India win Twenty20 final

Ken Borland

Ken Borland

India claimed the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup after they beat Pakistan by five runs in a thrilling final yesterday.

Recalled all-rounder Irfan Pathan and new-ball bowler Rudra Pratap Singh took three wickets each and Pakistan, who started well, tumbled to 152 all out in reply to India's 157 for five.

Misbah ul-Haq threatened to steal victory from India at the death with four sixes in his 43 but Joginder Sharma had him caught trying to spoon a ball over fine leg with three balls to spare.

Opening batsman Imran Nazir had slammed 33 off 14 balls in a flying start for Pakistan but Robin Uthappa ran him out with a direct hit and Pathan claimed the key wickets of Shoaib Malik (8) and Shahid Afridi (0) in his second over to slow their run chase.

Joginder kept his nerve in the final over with Pakistan needing 12 to win and finished with two for 20, while Pathan took three for 16 and Pratap three for 26.

A good all-round bowling performance by Pakistan, led by Umar Gul, had earlier restricted India to a relatively modest total. Gul took three for 28 in his four overs as India never managed to break free of tight bowling and fielding.

The tall seamer landed the vital wickets of Yuvraj Singh, caught and bowled for 14 off 19 balls, Mahendra Dhoni, bowled for six, and Gautam Gambhir, caught at short fine-leg for 75.

Opener Gambhir batted through the first 18 overs, however, stroking eight fours and two sixes, and needed just 54 balls for his fluent innings which give India's total respectability.- Reuters