India’s performance against Pakistan in the Tri-series held in Dhaka shows how the Twenty20 format of the game has helped players to improve their rate of scoring high runs in a very short period of time. India made a pounding 330 runs on a sluggish pitch, where their bowlers rounded off a thumping win in their opening match of the tournament.
Pakistan, coming off 12 successive wins against weak opposition, crashed to their worst defeat against India. India’s domination was complete. Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir made the most use of the loose deliveries. Yuvraj Singh also gave a helping hand to take the score to 330 runs. Sehwag scored 89 runs, Gambhir 62 and Yuvraj 55.
A run-rate of 6.6 is impressive in all conditions but the fact that India kept it up on a sluggish pitch that offered some assistance to the medium-pacers added more gloss to the effort.
It was always going to be an uphill task for Pakistan and the contest was all but over once Praveen Kumar struck four big blows, including a two wickets-in-two balls. Swinging the new ball either way, he showed how dangerous he could be in congenial conditions. Praveen had Rohit Sharma to thank for the opening breakthrough: a sensational reflex catch at short cover got rid of Salman Butt.
It was Akmal and Misbah who ensured Praveen didn’t have a perfect day - taking 17 off his fifth over, including four cracking fours but both the batsman were dismissed soon after. Chawla finished with four wickets, tormenting the tailenders and giving the finishing touches to a perfect victorious day for India.
Pakistan was all out at the score of 190 runs at the end of 40 overs.