|Scorecard:||India v Pakistan|
|Player:||RG Sharma, G Gambhir, Misbah-ul-Haq, Younis Khan|
|Event:||ICC World Twenty20 2009|
DateLine: 3rd June 2009
Rohit Sharma and Gautam Gambhir made a mockery of the fighting Pakistan total as they carried India to a ridiculously easy nine-wicket win in a practice game which belied its ‘friendly’ nature.
Pakistan recovered from an unsteady start to score a fighting 158, but it looked like being 50 runs too short as Sharma, coming in as stand-in opener for Virender Sehwag, and Gambhir carted the pedestrian Pakistan bowlers all over the park to script a convincing win.
They belted 140 runs for the first wicket off exactly 16 overs, with Sharma grabbing 60 of them off just 53 balls with the help of nine boundaries and two sixes. Gambhir stayed unbeaten at the end with a fine 52 off 47 deliveries.
The Pakistan bowlers didn’t know what hit them, and all of them came in for punishment, as the Indian batsmen plundered runs with finesse, improvisations and some fine running between the wickets.
The only way Pakistan could hope for a wicket was for a run-out, but their fielding too was pretty pathetic.
Sharma was a delight to watch, though it was Gambhir who began the assault. The right-left combination kept the bowlers completely on edge and as the overs passed, all of them lost the plot.
Sharma played some exquisite shots, and found the gap almost at will, and the two combined beautifully.
Earlier, the Pakistan innings was a drama with wild twists and turns. They lost Shahzaib Hasan with just two runs on the board and then Ahmed Shahzad and Kamran Akmal blasted 43 more runs in triple-quick time before three more wickets fell, all at the score of 45.
Akmal, Shahzad and Shahid Afridi went in quick succession and it seemed Pakistan were heading for a collapse. However, they found enough poise from skipper Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq and Yasir Arafat to put up a total that was expected to challenge the Indian batting.
The Indian bowling wasn’t the best, though they did have their moments. But with the batting performance in the second innings, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni wouldn’t be complaining.