India see off arch-rivals Pakistan

Hampshire Chronicle: Virat Kohli, left, and Suresh Raina helped India on their way to victory over arch-rivals Pakistan Virat Kohli, left, and Suresh Raina helped India on their way to victory over arch-rivals Pakistan

India got their World Twenty20 campaign off to a flying start with a seven-wicket victory over Pakistan, as the tournament's 'Super 10' stage got under way in Dhaka on Friday.

The 2007 winners encountered few problems chasing 131, as Shikhar Dhawan (30) laid the foundations before Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina's 66-run stand secured the first Group Two game with nine balls to spare.

Earlier, Umar Akmal top-scored for Pakistan with 33, but only a late 21 from Sohaib Maqsood got them to 130 for seven after they were pegged back at regular intervals.

Pakistan lost the toss and then opener Kamran Akmal (eight) in the second over, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar running him out off his own bowling, but Ahmed Shehzad and captain Mohammad Hafeez (15) led the recovery effort with a 35-run stand.

Hafeez was dropped by Yuvraj Singh at mid-wicket when on five but, after threatening a big score, the skipper was well caught in the deep by Kumar off Ravindra Jadeja in the eighth over.

Amit Mishra then had Shehzad stumped after a patient 22 as Pakistan reached the halfway mark on just 50, before Umar helped raise the run rate by adding 50 with Shoaib Malik (18).

Malik eventually became Mishra's second victim when he was caught by Raina, who then helped Mohammed Shami earn his first T20 International wicket by catching Umar's late slog.

Shahid Afridi's expected fireworks never materialised, although Maqsood struck two boundaries and a six in his 11-ball innings before being run out off the final ball.

India's openers Rohit Sharma and Dhawan overcame a relatively slow start to reach 38 after the powerplay, the latter cracking four boundaries in the same period.

Sharma helped himself to two sixes, but Dhawan's surge ended on 30 when he was caught hooking at fine leg by Saeed Ajmal off Umar Gul.

Ajmal then turned wicket-taker by bowling Sharma for 24 in the 10th over and India were in some danger when Yuvraj's stumps were knocked over by Bilawal Bhatti's first delivery.

However, Kohli steadied the innings while Raina, who was dropped early on by Afridi in the slips, powered his way to 35 off 28.

The duo helped take the momentum away from Pakistan, Kohli (36 not out) setting up the final run-in with boundaries off Afridi and Raina completing the honours with a six and a single off Gul.

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