cricket20 :: Dazzling Asif spell stuns India
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Dazzling Asif spell stuns India


Pakistan's Mohammad Asif's 4-18 helped restrict India to 141-9 off 20 overs in their World Twenty20 match in Durban.

The seamer held a superb caught and bowled to dismiss Gautaum Gambhir for a duck off the third ball and took three more wickets to reduce India to 36-4.

Robin Uthappa's 50 off 38 balls helped India recover, while Irfan Pathan also hit two massive sixes in 20 and skipper Mahendra Dhoni added 33 off 30 balls.

Pakistan have qualified but India need to avoid a heavy defeat to progress.

Asif's dismissal of Gambhir vindicated Pakistan's decision to bowl after winning the toss.

He bowled Virender Sehwag in his next over, had Yuvraj Singh caught at mid-on by captain Shoaib Malik in his third over and finished by bowling Dinesh Karthik in his final over.

Uthappa hit Yasir Arafat for two magnificent sixes in the 10th over to the delight of the India fans in the packed Kingsmead stands.

But Sohail Tanvir had Uthappa caught behind soon after to leave the onus on Dhoni.

Left-hander Irfan Pathan hit Shahid Afridi's spin on to the roof of the main stand and spanked another booming six off the next delivery before Afridi bowled him for 20 off 15 balls.

A third rain delay interrupted the thrilling entertainment just as Dhoni seemed to be getting into his stride.

Afridi bowled Harbhajan Singh almost immediately after the resumption and Umar Gul dismissed dangerman Dhoni when the Indian captain msi-timed a slower delivery high into the floodlit sky.

Ajit Agarkar's 14 at the death helped India push up the total and should do enough to ensure their run-rate remains high enough to eliminate Scotland - even if they lose.

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