Sun, 02 March 2014
Asia Cup updates: Afridi's sixes helps Pakistan beat India

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Pakistan batsmen held their nerves to beat India by  one wicket and book a place in the final.

After restricting India to 245-8, Pakistan openers got off to a flying start, before Indian spinners put the brakes on their scoring. 

A middle order collapse meant that Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Maqsood had to put their heads down and resurrect the innings before opening up. 

The duo was involved in a 87-runs stand before Ashwin removed Hafeez. 

However the drama unfolded in the final over, when Shahid Afridi smoked two sixes in the final over to guide Pakistan home with two balls to spare. 
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Pakistan look to be in control of the match despite the fact that run rate has moved up to 7 runs per over. 

Hafeez and Maqsood have been involved in a 77 runs stand for fifth wicket so far to help Pakistan fightback after losing wickets in the middle. 

Even though Indian spinners have kept things tight, they haven't been able to make any breakthrough. 

The solitary chance that came their way was spilled by Dinesh Karthik, who failed to gather the ball to stump Maqsood off the bowling off Ashwin. 

But just as we speak, Ashwin strikes for India, removing Hafeez for 75. 

Hafeez looking to hit one out of the park was holed out in the deep by Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

At the end of 43.3 overs Pakistan were 200-5. Pakistan need 47 runs from 42 balls. 
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Mohammad Hafeez is playing a crucial role with a brilliant half-century in tough situation.

Hafeez now holds the key in a contest that is 50-50 in either side's favour. A wicket will put India on top, and if Pakistan can play out another four-five oves without losing a wicket, then arch-rivals will certainly have the edge. 

Shoaib Maqsood is giving him good company in the middle with a fighting innings. 

At the end of 35 overs Pakistan were 156-4. Hafeez is on 51, while Maqsood is on 19. 

Pakistan still need 90 runs from 15 overs.

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Mohammad Hafeez is playing the role of sheet anchor and he is getting good support from Shoaib Maqsood as Pakistan look to move on in the chase. 

Hafeez has managed to get the odd boundaries, while Maqsood is quite content with taking singles and giving the strike back to Hafeez. 

At the end of 32 overs Pakistan were 145-4. Hafeez is on 45, while Maqsood is on 14. 

Pakistan still need 101 runs from 18 overs.
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Amit Mishra strikes again for India as he removes dangerous Umar Akmal for 4. 

Akmal, who is relatively new at the crease, tried to hit Mishra out of the park only to sky one to Ravindra Jadeja, who took a neat catch running backwards. 

Pakistan were 114-4 after 23 overs. 
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Misbah-ul-Haq has succumbed once again to a run-out. This time Mohammad Hafeez sold him a dummy after calling him for a single and refusing him in midway. 

Ravindra Jadeja throws at the non-strikers end and Amit Mishra does well to get back to the stumps and knock the bails off. 

Pakistan 97-3 after 17 overs. 

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Amit Mishra now strikes for India, after Ahmed Shehzad hit one straight to R Ashwin at midwicket. 

Mishra dug one short as Shehzad rocked on the backfoot for a pull, but couldn't clear Ashwin at midwicket. 

Openers are now back in the hut for Pakistan as they were 93-2 after 15 overs. 

Pakistan still need 153 runs from 35 overs.
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Just when things were looking good for Pakistan, R Ashwin strikes for India by removing Sharjeel Khan for 25. 

Sharjeel was beaten by a carrom ball from Ashwin, which went the otherway and crashed onto off and middle stump. 

Pakistan were 71-1 after 11 overs. Shehzad is on 35 and he is joined by Mohammad Hafeez, who is yet to open his account.  
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Pakistan openers Sharjeel Khan and Ahmed Shehzad have taken the attack to the opposition and are dealing in sixes and boundaries. 

Sharjeel who was slow to start with exploded on Mohammad Shami, smoking him for a six and boundary off consecutive balls. 

Shehzad, was hit consecutive boundaries off Bhuvneshwar Kumar to bring up Pakistan's 50.

Pakistan were 67-0 after 10 overs. Shehzard is on 33, while Sharjeel is on 23.

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Pakistan openers Sharjeel Khan and Ahmed Shehzad have started off on a confident note in the chase of 246. 

Shehzad has looked the most comfortable of the two, by stroking three boundaries so far. 

Sharjeel, who was injured during his collision with Mohammad Hafeez has been more careful, even though he has stroked his way to a boundary. 

Pakistan were 21-0 after four overs. Shehzad is on 15, while Sharjeel is on 5.

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Drizzle is on as Pakistan openers Ahmed Shehzad and Sharjeel Khan are walking on to the pitch. 

Bhuvneshwar Kumar will open the proceedings for India. 

Sharjeel cuts the first one -- good fielding from Mohammad Shami keeps it to just a single. 

Shehzad flicks one off his pads beats fine leg for the first boundary off Pakistan innings. 

Another flick, gets Shehzad a single. A dot to end the over as Pakistan were 7-0 at the end of first over. 
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Brilliant counter-attacking half-century from Ravindra Jadeja and a fighting one from Ambati Rayudu have helped India post a competitive 245-8 after being asked to bat first.

India were in a spot of bother at 103-4 before a 52-runs stand between Dinesh Karthik and Rayudu helped India get out of the precarious situation. 

Then Rayudu was involved in another 59-runs stand with Ravindra Jadeja before opening up with 10 overs to go. 

Jadeja was the aggressive of the two, smoking Ajmal out of the park. 

Jadeja reached the landmark in the final over of the Indian innings as picked up a couple off Junaid Khan. 

Earlier, Rohit Sharma gave India a brisk start with a 58-ball 56, which included seven boundaries and two sixes.
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Saeed Ajmal brought in in the final overs struck with his first ball as he had Amabati Rayudu walking back to the pavilion after being holed out at long on for 58. 

With four overs to go, Rayudu tried to loft Ajmal out of the park, but didn't get the distance and was safely pouched by substitute fielder. 

Jadeja then smoked Ajmal for a maximum. 

At the end of 47 overs, India were 220-6. Jadeja is on 37, while Ashwin is yet to open his account. 
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Ambati Rayudu stroked his way to a fighting half-century to lead India's fightback. 

India were reeling at one stage, before a crucial 52-runs stand with Dinesh Karthik revived India. 

The right-hander has batted against his instincts, taking it slow at a time. Even in batting powerplay he was content with taking in singles. 

At the end of 42 overs India were 187-5. Rayudu is on 50, while Ravindra Jadeja is on 12.   
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Mohammad Hafeez strikes once again for Pakistan as he removes Dinesh Karthik for 23. 

Karthik in the Batting Powerplay, looked to clear fine leg with a sweep, but ended up hitting it straight to Ajmal.

Karthik-Rayudu duo added 52 runs for fifth wicket, after India were in a spot of bother. 

India 156-5 after 37 overs.
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Pakistan bowlers have kept things tight in the middle with Shahid Afridi and Junaid Khan, in his comeback spell have given little away. 

Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik are digging in the middle.

Mohammad Hafeez is now back for his comeback spell now.

Dinesh Karthik tries to sweep Hafeez -- an enquiry from Hafeez, but umpire not interested. 

India at the end of 33 overs were 144-4. Rayudu is batting on 28, while Karthik is on 16.
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Mohammad Talah strikes once again as he removes Ajinkya Rahane for 23.

Rahane look to flick one through midwicket, but couldn't get the elevation and caught by Mohammad Hafeez. 

India in a spot of bother now as India were 103-4 in 23.2 overs.

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Mohammad Talah gets his first international wicket as he removes well-set Rohit Sharma for 56. 

Talha surprised Rohit with a short one as Rohit goes for a pull shot that had earned him lot of runs in this innings and was taken safely by Mohammad Hafeez at deep square leg.

Two new batsmen at crease for India now -- Pakistan have put the brakes on scoring on a slow pitch. 

Talha nearly had another one to his name as Rahane hits one straight back to the bowler. Luckily for Rahane the ball just bounced ahead of Talha. 

A maiden to end the over as India were 92-3 after 20 overs.
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Saeed Ajmal being brought in now in the 16th over. 

First up is right on the money from Ajmla as Rahane defends it.

Ajmal shortens his length as Rahne rocks back and cuts him for a single --  the field is well spread now.

Just one run from the over as India were 85-2 after 16 overs. Rahane is on 13, while Rohit is on 53.
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Rohit Sharma completes a 45-ball 50 to put India on strong position despite losing two wickets.

Rohit has looked aggressive from the start, taking the attack to the opposition. 

The Mumbaiker reached the landmark with a boundary off leg-spinner Shahid Afridi towards extra cover. 

India at the end of 15 overs were 82-2. Rohit Sharma is on 53, while Rahane is on 12. 

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Umar Gul strikes a crucial blow as he removes in form Virat Kohli for 5. 

Kohli looked to dab a wide delivery from Gul, only to edge it straight to wicket-keeper Umar Akmal. 

Kohli-Rohit duo added 38 runs for the second wicket. 

Ajinkya Rahane walks into the middle and times one straight past the bowler to get off the mark.

India 60-2 after 10 overs.
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Rohit Sharma is looking at his fluent best today as he takes the attack to Pakistan bowlers. 

This time Junaid Khan comes in for some treatment. 

Junaid was guilty of bowling one short and Rohit took full advantage of the situation by dispatching towards midwicket for a maximum. 

Junaid then over-compensated by bowling down the leg side and Rohit was more than happy to flick it past fine leg for another boundary. 

At the end of 8 overs India were 48-1. Rohit is batting on 31, while Kohli is on 5
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Mohammad Hafeez strikes the first blow for Pakistan as he removes Shikhar Dhawan for 10.

Dhawan misread the length from Hafeez as the ball skidded on to the pads of the left-hander trapping him right in front of the stumps. 

Dhawan looks disappointed but replays show that the ball would have clipped the leg-stump.

India were 25-1 after 4 overs.

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Pakistan spring up a surprise -- Mohammad Hafeez will start the proceedings for Pakistan.

Rohit Sharma flicks the first ball towards long on for a single.

Shikhar Dhawan then rocks back and cuts the off-spinner for the first boundary. 

Hafeez tightens the length from there on as India were 5-0 after the first over. 

Welcome to the updates of the BIG match of the day. India vs Pakistan in the Asia Cup. 

It's a virtually semi-final contest, with the team winning will make it to the final. 

The news from the middle is Pakistan have won the toss and have elected to bowl first on a fresh wicket in Mirpur. 

Teams have opted to field first considering the dew situation. 

India has made one change to their side bringing in Amit Mishra in place of Stuart Binny. 

Pakistan too have made one change bringing in Mohammad Talha in place of Anwar Ali.