Kohli keeps Pakistan in World Cup jinx

Keep alive their hopes of reaching World Twenty20 semifinals

India inspired by a scintillating unbeaten half century from Virat Kohli (78) coasted to victory by eight wickets over Pakistan at R Premadasa Stadium to  keep alive their title hopes in the World Twenty20 tournament.

Victory was never in doubt for India after they had bowled out Pakistan for 128 in a must-win Group B Super Eight match.

Kohli was at his characteristic best lashing boundaries all around the wicket as India romped home with three overs to spare finishing on 129 for two.

His 61-ball 78 contained two sixes and nine boundaries.

Yuvraj Singh who hit the winning runs was with him on 19.

Virender Sehwag and Kohli consolidated the innings with a 75-run partnership after losing Gautam Gambhir for a duck spooning a return catch to left arm spinner Raza Hasan who opened the attack for Pakistan.

After a quiet start, Sehwag opened out cracking two boundaries in the fourth over bowled by Umar Gul.

His third boundary came off Hasan sweeping him to fine leg.

Kohli hoisted a delivery from spinner Shahid Afridi's first over into the grand stand to show India's positive intent.

Boundaries continued to flow with regular frequency from the blade of Kohli, who sent two consecutive deliveries from Yasir Arafat caressing to the cover and third man fence.

India managed to contain Pakistan to 42-2 in the powerplay overs after Muhammad Hafeez won the toss and elected to bat first.

But at the end of 10 overs Pakistan were reeling at 59-5.

They never recovered from this setback despite Shoaib Malik attempting to revive the innings with a 47-run partnership with Umar Akmal before becoming Ravichandran Ashwin's first victim.

Malik hit a fluent 28 off 22 balls with the help of four boundaries, two of which came in one Kohli over.

Umar did not last long miscuing a pull shot of Ashwin to Suresh Raina for 21, which included a six off Pathan.

Left-arm spinner Yuvraj Singh struck lethal blows as Pakistan slipped to 49-4 with Nasir Jamshed and Kamran Akmal being caught behind by MS Dhoni.

Skipper Hafeez laboured for 28 balls for his 15 hitting one boundary before being castled by part-time bowler Virat Kohli as he backed away to cut him.

Pakistan sprung a surprise when they promoted flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi after the early dismissal of opener Imran Nazir.

Zaheer Khan was erratic in the opening over of the match failing to get his line right but it was also an eventful one.

Sehwag who made a welcome return to the Indian side grassed an edge from Muhammad Hafeez.

Irfan Pathan had Nazir in a tangle trapping him leg before with his second delivery as Pakistan lost their first wicket for 17.

Afridi punched the first ball he faced from Pathan down the ground and finished the over with juicy cover drive to the fence.

But Afridi (14) perished when he tried to belt Lakshmipathy Balaji out of the ground only to hole out to Suresh Raina at deep square leg.

Balaji had the best return of three for 22 while Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuvraj picked up a couple each.

Earlier, Australia piled on the pressure for India ahead of their eagerly awaited clash against Pakistan when they beat South Africa by eight wickets.

Their second consecutive win in the Super Eights virtually sealed Australia's place in the world Twenty20 semifinals from Group B.

South Africa suffered their second consecutive defeat after having been beaten by Pakistan on Friday.

  • Twitter
  • submit to reddit
comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular in Sports


Emirates 24|7

In Case You Missed It ...

Happiness Meter Icon