India win series opener by five wickets

India beat Pakistan by five wickets in the first one-dayer at Guwahati on Monday to take a 1-0 lead in the five match series.

updated: November 06, 2007 14:09 IST
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India beat Pakistan by five wickets in the first one-dayer at Guwahati on Monday to take a 1-0 lead in the five match series.

Chasing 240, India were home with 18 balls to spare after MS Dhoni, who was named Man of the Match, put on a brisk 105-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Yuvraj Singh (58).

Though India lost Sachin Tendulkar early in the run-chase but that was the only blip as Sourav Ganguly (39) and Gautam Gambhir (44), followed by Yuvraj and Dhoni made useful contributions to steer India across the finish line.

Earlier, the Indian chase suffered an early setback as Shoaib Akhtar trapped master blaster in his second over for just four runs reducing India to 14 for one.

Thereafter, Gautam Gambhir and Sourav Ganguly put up an unbeaten fifty run partnership to India in control.

Earlier, an unbeaten half century by Mohammad Yousuf lifted Pakistan to 239 for seven after electing to bat.

The Indian bowlers were disciplined and restricted Pakistan to a modest total. Kartik and Harbhajan in particular were outstanding and Tendulkar took a couple of crucial wickets as well.

Opener Salman Butt began well and scored a half-century but the spinners pulled things back, picking up wickets at regular intervals, to peg back the scoring.

The middle order batsmen, however, failed to contribute to the momentum and Pakistan's intensity dropped during the middle overs when Harbhajan Singh and Murali Kartik bowled superb spells.

Sachin Tendulkar proved useful with the ball, ending with 2 for 33 from 5 overs.

Yousuf, however held the innings together with 83 off 88 balls to take the visitors to a fighting total.

Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal got their team off to a quick start bringing up 44 runs in 10 overs. Zaheer Khan, in particular, was dispatched to the fence on a couple of occasions.

India finally got a breakthrough in the 11th over when Irfan Pathan had Kamran Akmal caught plumb in front for 12 runs off 30 deliveries.

Butt along with Younis Khan kept up the tempo and the former struck a fluent fifty - his 5th in ODIs - before a terrible mix up with his partner resulted in his run out.

The Indian spinners then stifled the Pakistan batsmen and Harbhajan was rewarded for tight bowling soon after as Younis fell for 28 runs in an attempt to pull the spinner.

India went into this game with three pacers and two spinners. Virender Sehwag failed to make it to the final eleven along with Sreesanth.

Pakistan had also included two spinners, Afridi and Rehman, in the playing XI.


India: Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt & wk), Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pathan, Murali Kartik, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, RP Singh.

Pakistan: Kamran Akmal (wk), Salman Butt, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik (capt), Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Rao Iftikhar Anjum, Abdur Rehman, Shoaib Akhtar.