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Images: India sends Pak packing in Mohali

Last updated on: March 31, 2011 00:40 IST

India maintain unbeaten WC run over Pakistan

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India vanquished Pakistan in Mohali to storm into the final of the World Cup, after a high-voltage match, watched by the prime ministers of the two countries and millions of passionate fans across the sub-continent.

- Scorecard

The 29-run semi-final victory, which enabled India maintain its unbeaten record against its archrivals in 36 years of World Cup history, was the result of some brilliant bowling and fielding by the home side after its much-vaunted batting line-up posted a modest 260 for nine.

India now meet Sri Lanka in the final in Mumbai on Saturday in a bid to win the coveted Cup for the second time since it first stunned the cricketing world by beating the West Indies in 1983 at the Lord's.


Image: Indian players celebrate after winning their semi-final match against Pakistan
Photographs: Getty Images
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Sehwag off to a flier

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Earlier, Virender Shewag gave India the perfect start in the semi-final. The dashing opener was particularly severe on Umar Gul, Pakistan's best bowler in the tournament.

- World Cup coverage

In Gul's third over, Sehwag smashed him for five boundaries, much to the delight of Indian fans.

Sri Lanka beat New Zealand by five wickets in the first semi-final on Tuesday.


Image: India's Virender Sehwag plays a shot during his semi-final match against Pakistan
Photographs: Getty Images
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Wahab dismisses Sehwag

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But just when Sehwag looked set to take the game away from Pakistan, Wahab Riaz struck a crucial blow, dismissing the right-hander for 38.

The dismissal of Sehwag brought the scoring rate down, as Pakistan bowled some tight overs.

- India scores a 5 out of 5 against Pak in WC

Afridi introduced spin in the form Saeed Ajmal, and the bowler made an immediate impact, putting pressure on the Indians.

He almost had Sachin Tendulkar walking back to the pavilion after a loud shout for leg-before-wicket.

Umpire Ian Gould gave master blaster out, but the batsman went for a review, which showed that the ball would have missed the leg stump.


Image: Wahab Riaz celebrates after dismissing Virender Sehwag
Photographs: Getty Images
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Ajmal snaps Gambhir

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Despite tight overs from the spinners, Indian batsmen were helped by some poor fielding from the Pakistan side -- Tendulkar was dropped almost four times during his knock.

- Sehwag, Dhoni complete 1,000 ODI runs vs Pakistan

Besides that, India got some valuable runs in pressure conditions.

However, Pakistan did manage to strike, when Ajmal had Gautam Gambhir stumped for just 27 runs to his name.


Image: Kamran Akmal stumps Gautam Gambhir
Photographs: Reuters
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Raiz puts Pakistan on top

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Just when things were going nicely for India, Wahab Riaz, in his second spell, struck two crucial blows, sending Virat Kohli and the in-form Yuvraj Singh back to the pavilion off consecutive balls.

- Images: Spirit of Cricket in Mohali

With the ball reversing, Wahab first got the edge of Kohli, which was safely taken by Umar Akmal, and then bowled a peach of a delivery that got Yuvraj's middle stump.

From a comfortable 116 for two, India slumped to 141 for four.


Image: Wahab Riaz celebrates after dismissing Virat Kohli
Photographs: Getty Images
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Tendulkar misses out on a hundred

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Pakistan finally managed to dismiss Tendulkar after a mixed bag of 85 runs, captain Shahid Afridi himself taking the catch.

Tendulkar, who got as many as six lives, couldn't get his 100th hundred, but entertained the crowd with deft touches and some creative timing.

His knock was studded with 11 hits to the fence.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar walks back to the pavillion after being dismissed
Photographs: Getty Images
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Sensational Wahab rises to the occasion

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Riaz, who has been Pakistan's best bowler so far, struck again in his comeback spell, dismissing the dangerous M S Dhoni for 25.

He bowled a length delivery, which caught India's captain plumb in front of the stumps.

Dhoni went for the review but replays suggested that the ball would have gone on to hit the stumps.


Image: Wahab Riaz celebrates after dismissing MS Dhoni

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Riaz bags his first five-wicket haul

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Sensational Riaz continued his good work, picking his first five-wicket haul of his career, when he had Zaheer Khan caught behind the stumps by Kamran Akmal.

It was Riaz who got Pakistan back into the match after Sehwag's onslaught on the top. Riaz finished with 10-0-46-5.

Zaheer Khan threw his bat around for a nine runs off 10 balls.

Riaz claimed the wickets of Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, M S Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Zaheer Khan.


Image: Wahab Riaz reacts after his five-wicket haul against India
Photographs: Reuters
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India finish with 260-9

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It was Suresh Raina who again came to India's rescue as he dished out a crucial 39-ball 36 that saw the hosts cross the 250-run mark.

India lost wickets at regular intervals, and a once a probable 300-plus score was reduced to 260-9.

Raina, after the innings, said there is some turn in the wicket, which again questions Dhoni decision to pick Ashish Nehra.


Image: Suresh Raina plays a shot
Photographs: Getty Images
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Pakistan off to a good start

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Chasing a competitive 261 for a place in the final, Pakistan's openers were off to a great start.

Both Mohammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal were aggressive upfront, taking the attack to the opposition, especially Zaheer Khan.

Hafeez was at his fluent best as he whipped a slightly short delivery from Ashish Nehra around off-stump towards the mid-on boundary.


Image: Kamran Akmal plays a shot during his semi-final match against India
Photographs: Getty Images
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Zaheer gives India the breakthrough

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Just when the openers looked to take the game away from the Indians, Zaheer provided the breakthrough as he induced a false stroke from Kamran Akmal.

Akmal failed to read Zaheer's slower delivery and was caught at point by Yuvraj Singh after a breezy 19.


Image: Zaheer Khan celebrates after picking the wicket of Kamran Akmal
Photographs: Getty Images
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Hafeez loses patience

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Hafeez looked to dominate the Indians from the onset, but played a poor shot in the end.

Considering the fact that he had Indian bowlers at his mercy, he went for a strange paddle sweep to a full delivery outside off-stump and edged it to Dhoni, much to the delight of Munaf Patel.


Image: Munaf Patel celebrates after claiming the wicket of Mohammad Hafeez
Photographs: Reuters
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Yuvraj's double puts pressure on Pakistan

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Yuvraj Singh failed with the bat, but with the ball it seems he can do no wrong. Dhoni introduced him to give his pacers a break and he was into the act immediately.

He first dismissed Asad Shafiq for 30. The batsman had played crucial knock for Pakistan in the earlier games.

Yuvraj then had the dangerous Younis caught in the covers for just 13.


Image: Yuvraj Singh celebrates after dismissing Younis Khan
Photographs: Getty Images
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Umar Akmal ups the tempo

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With Pakistan struggling to get runs off the square, Umar Akmal came in and got the scoreboard ticking with singles to start with.

He was quick between the wickets, although it could have led to his downfall as well had Yuvraj not disturbed the stumps with his elbow.

He smashed Yuvraj for a six and a boundary in the same over as he took the game to the bowler.

But just when he looked to see Pakistan to a comfortable position he was cleaned up by a quicker delivery from Harbhajan Singh much to the delight of Indian fans.


Image: Harbhajan Singh celebrates dismissing Umar Akmal
Photographs: Reuters
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Misbah stands tall amidst the ruins

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Shahid Afridi was due for a big score and he did Indians a scare when he started using his long handle to good effect.

He smashed Zaheer for a couple of boundaries before perishing to Harbhajan Singh.

Meanwhile Misbah-ul Haq who had played an uncharacteristic innings, also go into the act smashing three boundaries in one over to give Pakistan a sniff, but then Nehra backed up with an excellent over to shut the game on Pakistan.

Eventually Misbah was dismissed by Zaheer in the final over to hand India victory by 29 runs.


Image: The Indian team celebrates after clinching victory
Photographs: Getty Images
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