Cricket: Inzamam shows Pakistan the way

India 196 Pakistan 197-3 Pakistan win by 7 wickets
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IJAZ AHMED and Inzamam-ul-Haq each hit unbeaten half centuries as Pakistan cruised to a seven-wicket victory over India yesterday in the Pepsi Cup triangular tournament. Both sides had already qualified for Sunday's final in Bangalore having beaten Sri Lanka, who have returned home.

After bowling out India for 196, Pakistan reached the target of 197 in only 42 overs with Ijaz and Inzamam putting on 163 runs for the unbroken fourth wicket.

Ijaz and Inzamam came to the crease after Pakistan had suffered a top- order collapse, losing three wickets for 34 runs. India's medium pacer Venka-tesh Prasad claimed the wickets, for 27 runs. Ijaz remained on 89 not out and Inzamam 63 not out. Inzamam won a reprieve when he was dropped by Gyandendra Pandey at deep midwicket after he had scored 40 runs.

India's substitute captain, Ajay Jadeja, won the toss and elected to bat. But Pakistan's Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar bowled tight spells and kept the Indians subdued.

Opener Saurav Ganguly retired hurt after he was hit in the ribs by a rising delivery from Akhtar. He later resumed and turned out to be the top scorer for India, with 57 runs. The only other notable Indian contribution came from all-rounder Robin Singh, who scored 42 runs.

Some 1,000 Pakistani fans travelled across the border in a demonstration of the thaw in relations between the two arch-rivals. Indian and Pakistani flags fluttered alongside eachother as spectators shouted slogans of friendship to each other.

Indian authorities issued visas for the visitors and arranged transport and lodging for them in a gesture of friendship as they travelled across the border of the Punjab province.