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Gul helps Pakistan restrict India


Umar Gul helped Pakistan restrict India to 157-5 in the World Twenty20 final.

The seamer removed dangermen Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Dhoni in an impressive spell which yielded 3-28.

India were on course for a much bigger score thanks to opener Gautam Gambhir, who hit two sixes in his 75 off 54 balls, but the boundaries dried up.

Youngster Rohit Sharma blasted 30 off 16 balls at the end but Pakistan went off favourites to clinch their first major silverware in 15 years.

They lost a bowl-out after the teams played out a thrilling tie in the group stage, and were greeted by a frenzied atmosphere when the latest instalment in a rich history of rivalry commenced at a packed Wanderers.

Yusuf Pathan did little to calm things down in an eventful start to his international career, after being drafted in for groin injury victim Virender Sehwag.

A better throw from mid-on would have run him out off the very first ball and though he dispatched Mohammad Asif down the ground for a remarkable six, he and Robin Uthappa perished with mis-timed heaves.

The Indians should have been three down in the seventh over when hesitation between Gambhir and Yuvraj escaped punishment because of a poor throw to the non-striker's end.

And Gambhir made the most of that reprieve to time and place the ball elegantly, particularly through the covers.

He heaved leg-spinner Shahid Afridi over deep mid-wicket for the second maximum of the innings as he brought up his fifty in 38 balls.

At that stage India were on course for a formidable total, but Yuvraj - India's hero against England and Australia - never got going.

The left-hander suggested another onslaught might be coming by hammering Afridi to the long-off boundary for four but he top-edged a pull which bowler Gul snaffled.

And the scoring slowed down dramatically as the impressive Gul, who mixed up his pace and length cleverly, sent skipper Dhoni's leg-stump flying in the 14th over.

Four overs passed without a boundary before, inevitably, Gambhir quite literally hurt Gul's figures by smashing the ball into the scoreboard over the mid-wicket fence.

Gul had the last word, however, as short fine-leg pouched the ball to remove the top-scorer and make it 130-5 at the end of 18 overs.

Sharma collected successive fours off Yasir Arafat and Mohammad Hafeez helped a heave off Tanvir over the wide long-on boundary to take the score past 150.

But the Indians still had a lot of work to do to clinch their first major silverware since the 1983 World Cup final and deny their neighbours the chance to emulate their 1992 50-over triumph.

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