|No one can expect more than what 1000’s of crowd witness in the 4th game of Asia Cup 2010, when Harbhajan Singh smashed fifth ball of 50th over bowled by M.Amer over deep square leg for six to finish the game and gave India a three wicket win over arch-rivals to knock them out of Asia Cup.
Harbhajan Singh celebrated the victory with roars and joy and sends a signal to millions of people that why game between India and Pakistan is watched with so much passion and intensity. India chased down the 268 needed by scoring 271 for seven and clambered their way to a three-wicket victory over a deflated Pakistan yet there were strategies that were put in place, helping India overcome the stiff target in what was a highly entertaining game.
With this win India became the first team at this venue to successfully chase down the target. Pakistan who looked quite comfortable to reach even in excess of 300 has only themselves to blame as they let a critical advantage slip, as a factor that contributed significantly to their exit.
At 144/1 in the 29th over, they looked in superb position to reach in excess of 300 but some bad short selection and some superb fielding and bowling by the Indian bowlers allowed India to bowl out them inside 50 overs to restrict Pakistan to just 267 runs. After electing to bat first Pakistan got off to very good start with the help of superb half-century from S.Butt (74 runs off 85 balls) but middle order batsmen not able to take full advantage of this apart from Kamran Akmal (51 runs off 41 balls) and Shahid Afridi (32 runs off 25 balls).
Chasing the stiff target under lights, India got off to steady start, with Virendra Sehwag struggling to get bat on to ball. However his laborious inning of 10 runs from 32 balls came to an end when A.Razzaq got a ball to move away from right hander batsman.
However a good steady partnership 35 runs off 44 balls for 2nd wicket between Kohli (18 runs off 22 balls) and Gautam Gambhir (83 runs off 97 balls) and then a match winning partnership between Dhoni (56 runs off 71 balls) and Gambhir of 98 runs put India in a commanding position before real drama begin with the quick dismissal of Gambhir, Dhoni and R.Sharma (22 runs off 24 balls).
Needing 50 runs of last six overs, it was all down to Suresh Raina and R.Jadeja to guide Indiath over, with India still needing 49 runs in 29 balls. home. However R.Jadeja could not keep his cool as he got out in the 46
At this juncture of the game Pakistan was looking firm favorite, but their grasp on the contest weakened when Harbhajan lofted Shoaib over long-on with impeccable timing, reducing the equation to 30 off 22. Somehow India manages to bring down the required equation to 16 runs off last 12 deliveries.
Suresh Raina took on a Shoaib in the 49th, pulling a short ball - this one didn't rise as much - for six to slash the equation to 10 off 11 balls. Shoiab did manage to bowl two consecutive dot balls to H.Singh which reduce the equation requiring 7 runs off last over.
Raina took a single off the first ball, giving Harbhajan the strike. Raina tried to get it back immediately by stealing a bye but his desperate dive was beaten by Kamran Akmal's throw. With 6 runs still required of last four deliveries, with P.Kumar on strike and he did exactly what situation required scoring three runs of two ball he faced. With 3 runs needed of last two balls, Harbhajan Singh pulled slight short delivery of M.Amer handsomely over deep-square leg to send a joy to millions of Indian fans.
Gautam Gambhir was declared MicroMax Player of the Match his match winning 83 runs off 97 balls.
Match Summary (India Won by 3 Wickets)
Pakistan– 267/10 in 49.3 Overs
S.Butt – 74 K.Akmal- 51
P. Kumar- 10-1-53-3 Z.Khan– 9.2-0-41-2
India – 271/7 in 49.5 Overs
G.Gambhir- 83 M.S.Dhoni– 56 S.Ajmal– 10-0-56-3 S.Afridi- 10-0-41-1