India's Yuvraj wins battle of southpaws with Butt

Published: Sunday, November 11, 2007, 14:26 [IST]
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Kanpur: Yuvraj Singh hit a robust half-century to help India reach a challenging 294-6 in the third one-day international against Pakistan here on Sunday.

The stylish left-hander top-scored with a 95-ball 77 to sustain his team's hopes of gaining a lead in the five-match series, currently tied 1-1.

Yuvraj and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (49) put on 100 for the fourth wicket to build on a blazing start and help their team set a stiff target on a slow turning pitch.

India got off to a brisk start after being put in to bat as Sourav Ganguly (39) and Sachin Tendulkar (29) added 68 for the opening wicket off just 10.4 overs.

Sohail Tanvir, a left-arm seamer with a wrong-footed action, removed both the Indian openers in his first spell but Yuvraj and Dhoni saw to it that their side maintained an impressive run-rate.

Ganguly, dropped first ball by wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal off paceman Shoaib Akhtar, hit one six and four boundaries in his 46-ball knock, while Tendulkar struck five fours in his 27-ball innings.

Pakistan looked like containing runs when left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman bowled Gautam Gambhir (25). The Indian batsman was earlier involved in a verbal duel with bowler Shahid Afridi, forcing England umpire Ian Gould to intervene.

There was no respite for Pakistan as Yuvraj and Dhoni exploded with a flurry of boundaries, helping their side plunder 89 runs in the closing 10 overs.

Dhoni hit two sixes and four boundaries in his 52-ball knock before being bowled by a slower delivery from Akhtar.

Yuvraj continued to dominate the Pakistani attack, hitting two sixes in an over from Rehman before being the fifth man out in the 47th over. He cracked three sixes and four boundaries in his 32nd half-century.

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