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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Yuvraj's big hitting made the difference, says Dhoni

Yuvraj's big hitting made the difference, says Dhoni

December 28, 2012 22:55 IST

Yuvraj Singh's big hitting in the closing stages of the Indian innings made the difference, feels skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni after the hosts registered a thrilling 11-run win over Pakistan in the second T20 International in Ahmedabad, on Friday.

"Yuvi was at his best, those big sixes and fours really helped us in the end. We got 10 runs more than what we would have been happy with," said Dhoni.

Yuvraj smashed Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal for three sixes in the 19th over, which lifted India to a healthy 192 for five in their 20 overs. Dhoni praised his young bowlers for not crumbling under pressure as Pakistan finished on 181 for seven.

Yuvraj Singh"A lot depends on the youngsters bowling the last overs, I think they held their nerve nicely. They were feeling the pressure but they responded really well and executed the yorkers. When they wanted to bowl slower ones they did that," he said.

Dhoni said openers Gautam Gambhir and Ajinkya Rahane's 44-run opening stand had given the team a good foundation which ultimately proved vital.

"While batting we got off to a very good start from Gautam and Jinks [Rahane]. Overall it was a good competition between the two sides," he added.

Dhoni's counterpart, Mohammad Hafeez slammed his bowlers saying they were guilty of bowling short.

"When we were bowling, we didn't follow the basics, we bowled short of length," he said.

Hafeez, who was adjudged the man-of-the-series, admitted that the 97-run partnership between Yuvraj and Dhoni made all the difference.

Pakistan openers Nasir Jamshed (41) and Ahmed Shehzad (31) put on 74 runs from 59 balls for the opening wicket. Pakistan captain Hafeez said his team lost way after the good start as they struggled to get going between the seventh and tenth over against the Indian spinners.

"In the first six overs, we played very well but in the seventh-tenth over we didn't score as much as we should have. We wanted Umar Akmal to have more time in the middle but overall it was a good game."

Man-of-the-match Yuvraj Singh said the match-winning knock came as a sigh of relief for him as he was finding it difficult to middle the ball in the nets on the eve of the match.

"Yesterday, I was batting in the nets and I couldn't middle a single ball, so I was trying to spend time in the middle there," he said.

Photograph: BCCI