Pakistan through to semis after beating India

CENTURION, South Africa, (Reuters) – Shoaib Malik  and Mohammad Yousuf shared a record fourth-wicket stand to help  Pakistan beat India by 54 runs yesterday to reach the  Champions Trophy semi-finals.

Pakistan compiled 302 for nine after winning the toss and  batting before restricting their arch rivals to 248 all out.

The victory led Pakistan to the top of Group A with four  points from two matches ahead of Australia on two. India and  West Indies have no points.

“From now on, it’s like a knockout for us,” India captain  Mahendra Singh Dhoni told reporters after his side’s first match  in Group A had ended in defeat. “If we don’t play well, we can  pack up and go back home.”

Shoaib (128) and Yousuf (87) put on 206 in 193 balls, the  biggest stand for any wicket in the Champions Trophy and a  fourth-wicket record for Pakistan.

The previous record in the competition was 192 for the first  wicket, shared by Indians Virender Sehwag and Saurav Ganguly  against England in Colombo in 2002 and Chris Gayle and Wavell  Hinds for West Indies against Bangladesh in Southampton in 2004.    Pakistan’s previous best for the fourth wicket was an  unbroken stand of 198 between Kamran Akmal and Misbah ul-Haq  against Australia in Abu Dhabi earlier this year.

Shoaib cracked 128 in 126 deliveries, with 16 fours, to  record his seventh ODI century. The 27-year-old really hit form in the latter stages of his  innings, needing just 27 deliveries for his second 50.

Classy Display

Yousuf’s 87 featured seven fours in a classy display of  wristy strokemaking.

Left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra struck twice with the new ball  for India and finished with four for 55.

However he had little support, with only Ishant Sharma  pegging back the Pakistan batsmen with two for 39.

Rahul Dravid top-scored for India with 76 before being run  out in the 42nd over, Umar Gul’s fine throw from the cover  boundary beating him after Harbhajan Singh had called for a  third run.

India were given a powerful start by Gautam Gambhir, who  lashed 57 off 46 balls, while Suresh Raina added 46 in 41  deliveries. Pakistan, though, eventually cruised to victory after  claiming the last five wickets for 43 runs.

Naved ul-Hasan, Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal all picked up  two wickets.

Seventeen-year-old fast bowler Mohammad Aamer also grabbed  two for 46 including Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket for eight.

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