sport

Pakistan squeeze past India

Shahid Afridi blasted back-to-back sixes to clinch Pakistan a thrilling one-wicket win over arch-rivals India in the Asia Cup in Mirpur.

The all-rounder launched Ravichandran Ashwin over the ropes to see his side past their target of 246 with two balls to spare - and leave India's hopes of making the final of the competition hanging by a thread.

Pakistan had looked on course thanks to 75 from Mohammad Hafeez, with Sohaib Maqsood helping with 38 during a fifth-wicket stand worth 77.

However Hafeez's departure - caught off the bowling of Ashwin having hit three fours and two sixes in his 117-ball knock - sparked a wobble, with the nerves growing when Maqsood was run out in the very next over.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar then struck twice in the penultimate over to leave Pakistan needing 10 from the final six balls, and the game was firmly in the melting pot when Saeed Ajmal was bowled by Ashwin at the start of the last.

Junaid Khan managed to scramble a single to get off strike and Afridi duly finished the game in style, his pair of maximums seeing him end up unbeaten on 34 from a mere 18 balls.

Rohit Sharma (56) and Ambati Rayudu (58) hit half-centuries earlier for India, but it was Ravindra Jadeja who played the most telling knock.

He hit an unbeaten 52 from 49 balls in the closing stages having come to the crease with his team in a spot of trouble at 155-5 when Dinesh Karthik perished for 23.

Ajmal underlined the effectiveness of the slow bowlers with 3-40, while Hafeez and debutant Mohammad Talha grabbed two wickets apiece.