India hold off Pakistan in nailbiter

2013-01-07 00:00

INDIA managed to defend their paltry total and beat Pakistan by 10 runs in a nailbiting third and final one-day international in Delhi yesterday.

Chasing what appeared to be a low target of 168, Pakistan started off slowly, and were quickly on the back foot as Bhuvneshwar Kumar first trapped Kamran Akmal in the crease for a duck, before Younis Khan loosely drove Kumar and inside-edged the ball onto his stumps.

Nasir Jamshed and Misbah-ul-Haq steadied the ship with a slow and deliberate 47-run partnership, and when Nasir departed, Misbah continued looking solid.

Ravichandran Ashwin got the breakthrough when he induced a leg glance from Misbah who guided the ball into the hands of leg-slip for 39.

This caused the floodgates to open, and as the wickets tumbled and the target seemed to move further into the distance, panic set in.

Ishant Sharma picked up three of the final six wickets to fall to finish with 3-36.

When Mohammad Hafeez hit what turned out to be the final ball into the hands of Yuvraj Singh at midwicket, the visitors were left in disbelief to reflect on a shambolic collapse that saw them lose their last five wickets for 27 runs.

Earlier, Saeed Ajmal took 5-24 to reduce India to 167 with 6.2 overs to spare after the hosts opted to bat.

Junaid Khan and Mohammad Irfan bowled rom the start with a hostility the Indian top-order was unable to answer. Irfan claimed the wickets of both openers with only 29 runs on the board.

The hosts never looked comfortable and failed to put together partnerships of any significance as they lost wickets at regular intervals.

Saeed ripped the heart out of their middle order when he removed Suresh Raina (31) and Ashwin with consecutive deliveries to leave India in trouble on 111 for six.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni could only add 36, and the last four wickets contributed a meagre 36 runs as Saeed effortlessly ran through the bottom order to record his best ODI figures.

Junaid Khan finished with 1-17 off nine overs.

Scores in brief:

India 167 in 43.4 (Dhoni 36, Ajmal 5/24)

Pakistan 157 in 48.5 (Misbah 39, Sharma 3/36)

India won by 10 runs.

Pakistan won the series 2-1.

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