Indians hit the stump thrice to beat Pakistan in T20 thriller


Durban : Robin Uthappa trotted up to bowl at the single unprotected stump at the other end of the pitch – and hit. Shahid Afridi ambled up and missed. India beat Pakistan.

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A low-scoring thriller topped by a tie-breaker ‘bowl out’ brought the excitement of Twenty20 cricket and some very new rules to the fore at the World Championships here.

The tie-breaker ‘bowl out’ was the new rule applied when Pakistan ended up with 141 for 7 in 20 overs in reply to India’s 141 for 9. By this rule, there was a single unprotected stump at one end of the pitch. From the other end, five bowlers from each team would bowl, aiming at the stump. One bowler from the first team would bowl, followed by one bowler from the second team and so on. The team that hit the stump more often would win.

As it happened, the first three Indian bowlers were right on target – Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Robin Uthappa. The first three Pakistani bowlers all missed – Yasir Arafat, Umar Gul and Shahid Afridi. India had an unassailable 3-0 lead in the tie-breaker and had won the match.

Both teams progress from Group D to the Super 8 stage of the championship, though India has now topped the group. The Indians will next play New Zealand at Johannesburg in a Super 8 match. Scotland – the third team in the group – are out of the championship.

In the only other bowl out in the short history of Twenty20 cricket, New Zealand had beaten West Indies 3-0.

The only consolation for Pakistan was that their pacer Mohammed Asif was adjudged the Man of the Match for having taken four wickets by bowling superbly in his allotted four overs and taking a blinder of a return catch to send opener Gautam Gambhir packing.

Except Uthappa and captain Mohinder Singh Dhoni to some extent, the Indian batsmen never really got going under scudding clouds and frequent stoppages as showers swept across the ground. Irfan Pathan managed a cameo, but India’s total of 141 really did not look enough when the innings ended.

Pakistan’s reply was confident to begin with, but the batsmen lost their way after the fall of the first two wickets. The innings was resurrected by Misbah-ul-Haq’s 53 off 35 balls, but he was run out when scrambling desperately for the winning run off the last ball of the innings.

Then it was time for the tie-breaker.


India vs. Pakistan, Twenty20 World Championship, Kingsmead ground, Durban

Gautam Gambhir c & b Asif 0
Virender Sehwag b Asif 5
Robin Uthappa c Akmal b Tanvir 50
Yuvraj Singh c Malik b Asif 1
Dinesh Karthik b Asif 11
Mahendra Singh Dhoni c Younis b Arafat 33
Irfan Pathan b Afridi 20
Harbhajan Singh b Afridi 1
Ajit Agarkar run out (Akmal) 14
Sreesanth not out 1
Extras: (leg byes 2, wides 3) 5
Total: (for nine wickets in 20 overs) 141

Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Gambhir, 0.3 overs), 2-9 (Sehwag, 2.1), 3-19 (Yuvraj, 4.1), 4-36 (Karthik, 6.4), 5-82 (Uthappa, 12.1), 6-111 (Pathan, 15.6), 7-123 (Harbhajan, 17.1), 8-138 (Dhoni, 19.1), 9-141 (Agarkar, 19.6)

Mohammad Asif 4 0 18 4 (1w)
Umar Gul 4 0 27 0 (1w)
Yasir Arafat 4 0 39 1
Sohail Tanvir 4 0 18 1 (1w)
Shahid Afridi 4 0 37 2

Salman Butt c Dhoni b Agarkar 16
Imran Nazir b R.P. Singh 7
Kamran Akmal run out (Yuvraj) 15
Younis Khan b Pathan 2
Shoaib Malik c Harbhajan b Pathan 20
Misbah-ul-Haq run out (Sreesanth) 53
Shahid Afridi c Karthik b Harbhajan 7
Yasir Arafat not out 12
Extras: (leg byes 3, wides 5, no ball 1) 9
Total: (for seven wickets in 20 overs) 141

Fall of wickets: 1-12 (Nazir, 2.1 overs), 2-44 (Butt, 7.2), 3-47 (Akmal, 8.1), 4-47 (Younis, 8.5), 5-87 (Malik, 14.6), 6-103 (Afridi, 17.4), 7-141 (Misbah, 19.6)

Rudra Pratap Singh 4 0 22 1 (3w)
Sreesanth 4 0 29 0 (1nb, 1w)
Ajit Agarkar 4 0 35 1
Irfan Pathan 4 1 20 2 (1w)
Harbhajan Singh 4 0 32 1

Result: India win 3-0 in bowl-out after tied match
Man of the Match: Mohammed Asif (Pakistan)
Toss: Pakistan (chose to bowl)
Umpire: Simon Taufel (Australia) and Billy Doctrove (West Indies)
TV umpire: Simon Davis (Australia)
Match referee: Mike Proctor (South Africa)