Chennai, Dec 30: It was a case of left being right for Pakistan. Left-handers Nasir Jamshed (101 not out) and Junaid Khan (4/43) combined well to guide Pakistan to a six-wicket victory over India in the first ODI of the three-match series here on Sunday. The opener's ton overshadowed India captain MS Dhoni's fine 113 not out.
Junaid's brilliant opening burst of fast bowling earlier in the day was well complemented by Jamshed's second One Day International ton. Jamshed's both hundreds have come against India. In his other game against the neighbours, he has a half century.
Jamshed controlled Pakistan's chase of 228 well. They reached the target in the 49th over. Shoaib Malik hit the winning runs, a boundary off Ashok Dinda. Only consolation for India was Dhoni taking the Man-of-the-match award. This was the second time in eight that a Dhoni ton had gone in a losing cause.
Jamshed hit five boundaries and a six in his 132-ball knock. The 23-year-old was more focused on staying at the crease than going for big shots and he carried his bat.
India's lack of a fifth specialist bowler proved costly. That quota of 10 overs was shared by Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli. The trio went wicketless and conceded 77 runs. To add to India's loss, Kohli injured his right knee as he slipped in his delivery stride. He walked off the field in the 41st over and did not return to the field. There was no news of the extent of his injury.
Earlier, Bhuvneshwar Kumar had a dream start to his ODI career as he got a wicket off his first ball. Opener Mohammad Hafeez paid the price for not playing a shot as his stumps were disturbed.
Bhuvneshwar added the scalp of Azhar Ali as Pakistan were very slow in the chase. They were 21/2 in 10.2 overs. Bhuvneshwar finished with 2/27 in 9 overs (3 maidens). Ishant Sharma and Ashok Dinda were the other successful bowlers.
Younis Khan (58) and Jamshed eased early nerves with a match-turning 112-run partnership in 20.1 overs for the third wicket. Jamshed was lucky as he was not given out on 24 when replays showed him edging the ball onto his pads and Virender Sehwag completing the catch at slip.
Jamshed enjoyed another reprieve on 68, when Yuvraj Singh put down a catch at backward point of Dinda. Malik too was lucky on 8 as he was caught behind by MS Dhoni off a noball from R Ashwin.
Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, during his innings of 16, completed 3,000 ODI runs.
This was also the first time that India and Pakistan were playing under new ODI rules. Dhoni had said he is not happy with the changes.
India, if they had won today, would have returned to top of ICC ODI rankings. But they have blown that chance away.
India innings: Dhoni hits ton
Captain Dhoni struck his 8th One Day International century and one of the great knocks of his career as India recovered from 29/5 to post a respectable 227/6 in 50 overs.
Dhoni had to battle humid Chennai conditions to reach 113 not out (7x4, 3x6) off 125 balls. In the process, he completed 7,000 ODI runs. This knock, he is likely to remember for a long time as it rescued India from a hopeless situation. Dhoni and local boy R Ashwin (31 not out) put 125 runs (16.4 overs) for the unfinished 7th wicket partnership, an Indian record.
Dhoni reached his century with two 4s and a six off Mohammad Irfan in the 49th over. Towards the end of his innings, he was showing signs of fatigue in the heat. And now, he has to come out and keep wickets for 50 overs. Dhoni had a reprieve on 16 when Misbah-ul-Haq dropped his catch at midwicket.
The Indian skipper began on a cautious note. It was necessary from him to begin that way. His half century came off 86 balls but next 61 were collected in just 39 deliveries.
Earlier, play had to start 60 minutes late. But Indian batsmen were not late in getting back to the pavilion. The top order was blown away by left-arm paceman Junaid Khan.
It was a good toss to win and Pakistan quicks wrecked havoc in the first 10 overs. Indian batsmen also played their part in their failures. On a wicket which had moisture, the need of the hour was to see off the initial overs. But that did not happen.
India's top four batsmen were all bowled. The horrendous start began with Virender Sehwag (4) castled on the fifth ball of the 4th over. Gautam Gambhir (8) left next over with stumps shattered. Virat Kohli (0) endured a rare failure in 2012 with a duck and Yuvraj Singh (2) was the fourth victim as hosts were reeling at 20/4 in 6 overs.
There was a brief respite of 3.4 overs before Rohit Sharma (4) fell to a superb catch in slips by Mohammad Hafeez off Junaid. Rohit's last 6 ODI innings have a pathetic reading - 5, 0, 0, 4, 4, 4. India slipped further to 29/5 in 9.4 overs. In walked Dhoni to get India out of the woods.
At that stage, India were in danger of being dismissed for their lowest ever ODI score (54 Vs Sri Lanka in Sharjah, 2000). However, Dhoni and Suresh Raina joined hands to take the cautious route to move India to safety.
Left-hander Raina and Dhoni had a half century partnership for the fifth wicket. Raina (43) fell in the first over (34th) of batting powerplay. Mohammad Hafeez rewarded for his fine spell of bowling and fifth Indian batsmen was bowled on the day. The offspinner finished with 1/26 off 10 with 2 maidens. Raina fought it hard for 88 balls and hit two boundaries.
This is the first of the three ODIs. Second game is in Kolkata on January 3 followed by Delhi match on January 6.
Toss report: Pakistan opt to bowl
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and elected to bowl against India.
With moisture in the pitch, Pakistan bowlers will be trying to make the most of them. India skipper MS Dhoni said he too would have bowled first. Due to wet ground, match started 1 hour late.
India made one change from the previous Twenty20 International in Ahmedabad. Virender Sehwag came in, replacing Ajinkya Rahane. Also paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar makes his ODI debut.
Pakistan have left out Umar Akmal. 7-feet 1-inch tall left-arm bowler Mohammad Irfan, who impressed in T20Is, is playing. Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik are also in.
Earlier update: Toss delayed
Wet outfield has delayed the start. Rain over the last two days has left the ground conditions damp. However, good news is that there is no rain now.
The match, scheduled to start at 9AM, might start before 10AM. Toss, which was to take place at 8.30AM has not been done. Umpires will inspect the ground at 8.45AM. After the inspection, umpire Billy Bowden said toss will be at 9.30AM and play to begin at 10AM. There is no reduction of overs.
With lot of moisture in the pitch, the team that wins the toss, might elect to field. India and Pakistan will play three ODIs in the series. The two-match Twenty20 Internationals ended in 1-1.
India: MS Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Ashok Dinda, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan, Umar Gul, Mohammad Irfan.
Umpires: Billy Bowden (New Zealand) and S Ravi
Third umpire: Sudhir Asnani
Match Referee: Roshan Mahanama (Sri Lanka)