India defeat Pak by 5 runs

In a thrilling encounter between the two arch-rivals, India beat Pakistan by five runs in the first one-day international of their historic tour.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:05 IST
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In a thrilling encounter between the two arch-rivals, India beat Pakistan by five runs in the first one-day international of their historic tour at the National Stadium in Karachi today. With Pakistan needing six runs to win off the last ball, Moin Khan could not repeat current coach Javed Miandad's feat of hitting a six off the last ball against India nearly 20 years ago at Sharjah. Put in to bat after Pakistan won the toss, India made 349 for seven. Vice-captain Rahul Dravid made 99 and Virender Sehwag 79 runs from 57 balls. Pakistan's reply got off to a poor start with openers Yasir Hameed and Imram Farhat back in the pavilion with their score at 34. But a third wicket partnership of 135 runs between skipper Inzamam-ul Haq and Yousuf Youhana revived their innings. Inzamam-ul Haq's 122 from 104 balls which included 12 fours and two sixes, earned him the man of the match award. Youhana scored 73 runs from 68 balls in a swashbuckling innings that included four sixes and six fours. But in the end of 50 overs, India had restricted Pakistan to 344 for the loss of 8 wickets. Brisk start The Indian openers started the innings at a blistering pace by scoring at an average of 9 runs an over. But the 'Rawalpindi Express' Shoaib Akhtar got rid of Sachin Tendulkar who was making runs with ease. Tendulkar, who incidentally made his debut in 1989 on this very ground, scored 28 off 30 balls with four boundaries and a six, before being caught by Rana Naveed-ul Hasan off a Shoaib delivery. But it was Virender Sehwag who stole the show in the first half of the Indian innings, scoring a brilliant 79 from 57 balls, hitting 11 boundaries and a six before he was bowled by a slow delivery from Naved. Ganguly and Dravid kept up the pace of scoring after Sehwag returned to the pavilion but the quick dismissals of Ganguly (45 off 47 balls) and Yuvraj Singh (3) raised Pakistani hopes of restricting the visitors under 300. However, Dravid and Mohammad Kaif had other ideas as the duo stitched 118 runs in as many balls for the fifth wicket to take India close to the 350 mark by not only hitting some delightful strokes but also running well between the wickets. Dravid was dismissed just one run short of his century as he played a Shoaib delivery onto his stumps, bringing an end to his 104-ball effort which contained eight boundaries. With today's win, India have taken a 1-0 lead in the five match one-day series. The second match is on Tuesday at Rawalpindi. 'Biggest over' After bowling India to a narrow victory over Pakistan in the first one-day cricket international, Ashish Nehra described his match-winning final over as "the biggest over of my life". "It is a great feeling, that was the biggest over of my life. There was a lot of pressure but I bowled well," said Nehra. The left-arm seamer conceded only three runs besides taking a wicket as Pakistan, needing nine off the last six balls, fell short of India's mammoth 349 for seven by five runs. (with PTI inputs)