Match report: Pak v Ind – WT20 Warm-up game
Colombo, Sep 17: Kamran Akmal hit a blustery 92* (50b, 5x4, 6x6) as Pakistan beat India by five wickets in a warm-up game leading up to the 2012 ICC World T20 at the R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Akmal’s unbeaten knock helped Pakistan chase down a mammoth score of 185 posted by India with five deliveries to spare.
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, a couple of half-centuries from Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma pushed India’s score to over 180. The two batsmen struck a 127-run stand for the third wicket after India lost both its openers – Gautam Gambhir (10) and Virender Sehwag (26) – before the completion of the sixth over. Kohli remained unbeaten on 75, while Sharma (56) was bowled by Saeed Ajmal at the start of the 19th over.
Defending 185, India appeared to be on top for the first half of the Pakistan run-chase. R Ashwin’s four wickets had Pakistan in all kinds of trouble at 91 for five in 11.3 overs. But it was at this stage that Akmal struck an unbeaten 95-run stand with Shoaib Malik (37 off 18) to take Pakistan home. The two batsmen pummeled the Indian bowlers for 75 runs off the last 31 balls to set Pakistan up for a five-wicket win.
For the Indian bowlers, apart from R Ashwin who posted impressive figures of 4-0-23-4, it was an ordinary outing. Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan, L Balaji, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh conceded 163 runs from 15.1 overs of combined bowling while going wicketless.
India now clash with Afghanistan in their first encounter of the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 on September 19.
Brief scores: India 185/3 in 20.0 overs (Virat Kohli 75*, Saeed Ajmal 2/22) lost to Pakistan 186/5 in 19.1 overs (Kamran Akmal 92*, R Ashwin 4/23) by five wickets