India go one up with clinical win

Published: Monday, November 5, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Bangalore: India outclassed Pakistan in all departments of the game to romp home with five wicket win the first of the five-match ODI series played at the Nehru Stadium in Guwahati on Monday.

After restricting Pakistan to 239 for 7 in 50 overs, India reached the target with 18 balls to spare.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni struck  63 off 77 balls while his deputy Yuvraj made a 74-ball 58. They both added 105-run partnership for the fourth wicket stand.


Earlier, Mohammad Yousuf struck a superb unbeaten 83 to help pak post a respectable 239 for seven after skipper Malik chose to bat on a batting wicket.

Yousuf showed his class to hold the innings together after the Indian spinners had taken control on a slow pitch.

The 33-year-old Yousuf hit his 58th one-day fifty, his sixth score of over 50 in the last nine innings, facing 88 balls and hitting seven fours.

Yousuf added 63 runs for the fourth wicket with Shahid Afridi (31) before taking charge in a sixth-wicket stand of 68 with Misbah-ul Haq (27).

Sachin Tendulkar earlier struck twice in successive overs to remove the dangerous Afridi and skipper Shoaib (two) cheaply.

Salman Butt provided the early momentum after being recalled ahead of Imran Nazir to bolster Pakistan's shaky opening partnership. The left-hander and Kamran Akmal drove seamer Zaheer Khan to the cover boundary, taking 11 runs off his first over.

Left-arm seamers RP Singh and Irfan Pathan, off spinner Harbhajan Singh and left-arm spinner Murali Kartik then limited the scoring with accurate bowling.

Pathan trapped Akmal lbw for 12 although the ball appeared to have pitched outside leg stump.

Butt hit eight fours, playing wristy shots to reach his fifth one-day fifty off 56 balls but was run out off the next delivery by Yuvraj Singh attempting a risky single.

Younis Khan made 25 before mistiming a shot against Harbhajan to be caught at long on.

Afridi pulled Khan for six and added quick runs until Tendulkar beat him with a leg break.

Yousuf took time to settle down before playing many improvised shots towards the end to give Pakistan a fighting chance of going 1-0 up in the five-match series.

India chasing the not-so-stiff target on a batting strip lost Tendulkar LBW to Akhtar in the third over of the innings, but Ganguly and in-form Gambhir shared a 82-run stand for the second wicket before the former dismissed run out for a strokeful 39 in the 16th over. Three overs later Afridi castled the Delhi left-hander for 51-ball 44. 

Yuvi joined Dhoni with India in some sort of trouble at 113/3. Both played a percentage game to lead India to the brink of victory before conceding their wickets. The next men in Uthappa and Pathan saw their side thro' in the 47th over.



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