India "warms" up with an emphatic win over arch-rivals Pakistan

This was a warm up match only for the ICC and the officials but not for the crowd and the players.The two finalists of 2007 world cup were fighting it out at the Oval.Security arrangements top class,filled stadium people were set to witness a spectacle.Pakistan won the toss and batted first.India had the luxury of an extra bowler as this was a warm up match.Praveen struck a wicket in his very first over.Shehzad and Akmal then showed their class and ability of beautiful stroke play.Pakistan had raced on to 45 in the first 4 overs.Dhoni brought his best bowler Ishant sharma in and Raina sparkled with his fielding with a smart run out of Kamran Akmal and his partner too departed the very next ball.India bounced back in a flash.To add on the list of woes to Pakistan Afridi headed back to the pavilion with his very first ball and a great take from the Captain Dhoni.Malik and Younus Khan looked set for a big partnership.Malik looked in good touch.Just when we thought Pakistan were running away with the game, Ojha tricked in Malik with his flight with Dhoni Stumping him in a flash.Then the rescue act began,the ever dependable Misbah and younus stabilizing the innings.Younus soon departed but all rounder yasir Arafat provided them the big ones at the end.India bowled poorly at the death giving away aroud 40 runs in 3 overs.Dhoni’s plans didn’t work but India’s good job in the middle overs restricted Pakistan to a reasonable 158/6 Misbah top scoring with 37.

India had to get a good start.The pitched looked great for batting.India just had to get their act right.The makeshift opener Rohit and Gambhir began the innings for the Indians.They got a thunderous start with boundaries flowing all over from the openers especially Rohit Sharma.Pakistan’s famed bowling line up lacked the agility required and the openers cashed in heavily.The chase was like icing on the cake for Indians.A 100+ start ensured no further hiccups.Openers just when looked like completing the job for a 10 wicket win,Rohit departed after an outstanding 80.Gambhir too got his touch back with a well earned 50.Dhoni and Gambhir hit the winning shots to complete an emphatic and a comprehensive 9 wicket victory.Surely INDIA sounded warning signals to other teams with their fearless form.Lets hope India brings this cup back home in 2009 too.Definitely,this match was much more than a warm up!!Yeh Cup kahin nahin Jayeega!!


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