Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- Pak beats India, goes 2-1 up in the series

Published: Monday, March 29, 2004, 20:17 [IST]
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Peshawar:Yasir Hameed blunted an inspired Indian bowling attack with a fine 98-run knock before crisis man Abdul Razzaq sailed Pakistan through to a four wicket victory with 16 balls to spare in another thrilling contest between the arch-rivals in Peshawar on Friday.

The victory gave the hosts a vital 2-1 lead in the five-match series as the action moves on to Lahore for the double-header on March 21 and 24.

Although the excitement stretched till the final overs, it did not boil down to a nerve-wracking situation as Razzaq (53 not out) and Moin Khan (22 not out) held their cool to hand the home team its second successive win in the series.

Chasing India's competitive 244 for nine in 50 overs, Pakistan survived some early scare, reduced as they were to 65 for four at one stage, before romping home thanks to the solid batting display by youngster Hameed and the experience of Razzaq. They finished at 247 for six in 47.2 overs.

Razzak completed the victory in style by smashing Lakshmipathy Balaji for a boundary as a packed Arbab Niaz Stadium erupted into celebrations.

The Indians, whose top order came undone on a slow pitch that offered some assistance to bowlers, were themselves to be blamed for allowing Pakistan to wriggle out of a tight situation.

The match, played amidst unprecedented security arrangements considering the city's proximity to the volatile Afghanistan border, passed off smoothly and the crowd, which also cheered the vanquished Indians as they left the field, again won kudos for their sporting behaviour.

Irfan Pathan, playing his first match of the series in place of an injured Ashish Nehra, picked three wickets in a lion-hearted effort but the other bowlers again fell short of expectations.

If India's bowling was found wanting, their batting also did not fare much better. And had it not been for a controlled 65 off 76 balls by Yuvraj and some lusty hitting by the tail ender Lakshmipathy Balaji (21 off 12 balls), the Indians would have really cut a sorry figure.

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