Openers give Pakistan good start
Pakistan made a good start to their innings, courtesy of openers Imran Farhat and Salman Butt, who put on 71 runs for the opening wicket against India in the fourth match of the Asia Cup, in Dambulla, on Saturday.
Harbhajan Singh claimed the first wicket, that of Imran Farhat, who was caught at first slip for 25.
Gautam Gambhir and Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit half-centuries before Harbhajan Singh smashed a six in the final over to help India beat Pakistan by three wickets with one delivery to spare
Image: Imran Farhat
Butt continues good run against India
Salman Butt, who has scored five of his eight ODI hundreds against India, continued his good run against them.
The left-hander, who made 74 from 85 balls, continued Pakistan's progress after the good start as he added 73 runs for the second wicket with Shoaib Malik (39).
Zaheer Khan came back for his second spell and claimed the key wicket of Malik that saw Pakistan lose their way. Malik was beaten by a full delivery from Zaheer and was bowled for a brisk 39 from 46 balls.
And Butt joined him in the pavilion in the next over, when he was run out courtesy of a brilliant piece of fielding by Ravindra Jadeja off his own bowling.
Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni successfully appeals for the wicket of Salman Butt
Kumar scalps Afridi
Shahid Afridi got a lifeline on 32 when his powerful shot down the ground was floored by Zaheer on his follow through, in the 43rd over.
However, Afridi could not capitalise on that reprieve when he was trapped leg before wicket by Praveen Kumar in the next over after a quick 32 from 25 balls.
Image: Praveen Kumar celebrates after taking the wicket of Shahid Afridi
Pakistan bowled out for 267
Praveen Kumar then claimed his second wicket, when he had Abdul Razzaq caught behind by wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for three.
Kamran Akmal gave the innings momentum in the final overs with a cracking knock of 51 from 41 balls, inclusive of two boundaries and three sixes.
The innings ended in the final over when Saeed Ajmal (0) holed out to Ashish Nehra at mid-off to give Zaheer his second wicket as Pakistan were bowled out for 267 in 49.3 overs.
Image: Shoaib Akhtar avoids a bouncer
Injured Sehwag fails to deliver
India also adopted a cautious approach at the their start of their innings. Virender Sehwag took 12 deliveries to get off the mark with a single, while Gautam Gambhir also concentrated on preserving the wickets in the early overs.
Meanwhile, Sehwag struggled with cramps and called for Suresh Raina as his runner in the sixth over. A hobbling Sehwag finally got his first boundary of the innings when he smashed a full delivery from Aamer over the cover region, in the eight over.
Sehwag's painstaking innings ended a couple of overs later when he was caught behind off Abdul Razzaq for 10 from 32 balls.
Image: Virender Sehwag grimaces in pain
Gambhir sets up India's run chase
Gambhir showed great composure as he milked the bowling with ease in the middle overs.
Gambhir (69 from 82 balls) got a lifeline when his inside out shot was floored by Mohammad Aamer on the cover boundary as India reached 143 for two after 30 overs.
In his next over, Gambhir rubbed further salt on Shoaib Malik's wounds when he charged down the wicket and lifted him over the sight screen for the first six of the innings.
Pakistan struck against the run of play when Saeed Ajmal struck with the key wicket of Gambhir, who was bowled after a fine innings of 83 from 97 balls, with the help of six boundaries and a six, having 98 runs for the third wicket with Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Image: Gautam Gambhir avoids a bouncer
Harbhajan ends it in style!
With every passing over, Dhoni's confidence seemed to be growing as he proved when he danced down the wicket to Shoaib Malik and hit him for a straight boundary.
Rohit Sharma got into the act straightaway as he hit Akhtar for two boundaries, while being dropped off the last delivery of that over by wicketkeeper Akmal.
Once again when India were looking to build a partnership, they lost another wicket. Sharma was beaten by the quicker delivery from Afridi that trapped him leg before wicket for 22.
In the next over, their position worsened when captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni dragged a wide delivery from Malik down the leg side back on to his stumps. Dhoni made 56 from 71 balls with the help of two boundaries and a six, but his wicket tilted the balance in Pakistan's favour.
Harbhajan Singh kept his nerves in a thrilling finish as he hit the penultimate delivery of the final over for a six to win the match for India.
India replied with 271 for seven in 49.5 overs to register them a three-wicket victory and qualified for the final along with hosts Sri Lanka, while Pakistan and Bangladesh were eliminated.
Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni