India beat Pakistan yet again in a World Cup cricket match, this time by 29 runs. The match belonged to Tendulkar who scored 85 and to Indian bowlers who showed great discipline in their bowling.
India won the toss and decided to bat first. Dhoni surprised everyone by dropping Ashwin in place of Nehra. He expected the pitch to help seamers, while in fact the pitch proved to be more conducive to spinners. But, Nehra proved his worth with a great spell.
Earlier in the day, Sehwag played a little cameo of 38 runs in just 25 balls. He took frontline Pakistani bowler Umar Gul to task, who finally ended giving 69 runs in 8 overs. The new bowler Riaz changed India’s upward swing by taking five wickets, including Sehwag, Kohli, Yuvraj, Dhoni and Zaheer. Biggest blow was the wicket of in-form Yuvraj who got out on a first ball duck.
But while Pakistan was bowling great, their fielding was miserable. They dropped Tendulkar 4 times, and in the end Tendulkar got out at 85, and India at 260, which proved to be a match winning total. Tendulkar has played in all 5 World cup matches against Pakistan and India has won all.
Pakistan was also severely hampered during their chase by inexplicable batting of Misbah and Younis Khan. Younis wasted 32 deliveries for his 13 while at one time Misbah was batting on 20 for about 50 deliveries! Misbah improved his strike rate later, but it was too late already.
India now meets Sri Lanka in the World Cup Finals in Mumbai on Saturday. What a day it can be if India wins and Tendulkar gets to score his 100 hundreds, but then one should not forget the humiliating defeat India suffered at the hands on Sri Lanka in the 1996 Cricket World cup semi finals. So, let’s just hope India plays well and wins the world cup for all of us.