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Page last updated at 17:54 GMT, Thursday, 26 June 2008 18:54 UK

Sehwag century defeats Pakistan

ASIA CUP, Karachi:
India 301-4 (42.1 ovs) bt Pakistan 299-4 (50 ovs) by 6 wkts

Virender Sehwag
Sehwag hit 12 fours and five sixes in his swashbuckling hundred

Virender Sehwag's ninth one-day century inspired India to a six-wicket win over Pakistan with 47 balls left, and earned top spot in Group B at the Asia Cup.

Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik fired 16 fours and a six in 125 from 119 balls before retiring hurt at the end of the 40th over, as his side posted 299-4.

That was the only six of the Pakistan innings, but India hit a total of 12.

Sehwag's 119 took only 95 balls and featured five sixes and he shared 198 in only 25 overs with Suresh Raina.

It was Malik's first century as captain, but his team were clearly second best.

He shared 90 for the first wicket with Salman Butt after choosing to bat, but the first 15 overs yielded only 58 runs.

Younus Khan increased the tempo in stand of 129 with Malik, who reached his sixth ODI century, his first for two years, from 104 balls.

The skipper, who was dropped twice in a Yusuf Pathan over having made his hundred, retired hurt after suffering cramp in his leg, before Younus followed in the next over when he holed out in the deep.

Pakistan's attack was blunted by some attacking Indian strokes, but in only the third over they lost key paceman Umar Gul, who limped off with a side strain.

Stand-in skipper Misbah-ul-Haq gave them optimism, however, with spectacular one handed catch at wide slip to dismiss Gautam Gambhir.

Shoaib Malik
Malik's third one-day century against India was not enough to save his team

Raina made his maiden hundred in India's 256-run win over Hong Kong on Wednesday, also scored fluently in his 69-ball innings, which came to an end when he miscued a drive and was caught in the covers.

Sehwag struck some towering shots before he was caught on the long-on boundary with 68 runs still required.

Yuvraj Singh kept the boundaries flowing, and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni sealed victory for his side from the first ball of the 43rd over.

Both teams were already assured a place in the next round having beaten Hong Kong, and India will now play Bangladesh in the first match of the Super Fours phase.

Dhoni was in jubilant mood and said: "It was an important match and the victory was a dual one because we beat Pakistan and we carry points forward to the next round."

Malik lamented the loss of Gul and said: "He is a wicket-taking bowler and when you lose your main bowler so early on it is difficult to defend even 300 runs on a track like this against a strong batting line up like India.

"We missed a specialist spinner and in our remaining games we are going to play one spinner."

see also
Asia Cup 2008
09 Jun 08 |  Cricket

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