Saeed’s three-in-one exploit clinches ODI series for Pakistan

2013-01-04 00:00

KOLKATA — Saeed Ajmal snared three wickets in one over as Pakistan dismissed India for 165, securing an 85-run win and a series victory in the second of three ODIs at Eden Gardens in Kolkata yesterday.

Junaid Khan was exceptional at the start, and it was not long before Gautam Gambhir edged one into his stumps followed by Virat Kohli, caught by a diving Kamran Akmal as he feathered one down the leg side.

The total always looked to be a bridge too far, as the hosts were losing wickets at regular intervals.

The going was slow and difficult, and most Indian batsmen, usually fluent and aggressive, struggled to coax the ball off the square.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni top-scored with an uncharacteristically sedate 54 off 89 deliveries.

Saeed (3-20) all but finished off the innings with his inspired 40th over, and though Dhoni and Ishant Sharma added 33 runs for the last wicket, the inevitable came when Sharma played down the wrong line to a ripper from Junaid (3-39) and was clean bowled with two overs remaining.

This is Pakistan’s fourth win out of four against India at this venue.

Earlier, after a blistering start, Pakistan collapsed and were bowled out for 250 with nine deliveries to go after being invited to bat first.

Pakistan’s openers, Nasir Jamshed and Mohammad Hafeez (76), wreaked havoc against the host bowlers, putting together 141 for the first wicket inside 24 overs.

Jamshed brought up his third ODI century before both batsmen fell within four runs to Ravindra Jadeja.

The visitors looked good for a total well in excess of 300, but India fought back to claim the last five wickets for only 40 runs.

Jamshed faced 124 balls for his 106, hitting a total of 14 boundaries, which included two sixes.

Both Ishant Sharma and Jadeja finished with three wickets each.

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