit of the ball, playing the loose ones to the boundary and leaving out the good balls.However, on occasions they seemed wary of Munaf Patel, who was bowling a good line keeping the batsmen on a tight leash.Hafeez even survived a run out chance in the sixth over. Luckily for him, the replays showed that he had brought his bat down at the right time.But, it wasn’t Munaf, but Zaheer Khan, who got the first breakthrough scalping opener Kamran Akmal on 19 with Yuvraj Singh taking his catch in the deep. Pakistan were 44/1 at the stage.Finally, the hard-working Munaf got the reward for his efforts in the 16th over. He was consistently bowling on the off and Mohammad Hafeez didn’t have a choice but play and when he did, an edge off his bat was pouched by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the stumps. He fell for 43 and Pakistan went down to 70/2.Post Hafeez’s wicket Pakistan’s experienced campaigner Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq got on with a partnership. They had put 33 runs for the third wicket when Yuvraj Singh decided to break their stand. His straight ball cramped the batsman for room and in the next millisecond the ball had uprooted Shafiq’s middle stump. He fell for 30 and Pakistan fell to 103/3.advertisementYuvraj Singh, who has helped India win four of their league matches, once again struck and this time he did away for Younis Khan (13) to reduce Pakistan to 106/4.Then Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal attempted a revival. Umar even relieved the pressure off Pakistan striking boundaries and over the fence shots off Yuvraj Singh.The duo had put 36 runs for the fifth wicket when Harbhajan Singh got the man India wanted. And it was his doosra that zipped past Umar to strike on to his stumps on 29. Pakistan lost him on 142/5 in 33.1 overs.Later Munaf Patel earned his second wicket of the day by scalping Abdul Razzaq. And it was his slower ball that did the trick as Razzaq ended up losing his off stump on three. Pakistan went down to 150/6 in 36.2 overs.Then Harbhajan Singh struck back to send Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi home with his turner. He fell for 19 and Pakistan went down to 184/7.With seven wickets down, India bowlers didn’t have much trouble doing away with the tail-enders. The only man that came in their way was Misbah-ul-Haq (56), but on the penultimate ball of the match Zaheer scalped him to book berth in the final. India inningsPakistan paceman Wahab Riaz scalped five as India posted 260/9 against their arch-rivals. India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss with a specially minted coin. And right way Virender Sehwag got on with what he is famous for – blasting away boundaries. To be precise he hit five fours in the third over off Umar Gul.Later, Sehwag even played his famous ‘upar cut’. But Gul failed to do what left-arm paceman Wahab Riaz did, he bowled it straight and trapped Sehwag leg-before on 38, it was so plumb that even the review could not save him. India lost their first wicket on 48.Soon, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir got on with a partnership to thwart the Pakistan attack.It wasn’t the pacers, who were creating a problem for the batsmen but the spinners as Sachin survived a stumping chance and then a leg-before off offie Saeed Ajmal in the 11th over. And it was actually the review that saved him after the on-field umpire had raised his finger. On the next ball too Sachin survived another chance.Later in the innings Tendulkar survived another chance when Misbah-ul-Haq dropped him off Shahid Afridi in the 14th over. Then in the 20th over the Master Blaster survived another chance when Younis Khan dropped him and once again the bowler was Afridi.However, it wasn’t Sachin Tendulkar but Gautam Gambhir, who was forced to walk back in the 19th over. Mohammad Hafeez beat Gambhir by his bounce even as he tried to punch the ball away. The ball took the edge off his bat and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal did the rest behind the stumps.advertisementThen Wahab Riaz struck to scalp Virat Kohli and then clean bowled India’s saviour in four World Cup games, Yuvraj Singh on consecutive balls to reduce India to 141/4.However, the drama with Sachin Tendulkar’s innings was far from over as Umar Akmal dropped him on 82 off Mohammad Hafeez on the last ball off the 35th over.Finally on the last ball of the 37th over, Sachin Tendulkar departed after surviving stumping, leg-before and catching opportunities. And guess who claimed his catch. It was no other than captain Shahid Afridi in whose over he was dropped twice in the outfield. He fell on 85 off Saeed Ajmal’s ball. The score at the stage was 187/5.India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who has been out of form since the South Africa series, could not stay at the crease for long and fell to Riaz’s pace in the 42nd over. He could manage just 25.At death, Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh attempted a revival effectively using the Powerplay (45 to 49 overs) to their cause. But offie Saeed Ajmal ruined their plans as his doosra scalped Harbhajan Singh in the 47th over with Kamran Akmal performing the final rites. India fell to 236/7. In the last over of the match Raiz claimed Zaheer Khan to increase his victims tally to five. Nevertheless, India managed to post a competitive 260/9 on board.