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Sunday, 30 December 2012

Pakistan beat India by six wickets despite Dhoni’s valiant century

Pakistan achieved the target of 228 with 11 balls to spare after a fine unbeaten 101 by opening batsman Nasir Jamshed. Jamshed and former skipper Younis Khan (58) were involved in a crucial 112-run stand for the third wicket after Pakistan made a poor start losing the first two wickets for 21 runs on board. Chasing a small total, Pakistan were on the back-foot right from the first ball when Mohammed Hafeez had his off-stump blown away by a big in-swinging delivery from Bhuvaneshwar Kumar (2/27). Pakistan adopted a cautious approach as runs dried down. Azhar Ali (9) tried to break free trying to pull a short delivery outside off from Kumar but instead lobbed it to Rohit Sharma at midwicket. With Pakistan down to 21/2, Jamshed and Younis formed a great partnership that brought the innings on track. Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (16) also departed soon, but Jamshed and former captain Shoaib Malik (34 not out) added 56 runs for the fifth wicket to take the team home safely. Jamshed hit five fours and a six during his 132-ball patient knock. ADVERTISEMENT It was the absence of the fifth wicket that hurt India badly. The 10 overs shared by Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli, gave 80 runs Earlier, Dhoni, who battled cramps, was involved in two crucial partnerships, 73 for the sixth wicket with Suresh Raina (43) and a 125-run unbeaten stand for the seventh wicket with local boy Ravichandran Ashwin (31 not out), that helped India get a competitive total after a disastrous start. A fine spell of fast bowling by left-arm pacer Junaid Khan (4/43) removed the Indian top order. The 23-year-old Junaid in his first spell of six overs, conceded just seven runs and picked up the wickets of Virender Sehwag (4), Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh (2) and Rohit Sharma (4). Towering fast bowler Mohammed Irfan (1/58) cleaned up Gautam Gambhir (8). Junaid made the most of the moisture in the track to trouble the Indian batsmen. Sehwag, Kohli and Yuvraj were castled while Rohit was caught at third slip. With India struggling at 29 for five, Dhoni and Raina joined forces to get the innings back on track with a heroic 73-run stand. Raina's patient 88-ball stay was studded with two fours. Raina departed in his attempt to hit out off-spinner Mohammed Hafeez but the ball hurried on to him and knocked out his leg stump. Hafeez bowled miserly and gave away just 26 runs from his 10 overs. The second ODI will be held in Kolkata on January 3 while the final and the third ODI is slated for January 6 in Delhi.