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ICC Champions Trophy: India beat Pakistan by 8 wickets

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BIRMINGHAM: India beat Pakistan by eight wickets in a run-curtailed final Group B match of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Saturday.

With this victory, India officially go on top of the table and into the semifinals of the Champions Trophy.

The game was earlier reduced to 40-overs-a-side due to rain stoppages. Further bad weather over Birmingham saw the Indian innings being cut to 22 overs.

After Pakistan were bowled out for 165 runs in 40 overs, India’s target was revised to 102 runs in 22 overs.

India were playing at 63/1 in 11.3 overs, when rain again stopped the match.

The stoppage came soon after India lost Rohit Sharma (18) in the eleventh over, after a solid 58-run opening stand with in-form Shikhar Dhawan.

Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal gave Pakistan their first breakthrough, when Misbah-ul-Haq took a simple catch in the midwicket to send back Rohit to the pavilion.

India resumed their run chase after another rain halt, which set new revised target of 157 runs for them in 36 overs. The initial revised target for India was 166 runs in 40 overs.

India comfortably reached 47/0 in 8.1 overs, when the play was stopped for the third time due to rain.

Dhawan and Sharma continued their red hot forms to lay a good foundation for India in their pursuit against Pakistan.

Earlier, India put on a dazzling display in the field to bowl out Pakistan for 165 in 39.4 overs in a rain-hit match.

Four bowlers claimed two wickets each and the last two batsmen were run out after India sent Pakistan in to bat in front of flag-waving supporters from both sides who packed the Edgbaston stands.

The match drew a full house even though it held only academic interest since India had already qualified for the semifinals and Pakistan are out of the race after losing both their previous games.

The game was reduced to 40-overs-a-side due to rain stoppages. Further bad weather has been forecast over Birmingham for the rest of the day.

Asad Shafiq top-scored with 41 and Umar Amin made 27 not out, but Pakistan’s batting woes that had dogged them through the tournament continued.

Opener Nasir Jamshed, whose previous five innings against India included three centuries and a half-century, managed only two when he was snapped up in the slips off Bhuvaneshwar Kumar.

Pakistan plodded to 7-1 in the first five overs, before a cover driven boundary by Mohammad Hafeez off Umesh Yadav, produced a flurry of fours from either end.

Pakistan moved to 50/1 in 12 overs when a 15-minute interruption due to light rain caused them further trouble.

Hafeez, who hit five boundaries in his 27, fell on the first ball after resumption, edging Kumar to a diving Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the stumps.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq helped Shafiq put on 54 runs for the fourth wicket on either side of a second rain stoppage, before he was bowled by Ravindra Jadeja for 22.

Shafiq was dismissed with the help of a television review after umpire Richard Kettleborough initially rejected a catch down the leg-side by Dhoni off Ishant Sharma.

Shoaib Malik was trapped leg-before by Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, who had earlier dismissed Kamran Akmal, bowled Wahab Riaz to reduce Pakistan to 140/7.

Asad Haroon
A netpreneur, blogger and above all; A Human :) Asad tweets from @aghaasadharoon and can also be approached on Google+

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