India win Twenty20 title after rousing finale

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 24, 2007 (AFP) – Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s young Indian team snatched the inaugural Twenty20 world title after defeating arch-rivals Pakistan by five runs in a thrilling final on Monday. Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi was declared the player of the tournament despite falling for zero in the final.

The Indians, restricted to 157-5 after electing to take first strike in good batting conditions, fought back to bowl out valiant Pakistan for 152 before a sell-out crowd of 32,000 at the Wanderers here.

Pakistan appeared out for the count when they were reduced to 104-7 after 16 overs, but Misbah-ul Haq gave the Indians a scare with a late charge of 43 off 38 balls.

Misbah and his tail-end partners took 19 runs in the 17th over bowled by spinner Harbhajan Singh, 13 in the 18th of Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and seven runs in the 19th from Rudra Pratap Singh, leaving 13 to get off the final over.

Seamer Joginder Sharma bowled a wide off the first ball and was hammered for a six by Misbah with the second legitimate ball, but gave India victory with his next delivery as the batsman holed out to fine-leg.

Rudra Pratap and Irfan Pathan claimed three wickets each as Pakistan’