The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Youhana takes Pakistan to semis
- Fact is, we didnít deserve to win: Sourav

Birmingham: With both joint holders out, the Champions Trophy will have a new champion. While India exited on Sunday, Sri Lanka went out 24 hours earlier.

The 'quarter final' at Edgbaston could have gone either way. The momentum, though, shifted in Pakistan's direction in the 43rd over when an Afridi pathan, Shahid, tore into Irfan Pathan.

Afridi smashed sixes in the first two balls and, with 15 coming in that over, the advantage was with Pakistan. Sadly, Irfan's brilliant (and, at that point, crippling) opening burst ' 7-1-11-3 ' was quickly forgotten.

As is customary for the hit-or-miss Afridi, he went for a quickfire 25 but, by then, India had been shut out.

At the finish, with four deliveries remaining, Pakistan were seven down for 201 with MoM Yusuf Youhana unbeaten on a superbly crafted 81.

Youhana did require a runner towards the end (owing to cramps) but, generally, batted like a millionaire. He has risen from the most humble of beginnings and deserves every dollar that comes his way.

Pakistan now face the West Indies in Southampton on Wednesday; the other semi-final is going to be here, a day before that, between favourites Australia and England.

The day, by the way, will always be special for Inzamam-ul-Haq. For one, he led Pakistan to a hattrick of wins over India and, in doing so, joined Sachin Tendulkar in the most elite ODI club: Those with 10,000 runs.

Actually, India were on the backfoot from the toss itself, which Sourav Ganguly lost. After all, with the start delayed because of a damp spot and conditions windy, batting first had to be somewhat hazardous.

Strangely, however, Sourav said he would himself have batted.

Whatever, Sourav gave the impression he wanted to match Hurricane Ivan. Only, he left to an eminently avoidable shot, giving veteran Moin Khan the first of four catches.

Rahul Dravid (67 off 108) and Ajit Agarkar (47 from 50) featured in a pride-restoring 82-run partnership for the seventh wicket, but Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Rohan Gavaskar failed one more time.

On match-eve, Sourav had told The Telegraph he expected everybody to 'stand up and be counted.' Some, it seemed, felt embarrassed doing so and the very average Rana Naveed-ul-Hasan (four for 25) was made to look like the Glenn McGrath of old.

Shoaib Akhtar, used as second change, didn't allow this change in the 'pecking order' to affect him and also picked up four wickets.

Not surprisingly, Sourav put his batsmen on notice: 'We haven't batted well for three months and people shouldn't expect to keep their place if they don't perform... Fact is we didn't deserve to win.'

A total of 200 was never going to be challenging and, despite the hiccups, Pakistan got past with some breathing space.

Incidentally, the Indians have drawn a blank in the last four tournaments/bilateral engagements, this unhappy sequence beginning with the Asia Cup.

Venkat honoured

Former India captain, Match Referee and Elite Panel umpire Srinivas Venkatraghavan was honoured (by the ICC) after the game for his 'contribution' to umpiring.

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