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India get a thrashing

Last updated on: April 09, 2005 17:17 IST

Medium-pacer Rana Naved-ul Hasan produced a brilliant spell of bowling to claim six wickets for 27 runs and guide Pakistan to a 106-run victory over India in the third One-Day International in Jamshedpur on Saturday.

Rana bowled with accuracy and heart to take the wickets of Virender Sehwag, M S Dhoni, Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan and Ashish Nehra in a performance that must have surely lifted the sagging spirits of the Pakistan team.

Earlier, Salman Butt top-scored for the visitors with 101 off 114 balls. He was ably supported by Shoaib Malik, who scored 75 off 79 balls to help Pakistan post a commanding 319 for 9.

Pakistan innings

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq won the toss for the first time in the series and immediately elected to bat.

Pakistan, down 0-2 in the six-match series, made two changes to the side that played in the previous game.

Vice-captain Younis Khan, who missed the first two games due to a fever, replaced all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez and leg-spinner Danish Kaneria came in for off-spinner Arshad Khan.

Finally, sense prevailed and Pakistan included their most effective bowler, Kaneria, in the team. On a pitch that seems tailor-made for batting it will be interesting to see how the leg-spinner copes with the attacking intent of the batsmen.

India's record at the ground isn't flattering. Of the seven matches India played the venue before this one, they won just one and lost five. Pakistan, on the other hand, won both the matches they played at the venue.

India called up paceman Irfan Pathan for injured counterpart Lakshmipathy Balaji, who is suffering from a side strain.

Pakistan started off in a sedate manner through Salman Butt and Shahid Afridi. Afridi, in particular, appeared to settle down for a big knock and there were none of the usual histrionics.

Pathan opened the attack and hit a good line and length straightaway on a pitch where one could certainly not afford to err in those departments. His efforts were supplemented by Ashish Nehra, who bowled with good rhythm at the other end. And despite having virtually perfect batting conditions, Pakistan were kept in relative check.

In the sixth over, Nehra claimed the wicket of Afridi (17 off 17 balls) for the second consecutive time with a delivery that bounced on the right-hander, who tried to punch the ball off the back-foot. Rahul Dravid, at first slip, took a good overhead catch at first slip. (31 for 1)

The 50 of the innings came up in the 10th over.

A point to be noted was the number of dot balls Pakistan played out at the end of the 10th over. Off the 60 balls bowled at the stage -- 36 were dots. The statistic also tells one how well Irfan and Nehra bowled.

That brought Shoaib Malik to the wicket. It was a surprising move, considering how well Younis had done in the Test series. But Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer has persisted with the Shoaib through thick and thin and this was going to be no different

But Pakistan's tactics left much to be desired. On a pitch like this, where every run would count, they continued to bat at their own sweet pace.

By the 25th over, Pakistan had scored 129 for 1, with Salman Butt 59*(72) S Malik 47*(61).

The push for quick runs would have to come much earlier than imagined. As the two batsmen went their way, one could see Inzamam nervously pacing around in the dressing room. This wasn't exactly what the team management had hoped for.

Then came the surge that everyone in the dressing room was hoping for. From 153 for 1 in the 29th over, the score jumped to 175 for 1 in the 31st.

Runs started to come nice and quick now, as the run-rate climbed towards six at a rapid pace. A big worry for India at this point was their bowling rate, which was just 11.5 overs per hour.

Malik departed soon after he scored a valuable 75 off 79 balls, with seven boundaries and two sixes. Virender Sehwag accounted for the right-hander with his off-spin and Tendulkar, at deep mid-wicket, took a good catch. (176 for 2)

Inzamam walked in at a pace that suggested he wanted to get on with things and in his short stay at the wicket did exactly that. The Pakistan skipper hit a superb straight six to start his innings and looked set to get another good score before Nehra struck for the second time in the innings.

Inzamam tried to turn the ball away on the leg side; the ball clipped the leading edge and lobbed towards mid-on, where Pathan moved in quickly to take a comfortable catch. (219 for 3)

Butt reached a deserved century off 114 balls. It was his second ODI ton and both have come against India. Meanwhile, the slog was on in full swing; the run-rate was already up to 5.85.

Butt was then unfortunately run-out. The left-hander swung hard at a Zaheer Khan delivery but failed to make contact. The ball went straight to Dhoni, who fumbled a bit but then recovered well. Youhana took off for a single and Butt, who was ball-watching, had to sacrifice his wicket. (239 for 4)

Butt scored 101 off 116 balls, with ten boundaries.

At the 30-over mark, India's over-rate was 11.5. At the 40-over mark, it had improved to 12.3 but still well short of the required rate of15.

Razzaq joined Youhana at the wicket and things really took off. From 235 for 3 at the end of 40th over. Pakistan sped to 291 for 6 at the end of the 45.2 overs.

The visitors lost wickets but Youhana, 43 off 31, and Razzaq 18 off 13, did the job for their team. Runs had come all around the park at a quick rate.

The wickets helped India to prevent the score from reaching 350. But, in the end, Pakistan's 319 for 9 at the end of their allotted 50 overs may prove to be too much.

Two points note: Tendulkar, Sehwag and Yuvraj gave away 85 runs in 11.4 overs. And India's innings over-rate was just 12.3. The slow over-rate meant that India would have just a 15-minute break before they would have to come out to bat.

Pathan started off very well but struggled to complete his spell. The umpires finally stopped him when he bowled two beamers at Youhana and Razzaq in one over. Yuvraj completed his over. Zaheer bowled brilliantly in the slog overs and along with Nehra and Harbhajan was mainly responsible in keeping the runs down.

Ganguly obviously knew that the over-rate was bad but he really did not show any urgency on the field. Nor was he seen exhorting the bowlers to try and run through their overs quickly.

Indian innings

Faced with such a daunting target, it took no genius to ascertain that India needed Sehwag to fire if they wanted to get anywhere near the Pakistan total.

But within six overs people started to leave the venue. The reason: Pakistan had struck hard and fast to send three Indian batsmen back to the pavilion with just 20 runs on the board.

First to go was the talismanic Sehwag (2 off 5). He lasted just five balls before he almost half-heartedly went after a short, wide delivery outside the off-stump from Naved-ul Hasan. Afridi, at point, moved well to his right to take a good catch. (1 for 6)

Tendulkar (6) was gone in the next over, caught by Younis Khan in the slips off Sami. Ganguly joined his teammates back in the pavilion after a not-too-convincing stay in the middle, caught once again in the slips, where Younis was having a good time.

Dhoni and Dravid still gave India hope, but even then it was a very slender ray. The duo put on a few runs in quick time before Dhoni succumbed while going for a hook shot.

The short ball had been directed well and was still rising when it reached the batsmen. The result was a top-edge that wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal had no trouble holding. Dhoni scored 28 off 24 balls and once again showed that he has more than enough talent to prosper at this level.

Pakistan bowlers Rana and Sami must be applauded as well. Both got consistently good bounce and swing from a track that didn't seem to be helping the bowlers too much when India bowled.

Things got much worse for India as Dravid (28) and Yuvraj Singh (1) also departed before the total was 100.

India, along with Pakistan, must rank as one of the most inconsistent one-day teams in the world; brilliant one day and absolutely abysmal the other.

Mohammad Kaif (32 off 36 balls) and Pathan tried to salvage some pride for India because that is all they could hope for. The result of the match was beyond question now.

The duo put on 61 runs for the seventh wicket before Kaif fell to the wiles of Kaneria. The leg-spinner dropped the ball just short of driving length and made the batsman reach for the ball. Younis took the catch at point, off the spliced edge. (143 for 7)

Pathan, at the other end, looked very comfortable during his stay at the wicket. He played the spinners with ease and even though the bowlers got some assistance, the pitch was still good for batting.

If one compares the scores of both teams at the 28-over mark, India (143 for 7) were actually ahead of Pakistan (141 for 1). Even though wickets had fallen at regular intervals it did not dramatically affect the scoring rate. Maybe, the Indian batsmen panicked and went for too much too quickly.

Sehwag played the way he always does but then that's the name of his game. The rest of the batsmen could have tried to salvage the innings with some controlled play. A huge total always puts pressure on the chasing side but that is no excuse for today's poor performance.

Pathan went on to get his first half-century in ODIs and eventually ended up with a valiant 64 off 80 balls, with two fours and four sixes, but it was always in a losing cause.

Along with Zaheer, the left-hander attacked the spinners to good effect before Inzamam brought the pacemen back into action.

Rana quickly wrapped up the innings; first deceiving Pathan with a slower ball down the leg-side which hit the behind of the batsman's bat and looped to the wicket-keeper. Then, with a searing yorker that rammed into last-man Ashish Nehra's (3 off 7) leg-stump, India were all out for 213 in 41.4 overs -- 107 runs short of the victory target.

Rana was the best bowler, with six wickets to show for his efforts. His average for the ODI series is a miserly 10.81 at an economy rate of 4.46. He deservedly won the man-of-the-match award.

Pakistan needed some early wickets; they got them, and from that point onwards were in complete command. The loss of Sehwag's wicket seems to give them such a lift that it usually carries them to victory; once the right-hander is gone early, there is no stopping the visitors.

Ashish Magotra