Kamran Akmal smashed an unbeaten 92 off 50 balls as Pakistan came from behind to defeat India by five wickets in a warm-up match for the World Twenty20 on Monday.

Pakistan, chasing India's commanding 185-3, appeared to be out of contention when they lost five wickets by the 12th over with just 91 runs on the board at the Premadasa stadium. But Akmal and former captain Shoaib Malik turned the game around with a brilliant unbroken stand of 95 off 46 balls that helped Pakistan beat the shell-shocked Indians with five balls to spare.

Akmal plundered six sixes, including the winning shot off seamer Irfan Pathan which sailed over the cover fence. Malik remained unbeaten on 37 off 18 balls. Virat Kohli had earlier top-scored for India with 75 not out, while off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claimed four wickets for 23 runs.

Some 3,000 Sri Lankan fans watched the arch-rivals battle out in the middle in the only warm-up match to be beamed live by the host broadcasters of the World Twenty20 that opens on Tuesday.

"We knew that if India could post a huge total, so could we," said Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez. "Kamran was exceptional, and Malik's experience also helped."

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the batting worked well, but the bowlers needed to contain runs on the easy-paced wickets. "It was not really a bad game for us," he said. "We have got to work on a few things with our bowling." India and Pakistan are drawn in different groups for the preliminary league, but are seeded to meet in the Super Eights round in Colombo on September 30.

Barring Ashwin, Kamran toyed with India's bowling as he swung six after meaty six in the company of Malik, who bettered even Kamran with a strike-rate over 200 for his 37. What will worry India further is that they lost despite the use of five frontline bowlers, the warm-up game effectively allowing them the Supersub.

Kamran and Hafeez added 51 runs in 34 balls stand for the third wicket to lead Pakistan chase. India dismissed Imran Nazir and Nasir Jamshed in quick succession to rock Pakistan chase.

Ashwin struck in his first over of the innings, removing Nazir to give India crucial breakthrough after Pakistan started off well in their innings. Pakistan suffered another blow just two balls later when Jamshed got run-out without facing a delivery.

Earlier, Kohli and Sharma played cracked of an innings to help India post a mammoth 186 run target for Pakistan. Kohli remained unbeaten on 75 off 47 balls, smashing seven fours and two sixes to power to big total against the arch-rivals. Ajmal did the trick again, giving Pakistan a much need breakthrough by removing Sharma, who played magnificent knock 56 0ff 40 balls, smacking six fours and two huge sixes. The pair also added a 127 runs stand for the third wicket, hammering Pakistan bowlers all over the park to put India in commanding position.

Kohli, who has recently been named the ICC ODI cricketer of the Year, took 34 balls for his scintillating half century that included six boundaries. India lost Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag in successive overs after the Delhi duo gave blistering start with a 41 in just 4.4 overs.

India lost their first wicket when Gambhir edged an Umar Gul delivery onto his stumps. Gambhir hit 2 fours in his 16-ball 10. Ajmal struck in the next over when he had Sehwag caught by Shahid Afridi at backward point. Sehwag hit a six and 4 fours in his 14-ball 26.

Afridi turned out to be the most expensive of the Pakistan bowlers giving away 41 runs in the four overs he bowled.  Pakistan play their second warm-up match against reigning champions England, on Wednesday.


G Gambhir b Gul    10

V Sehwag c Afridi b Ajmal    26

V Kohli not out    75

RG Sharma b Ajmal    56

Yuvraj Singh not out    4

EXTRAS: (lb 3, w 5, nb 6)    14

TOTAL: (3 wickets; 20 overs)    185

FOW: 1-41, 2-45, 3-172

BOWLING: Sohail Tanvir 3-0-35-0, Umar Gul 4-0-31-1, M Sami 2-0-31-0, Saeed Ajmal 4-0-22-2, M Hafeez 3-0-22-0, Shahid Afridi 4-0-41-0


M Hafeez c Sharma b Ashwin    38

Imran Nazir c Raina b Ashwin    13

Nasir Jamshed run out    0

Kamran Akmal not out    92

Shahid Afridi c Khan b Ashwin    0

Umar Akmal c & b Ashwin    2

Shoaib Malik not out    37

EXTRAS: (w 4)    4

TOTAL: (5 wickets; 19.1 overs)    186

FOW: 1-30, 2-33, 3-84, 4-84, 5-91

BOWLING: Z Khan 3-0-31-0, I Pathan 3.1-0-40-0, R Ashwin 4-0-23-4, L Balaji 4-0-41-0, Harbhajan Singh 4-0-40-0, Yuvraj Singh 1-0-11-0

TOSS: India

UMPIRES: B Bowden (NZ), N Llong (Eng)

TV UMPIRE: R Martinesz