India power past Pakistan

India kicked off their World Twenty20 title challenge with a seven-wicket demolition of rivals Pakistan in the tournament opener.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men struggled for form leading into the event, however they made the perfect start to Group 2 of the Super 10s after restricting Pakistan to just 130-7.

That total was never likely to test India's star-studded batting line-up, who chased it down with nine balls to spare thanks to an unbroken 66-run partnership between Virat Kohli (36 not out) and Suresh Raina (35no).

Pakistan had earlier failed their trial by spin with Amit Mishra (2-22) and Ravi Jedeja (1-18) profiting from helpful conditions in Dhaka.

Umar Akmal top-scored for Pakistan with 33, but only a late 21 from Sohaib Maqsood got them to 130-7 after they were pegged back at regular intervals.

Pakistan lost the toss and then opener Kamran Akmal (eight) in the second over, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar running him out off his own bowling, but Ahmed Shehzad and captain Mohammad Hafeez (15) led the recovery effort with a 35-run stand.


Hafeez was dropped by Yuvraj Singh at midwicket when on five but, after threatening a big score, the skipper was well caught in the deep by Kumar off Jadeja in the eighth over.

Leg-spinner Mishra then had Shehzad stumped after a patient 22 as Pakistan reached the halfway mark on just 50, before Umar helped raise the run rate by adding 50 with Shoaib Malik (18).

Malik eventually became Mishra's second victim when he was caught by Raina, who then helped Mohammed Shami earn his first T20 International wicket by catching Umar's late slog.

Shahid Afridi's expected fireworks never materialised, although Maqsood struck two boundaries and a six in his 11-ball innings before being run out off the final ball.

India's openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan overcame a relatively slow start to reach 38 after the powerplay, the latter cracking four boundaries in the same period.

Sharma helped himself to two sixes, but Dhawan's surge ended on 30 when he was caught hooking at fine leg by Saeed Ajmal off Umar Gul.

Ajmal then turned wicket-taker by bowling Sharma for 24 in the 10th over and India were in some danger when Yuvraj's stumps were knocked over by Bilawal Bhatti's first delivery.

However, Kohli steadied the innings while Raina, who was dropped early on by Afridi at slip, powered his way to 35 off 28.

The duo helped take the momentum away from Pakistan, Kohli (36 not out) setting up the final run-in with boundaries off Afridi and Raina completing the honours with a six and a single off Gul.