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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

India Enters World Cup final beating Pakistan

India have won cricket World Cup semi final match against arch-rivals Pakistan by 29 runs. Misbah Ul Haq was the last man out on the last but one ball of the Pakistan innings.

Indian bowlers shared the spoils - Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and Yuvraj Singh took two a piece.

But the celebrations, at first cautious, had already begun at the PCA stadium in Mohali much earlier when Munaf Patel dismissed Abdul Razzak for 3 to get India its sixth wicket. And then skipper Shahid Afridi fell for 19 (of 17 balls). Caught Sehwag, bowled Harbhajan. Pakistan 184 for 7.

The India innings saw as much drama as possible in 50 overs. And much of that drama revolved around Sachin Tendulkar, who led a charmed life on his way to 85, surviving two close appeals and four dropped catches before being caught by Shahid Afridi, bowled Saeed Ajmal. Too soon for comfort, skipper MS Dhoni, at 25, fell to Wahab Riaz.

When Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag walked out to bat, almost 28,000 voices rose as one to cheer. A few hours into the match, the cricket has been exciting. There was a collective sigh of disappointment as Virender Sehwag got out after a blistering innings, there were two back-to-back heart-in-the-mouth moments as Sachin survived two close appeals and reviews. Pakistan also dropped him at score 27, 45, 70 and 81. Before finally catching him at 85.

Before Sachin, the dismissal of Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli and Yuvraj in rapid succession already had the match in balance. Sachin and Dhoni attempted to rebuild but the tumble continued after Tendulkar's departure. Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and then finally Ashish Nehra, run out on the penultimate ball, fell at regular intervals.

Celebrities, politicos, industrialists are mere fans

Among those on the edge of their Mohali stadium seats are Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and wife, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi, daughter Priyanka Gandhi with her husband Robert Vadra. The Speaker of the Lok Sabha Meira Kumar is there as are a number of ministers. Rahul Gandhi watched the slog overs of the India innings from a non-VIP stand.

The Ambani brothers, Mukesh and Anil, are at the PCA stadium with their families and Kingfisher Airlines owner Vijay Mallya is watching with son Sidharth.

Aamir Khan and director wife Kiran Rao are representing Bollywood. Also Rahul Bose, Vivek Oberoi and Dino Morea watching some live action at Mohali.

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