Half way down the Champions Trophy Cricket, 2009

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On September, 26, in the Champions Trophy Cricket match presently played in South Africa, a knock out match was played between India and Pakistan, both the teams being in the same group.A match between these archrivals would always evoke much interest not only between the people of India and Pakistan but also throughout the world.

After winning the toss, Pakistan chose to bat. A record fourth wicket partnership between Mohmed Yousulf and Shoib Malik, the latter scoring 128 runs in 126 balls, catapulted Pakistan towards a huge score of 302/9; the pitch mostly assisted the batsmen and the ace Indian spinners were ineffective.

The Indians chasing a huge score, lost the early wicket of Sachin Tendulkar at the score of 27.Dhoni also got out cheaply.Thereafter a well compiled innings of 50 + by Gautam Gambhir and a patient innings of 76 by Rahul Dravid went in vain, since both of them were run out in a tense situation. Suresh Raina’s quick fire 46 in 41 deliveries though created a glimmer of hope that India could chase the total, he too fell a prey to spin bowling.The absence of Yuvaraj Singh was sourly felt both as a bowler as well as a swashbuckling batsman.In the end India could manage to score only 248 and Pakistan won the match by 54 runs.An all round team performance by Pakistan in batting, bowling as well as in fielding took the match away from India, particularly Pakistan’s spinners being most effective. Shoib Malik was declared the man of the match for his brilliant 128.

Now Pakistan having won both the matches they had played is sure of a semi final berth. It tops the table with 4 four points. The powerful Australian team by winning the match against the West Indies has got 2 points and in the second position in the table.West Indies having lost both the matches they had played so far is in the process of elimination.

Now the position of the Indian team is somewhat precarious. In order to qualify for the semifinal and stay in contention, it has to win both the matches against Australia as well as the West Indies. Otherwise, they have to pack up early.

In the other group, England remains at the top with 2 points by virtue of its run rate and Sri Lanka and South Africa are in the second and third position respectively with 2 points each. New Zealand is the other team, without any point in the group, being virtually in a hopeless position.


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