Home Sports Yuvraj, R.P. Singh propel India to win Kanpur ODI

Yuvraj, R.P. Singh propel India to win Kanpur ODI

By Qaiser Mohammad Ali, IANS

Kanpur : Yuvraj Singh scored a responsible half-century and speedster Rudra Pratap Singh took three wickets to steer India to lead-snatching 46-run win over Pakistan here Sunday. India now lead 2-1 in the five-match series against the guests.

In superb form these days, Yuvraj smashed a strokeful 77 runs (95 balls, 4x4s, 3x6s) and later Singh grabbed three wickets for 62 runs as India won with 2.4 overs to spare in the Green Park Stadium packed with over 40,000 spectators.

After India registered 294 for six wickets in 50 overs – captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni chipped in with 49 runs (52 balls, 4x4s, 2x6s) – the home bowling attack dismissed Pakistan for 248 in 47.2 overs to take the crucial lead with two matches to go. Yuvraj bagged the man of the match award.

Pakistan’s defeat meant that in-form left-handed opener Salman Butt’s fourth career century (129, 142 balls, 17x4s) went waste. All four have come against India. Misbah-ul-Haq’s fine 38 (47 balls, 2x4s) also didn’t help them pass the target, which proved mammoth.

Among those who chipped in with useful scores for India were Sourav Ganguly (39, 46 balls, 4x4s, 1×6) and Sachin Tendulkar (29, 27 balls, 5x4s).

India had won the first match in Guwahati and Pakistan came back to level the series in Mohali Nov 8.

The next match will be played in Gwalior Thursday.

Pakistan skipper Shoaib Mailk’s happiness at winning the toss would have been prolonged had wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal caught left-handed Sourav Ganguly off the very first ball of the match.

As Shoaib Akhtar raised his arm in jubilation the fast bowler realised that Kamran, despite diving full stretch on his left, had failed to hold on to the ball.

Sachin Tendulkar, the other opener, got over the initial nerves with two successive fours off pacer Umar Gul. In the next over, Ganguly also released the pressure by cutting Shoaib for a boundary and later smashed Gul for a six over long off.

The two batsmen added 68 runs for the opening wicket before the partnership was broken when left-arm pacer Sohail Tanvir induced an edge from Tendulkar to Akmal.

This eventually turned out to be the second highest stand of the innings. It was also the 44th time Tendulkar and Ganguly were involved in a 50-plus partnership for the first wicket, bettering Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist’s record of 43.

The partnership between Dhoni and Yuvraj of 100 runs for the fourth wicket at a rate of 6.5 per over played a key role for India to get near the 300-run mark.

Yuvraj, who has been in tremendous touch lately, played his strokes with gay abandon on both sides of the pitch. Since the second match against England his sequence of ODI scores has been: 49, 45, 71, 72, 18, 28, did not bat, 10, 121, 39, 1, 6, 15, 58, 34 and now 77.

Yuvraj’s batting flowered in the company of Dhoni, though the left-hander got a life at 26 when Butt dropped him at mid-wicket off Shoaib Malik.

Yuvraj recovered soon to hit Shahid Afridi for a boundary and six off successive balls.

Another feature of the Dhoni-Yuvraj partnership was that they rotated the strike with ease, a proof of two batsmen who understand each other well.

Shoaib Akhtar returned for another spell and struck with the first ball, which was a well disguised slower one and Dhoni only managed to chop the ball on to wickets.

Yuvraj was also involved in the only other partnership of note. He and Gautam Gambhir (25, 49 balls, 1×4) added 47 runs for the third wicket, before Dhoni joined Yuvraj.

Tanvir was the best bowler for Pakistan as he took two for 26. Although left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman also took two wickets, these cost him 58 runs.

In reply, Pakistan did not have a sound start as Shahid Afridi, who was sent as an opener, departed cheaply while trying to hit every ball out of the ground.

Butt stayed put and played a gem of an innings. The left-hander from Lahore, after being dropped by substitute Virender Sehwag on 66, played some pleasing drives and strung the innings together, though except for Misbah-ul-Haq no one else gave him long enough company.

Butt and Misbah were involved in an 80-run partnership for the fifth wicket – the highest of the innings.

R.P. Singh, playing the first international match in his home state Uttar Pradesh, was the pick of the bowlers. The Barabanki-born bowler, who opened the bowling attack with Irfan Pathan, bowled a fine line and teased and beat the batsmen with his impeccable line and length. He finished with three wickets, including that of Younis Khan (21), the other batsman in form.

Of the seven bowlers pressed into service, only Tendulkar went without wicket while the others took one wicket apiece.


Third One-Day International, India vs. Pakistan, Green Park Stadium, Kanpur

Sourav Ganguly b Tanvir 39
Sachin Tendulkar c Akmal b Tanvir 29
Gautam Gambhir b Rehman 25
Yuvraj Singh c Misbah b Rehman 77
Mahendra Singh Dhoni b Akhtar 49
Robin Uthappa b Gul 19
Irfan Pathan not out 17
Harbhajan Singh not out 10
Extras: (byes 6, leg byes 3, wides 17, no balls 3) 29
Total: (for six wickets in 50 overs) 294

Fall of wickets: 1-68 (Tendulkar, 10.4 overs), 2-82 (Ganguly, 14.1), 3-129 (Gambhir, 27.6), 4-229 (Dhoni, 43.1), 5-260 (Yuvraj, 46.3), 6-265 (Uthappa, 47.2)

Shoaib Akhtar 10 1 40 1 (2nb, 4w)
Umar Gul 10 0 70 1 (1nb, 2w)
Sohail Tanvir 10 1 26 2 (1w)
Shahid Afridi 7 0 57 0 (2w)
Shoaib Malik 6 1 34 0 (2w)
Abdur Rehman 7 0 58 2 (2w)

Salman Butt lbw b Harbhajan 129
Shahid Afridi b Pathan 12
Younis Khan b R.P. Singh 21
Mohammad Yousuf run out (Yuvraj) 16
Shoaib Malik lbw b Yuvraj Singh 12
Misbah-ul-Haq b Karthik 38
Kamran Akmal c Harbhajan b R.P. Singh 2
Sohail Tanvir run out (R.P. Singh/Dhoni) 0
Abdur Rehman b R.P. Singh 2
Shoaib Akhtar c sub (Rohit Sharma) b Khan
Umar Gul not out 2
Extras: (lb 1, w 12) 13
Total: (all out in 47.2 overs) 248

Fall of wickets: 1-27 (Afridi, 3.2 overs), 2-72 (Younis, 8.6), 3-104 (Yousuf, 17.4), 4-134 (Malik, 27.3), 5-214 (Misbah-ul-Haq, 41.6), 6-226 (Akmal, 43.4), 7-231 (Tanvir, 43.6), 8-244 (Rehman, 45.6), 9-246 (Butt, 46.5)

Rudra Pratap Singh 8 1 62 3 (1w)
Irfan Pathan 10 0 61 1 (1w)
Zaheer Khan 7.2 2 25 1 (1w)
Harbhajan Singh 10 0 32 1 (3w)
Murali Kartik 6 0 38 1 (1w)
Yuvraj Singh 5 0 18 1 (1w)
Sachin Tendulkar 1 0 11 0

Result: India won by 46 runs
Man of the Match: Yuvraj Singh
Umpires: Ian Gould (England) and Amiesh Saheba (India)
TV umpire: Suresh Shastri (India)
Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (Sri Lanka)