India secured a place in the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 after a famous win over Pakistan in Mohali on Wednesday.
In front of potentially the largest television audience for a cricket match in history, a disciplined fielding and bowling performance by India backed up 85 from Sachin Tendulkar to secure a 29-run victory.
Batting first after winning the toss, Virender Sehwag gave India a blistering star with 38 off 25 balls, including five boundaries off one Umar Gul over.Tendulkar and Gambhir then added 68 for the second wicket, before Mohammad Hafeez tempted Gambhir down the pitch and had him stumped, before Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh fell in consecutive deliveries to leave the hosts in trouble at 141-4.
Although Tendulkar made a valuable contribution, in an innings of 85 off 115 balls, he benefitted from some poor Pakistan fielding, as he was dropped on 27, 45, 70 and 81.
India then lost regular wickets to some brilliant Wahab Riaz bowling, as he took 5-46, although Suresh Raina’s invaluable 36 off 39 balls helped India to 260-9 off 50 overs.
In reply, Kamran Akmal (19) and Mohammad Hafeez (43) gave Pakistan a bright start, until Zaheer Khan broke the opening stand with the score on 44.
Pakistan then continued to lose wickets just as partnership were being formed, with two wickets for Yuvraj Singh, leaving Pakistan struggling on 106-4 in the 26th over.
Umar Akmal’s counter attack, including two sixes, gave Pakistan hope, but when he fell for 29, and Abdul Razzaq followed quickly after, it was struggling at 150-6.
Shahid Afridi’s batting troubles at this event continued, as he went for just 19, and despite the efforts of Misbah-ul-Haq, who anchored the innings, before unleashing some powerful hitting, making 56, Pakistan always looked like falling short.