26 Dec 2012

Pakistan edges series opener in India

6:43 am on 26 December 2012

The Pakistan cricket team has beaten India by five wickets in the opening Twenty20 match of the two countries' first series in five years.

Amid tight security in the southern Indian city of Bangalore, India made 133 for nine off their 20 overs and Pakistan chased it down with two balls remaining, with Shoaib Malik hitting a six to win the match.

Pakistan were in trouble at 12 for three before a 106-run fourth wicket partnership between Malik and Mohammad Hafeez had them in prime position to win the game, but a late collapse almost handed India the victory.

Needing 10 off the final over, Malik remained calm and hit the winning runs with the first ball he faced.

It is the first series between the South Asian rivals since the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2008 that killed 166 people. India blamed the attacks on insurgents based in Pakistan.

Pakistan hasn't played a home game since 2009 when eight Pakistanis were killed and six Sri Lanka players wounded when gunmen fired on their coach as they were being driven to the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore.

India and Pakistan last faced off in a two-team series in November 2007. They have competed against each other at overseas grounds in tournaments such as the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup in Sri Lanka in September.