Yousuf steers Pakistan to healthy 239/7

Published: Monday, November 5, 2007, 13:16 [IST]
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Guwahati: Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf struck a superb unbeaten 83 to steer his side to a respectable total of 239 for seven in the first one-day international against India here at the Nehru Stadium on Monday.

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik won the toss and 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.

Brief Scores:

Pakistan 239 for 7 in 50 overs (Mohd Yousuf 83 n o, Salman Butt 50, Afridi 31, Misbah 27; Tendulkar 2 for 33, Harbhajan 1 for 29, Pathan 1 for 45) Vs India.


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