Karachi:Shoaib Malik's knock of 125 runs went in vain as India convincingly trounced Pakistan by six wickets in their Asia Cup tie at the National Stadium in Karachi.
With 300 runs on the board, no team endorses the thought of losing but India, with the help of Virender Sehwag's 119 and Suresh Raina's 84, ran past the target with 47 balls to spare. This is also India's quickest win while chasing a 300-plus target.
Sehwag put a 198-run partnership with Raina for the second wicket. He slammed his ninth ODI hundred before Shahid Afridi stopped his hurricane innings. Suresh Raina, who hit his maiden ton against Hong Kong on Wednesday, missed out on his second as Rao Iftikhar claimed him as his second victim. Interestingly, with two centurions in the match, Raina was the surprise pick as the 'Man of the Match'.
Iftikhar's first victim was Gautam Gambhir. He perished to a stunning catch taken by Misbah-ul Haq at the backward point.
After Raina and Sehwag's exit, Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni added 63 runs and took their side closer to the win. Sohail Tanvir, however, deprived Yuvraj Singh of a half-century as he lost his wicket on 48 runs. Dhoni saw his side home and remained unbeaten on 26 runs.
Earlier, riding on the knocks from Shoaib Malik and Younus Khan, Pakistan made 299 runs at the loss of four wickets.
Opening the innings for the 14th time in his 166-match long ODI career, Shoaib Malik played a captain's knock and smashed sixth ODI hundred which was also his third century against India. He sustained cramps and was retired hurt for 125 runs. He first put on a 90-run stand for the first wicket with Salman Butt and then added 129 runs for the second wicket with Younus Khan.
Put in to field, Indian bowlers started off impressively but it took them 21 overs to pick the first wicket. Pakistan openers Salman Butt and Shoaib Malik had started their innings very cautiously. They stole cheeky singles and hit occasional boundaries without risking their wickets. But after 10 overs, they decided to shift the gears to accelerate the proceedings. Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla then struck for India and scalped Salman Butt for 35 runs. The left-hander went for a pull shot but found Suresh Raina at the mid-wicket.
Yusuf Pathan removed Younus Khan after he scored his 21st ODI fifty. Mohd Yousuf perished for being slow between the wickets and walked back after a short cameo of 30 runs. This was the 37th occasion when Yousuf fell short of the crease in his One-day career. While Shahid Afridi disappointed and fell to RP Singh for 9 runs, Misbah-ul Haq chipped in with 31 runs down the order.