Videocon Cup: Pakistan defeat India by 66 runs

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Pakistan have defeated India by 66 runs in the opening match the Videocon Cup tri-series in Amsterdam.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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Pakistan have defeated India by 66 runs in the opening match the Videocon Cup tri-series in Amsterdam. Chasing a target of 193 runs in 33 overs in a rain-interrupted match, India were bowled out for 127 in 27 overs. Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik were the star bowlers, picking up four and three wickets respectively. Shabbir Ahmed and Abdul Razzaq picked up a wicket each. Shoaib Malik with a knock of 68 from 67 deliveries as well as the three wickets, has been awarded the Man of the Match. The openers gave a blistering start, but then the Indian batsmen failed to live up to their reputation, as each wicket fell one by one in the face of the Pakistani attack. Batsmen collapse First to go was Sehwag when he played a shot into the opening hands of Shoaib Malik off a Shabbir Ahmed delivery in the fourth over. VVS Laxman with skipper Ganguly then hit the Pakistani bowlers, putting up some runs on the board but the partnership didn't last long. Ganguly lobbed a Razzaq delivery, and was caught by Yousuf Youhana. Then disaster struck India when the new man at the crease, Rahul Dravid, was run out for a duck by Inzamam. To add to India's woes, VVS Laxman (37) was bowled by Shoaib Malik and then, Shahid Afridi, introduced into the attack, claimed Yuvraj Singh (13) leg before. The lower order failed miserably and the famed batting line-up failed to rise to the occasion. Balaji shines Electing to field, the Indian bowlers tightened up their act, restricting the Pakistan batsmen from going for big scores. But Shoaib Malik, Yousuf Youhana, Abdul Razzaq and Moin Khan played like winners, each contributing to the challenging total of 192. For India, Lakshmipathy Balaji was the star bowler, picking up three wickets, while Anil Kumble and Ajit Agarkar picked up a lone wicket each. The Pakistani openers got on to a steady start with Shahid Afridi leading the innings, but Yasir Hameed struggled at the other end. Afridi hit some big shots early on, but Ajit Agarkar got the breakthrough in the fourth over. Mohammad Kaif took a brilliant catch and Afridi was dismissed for 19. After Hameed's departure, brought on by Balaji, caught by Rahul Dravid, captain Inzamam-ul Haq joined the crease, but was sent back to the pavilion in a similar fashion for 1. Malik, Youhana strike But Yousuf Youhana then put up a good effort, but his innings (28 off 28 deliveries) was ended by a direct hit from Virender Sehwag. Malik then hit the Indian bowlers all over, notching 68 off 67 deliveries, before conceding his wicket to Kumble. Balaji then struck again and Younis Khan was out for a duck. Moin Khan, with Abdul Razzaq, put up an impressive partnership towards the end of the innings, taking Pakistan to the winning total of 192 with the loss of six wickets. Tendulkar ruled out Meanwhile, India has already received a big jolt, with batting mainstay Sachin Tendulkar being ruled out of the tournament due to a 'tennis elbow'. Tendulkar's absence is a further blow to an Indian team already hit by illness – Harbhajan Singh and Ashish Nehra were ruled out of the opening match due to viral fever. India named Rohan Gavaskar in place of Tendulkar. Ajit Agarkar was the third seamer and Anil Kumble the lone specialist spinner.

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