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Run Rain Continues As Pakistan Get On Level Terms

Nimish Dubey
(nimish@enableall.org)


Runs were once again seen in abundance as Pakistan and India played out another thriller in the second match of the one-day series at Rawalpindi. This time it was Pakistan's turn to come up trumps although the Indian team made a valiant attempt to get the 330 runs needed for victory. In many ways, this match was similar to the one at Karachi. The team batting first got a huge score although no one in it scored a century; the team batting second almost won the match thanks to a heroic century from its leading batsman (it was Inzamam at Karachi, Sachin at Rawalpindi).

'Thou shalt score at least 300 runs in a limited overs match' seems to be the rule being followed by both teams. If we thought that the run feast at Karachi was an aberration, Rawalpindi made us realise that colossal scores are going to be frequent in this series. Of course, spectators, batsmen and heart specialists will have no problems with this state of affairs, although one does feel for the poor bowlers.

Incidentally, did you know that India has never won consecutive matches in Pakistan? Whenever India has won a match in Pakistan, it has inevitably lost the next one. The trend continued in this match!

And before you go on to the scoreboard and highlights, here's something to chew on. Do you know who was India's most successful bowler in the recent VB Series in Australia? Well, it was Irfan Pathan whose aggregate of 16 wickets was the highest by any bowler in the series. One therefore wonders why Pathan has not played a single match in the ongoing series. He is fit and has been hailed by no less a person than Imran Khan as being one of the best young bowlers in the world today. Any idea why he is warming the dressing room seat instead of bowling out the Pakistanis? Share your thoughts with us at http://www.enableall.org/xbb_start.asp?Forumno=5&action=threadlist&chan=ENABDI or write in to nimish@enableall.org

 
The scoreboard:


Venue:
Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi

 
Toss:
Won by Pakistan, decided to bat.

 
Umpires:
Simon Taufel and Asad Rauf

 
Match Referee:
Ranjan Madugalle

 
Result:
Pakistan won by 12 runs.

 
Man of the Match:
Sachin Tendulkar

 
Series score:
India and Pakistan are level at 1-1.

 
Pakistan (329 for six wickets in 50 overs)

Y Hameed run out 86 (108)

(Played one to short third man, did not respond to Inzamam's call and was caught well short by Nehra's throw)

S Afridi b Y Singh 80(58)

(Swung wildly at a slow off-break, connected air!)

Y Youhana b Y Singh 24(26)

(Tried to flick an extremely slow delivery to mid-on, dragged it on)

Inzamam-ul-Haq b Nehra 29(34)

(Beaten by a quick yorker he attempted to play to third man)

Y Khan c Dravid b Nehra 28(28)

(Chased a delivery wide of the off stump, edged to 'keeper)

M Khan lbw b Nehra 0(1)

(Missed a ball that straightened after pitching on leg)

S Malik not out 30(28)

A Razzaq not out 31(18)

Did not bat: S Akhtar, M Sami, S Ahmed

Extras (6 leg byes, 14 wides, 1 no ball) 21

Fall of wickets: 1-138 (Afridi, 19 overs), 2-191 (Youhana, 29 overs), 3-225 (Hameed, 35 overs), 4-249 (Inzamam, 39.1 overs), 5-249 (M Khan, 39.2 overs), 6-284 (Y Khan, 45.5 overs)

Batting landmarks:

50 in 6.2 overs; 100 in 12.3 overs; 150 in 20.4 overs; 200 in 31.2 overs; 250 in 40 overs; 300 in 47.3 overs.

Bowling: (read figures as 'overs-maidens-runs-wickets')

L Balaji 6-0-47-0; Z Khan 7-0-72-0; A Nehra 10-0-44-3; V Sehwag 5-0-39-0; Y Singh 10-1-42-2; R Powar 6-0-35-0; S Tendulkar 6-0-45-0.

 
India (317 all out in 48.4 overs)

V Sehwag b Akhtar 26(21)

(Caught on the backfoot by a quick delivery after a few bouncers)

S Tendulkar c Razzaq b Malik 141 (135)

(Tried to hit a six over deep midwicket but Razzaq took a great catch)

VVS Laxman lbw b Sami 4(7)

(Caught on the crease by a quick delivery)

S Ganguly st M Khan b Afridi 15(38)

(Danced down the track, missed the ball, keeper almost messed it up)

R Dravid b Sami 36 (45)

(Tried to make way for a drive, played on)

Y Singh c S Ahmed b Afridi 19(20)

(Tried to clear the midwicket fence, was well caught by Shabbir)

M Kaif c Malik b Akhtar 7(9)

(Was fooled by a slower ball, ended up spooning the ball to backward point)

R Powar not out 18(11)

Z Khan lbw b Akhtar 0(1)

(Was caught on the crease by a very quick delivery)

L Balaji run out 14(10)

(Attempted a run to short midwicket, could not beat Youhana's throw)

A Nehra b Sami 0(1)

(Missed a quick yorker)

Extras (2 byes, 22 leg byes, 6 wides, 7 no-balls) 37

Fall of wickets: 1-56 (Sehwag, 8.1 overs), 2-71 (Laxman, 11.4 overs), 3-140 (Ganguly,23.5 overs), 4- 245(Tendulkar, 38.4 overs), 5- 260(Dravid, 41.5 overs), 6-282 (Y Singh, 44.5 overs), 7-284 (Kaif 45.3 overs), 8-284 (Khan, 45.4 overs), 9-314 (Balaji, 48.1)

Batting landmarks:

50 in 7.1 overs; 100 in 17.4 overs; 150 in 24.3 overs; 200 in 33.1 overs; 250 in 40 overs; 300 in 48.1 overs.

Bowling:(read figures as 'overs-maidens-runs-wickets')

S Akhtar 9-1-49-3; S Ahmed 9-0-65-0; M Sami 9.4-1-41-3; S Malik 10-0-59-1; S Afridi 8-0-57-2; A Razzaq 3-0-22-0

 
Highlights: Pakistan innings

* Inzamam won the toss again and this time decided not to tread the path of Indo-Pak friendship and cricketing lunacy. He elected to bat.

* Both teams made exactly the changes predicted by us in the preview! Shahid Afridi and Shabbir Ahmed came in for Imran Farhat and Naved-ul-Hassan while India brought in Ramesh Powar and VVS Laxman for Murali Kartik and Hemang Badani. This is Ramesh Powar's ODI debut and also Afridi's first match since India played Pakistan. I am meanwhile considering taking up a career as a fortune-teller!

* Shahid Afridi's batting today made one understand why the Pakistan selectors were furious at his exclusion from the opening match. Playing his first match in more than a year, Afridi tore the heart out of the Indian bowlers, scoring 80 off a mere 58 deliveries, smashing ten fours and four sixes, and giving Pakistan a perfect start.

* Ramesh Powar must have been wondering why he had been included in the team. Believed to be the fourth specialist bowler in the Indian team, he did not get a chance to bowl until the 22nd over and was the sixth bowler to be used.

* Yasir Hameed would love to carry the Rawalpindi pitch around with him. He got 126 on it against New Zealand last year and got 86 today. Of course, Inzamam will want the pitch as well - he averages around 60 at Rawalpindi!

* Yuvraj Singh was easily India's best bowler today, finishing with figures of 10-1-42-2 when most of his colleagues were being belted all over the ground. Quite surprisingly, Yuvraj was not given a single over in the opening match at Karachi. In fact, this is the first time Yuvraj has bowled in his last eleven matches. The last time he bowled was against New Zealand at Hyderabad last year!

* I wonder what Tendulkar had on his hands today. He twice missed run out opportunities because he failed to catch simple throws at the bowler's end!

* This is the third consecutive match in which India have conceded more than 300 runs. They conceded 359 against Australia in the second final of the VB series, 344 against Pakistan at Karachi and 3 today. Quite amazingly,

* Pakistan's score is the highest score ever made at Rawalpindi.

  
Highlights: Indian innings

* The Indian openers got a nasty shock when the pitch began showing signs of breaking up in the very first over of the innings, with puffs of dust rising when the ball hit the pitch.

* Pakistan are reputed to have one of the best bowling attacks in the world but their captain Inzamam-ul-Haq does not seem to have too much confidence in his bowlers. How else can one explain the fact that the Pakistan captain set defensive fields and even removed the slip fielders by the sixth over, even while defending a massive 329!

* Sourav Ganguly seems to have a whole assortment of shirts with different numbers on them. He fielded with number 24 on his shirt but wore number 99 when he came out to bat.

* Sachin Tendulkar became the first Indian to score an ODI century in Pakistan. It is also the 37th time Tendulkar has scored an ODI century. That is a staggering 15 more than the next batsman with the most centuries - his captain Sourav Ganguly who has 22.

* Sachin Tendulkar completed 13000 runs in ODIs during his innings today. Needless to say, no other batsman is even remotely close to that figure!

* If you think that you have heard it all about Tendulkar, think again. This was his highest ODI score against Pakistan. It also equalled the highest score made by any Indian in an ODI against Pakistan. This man has more records than a music store!

 
Turning point of the match:

Pakistan's gamble to play Shahid Afridi and open the batting with him had a decisive bearing on the match. Although lamentably out of form before this match (he had last scored a fifty in 2002), Afridi found his touch and Pakistan were off to a flyer. After that, India were always playing catch-up! As if that were not enough he took crucial wickets and saved quite a few runs in the field.

 
Our men of the match: (yes, two again)

Shahid Afridi's batting today made one understand why the Pakistan selectors were furious at his exclusion from the opening match. Playing his first match in more than a year, Afridi tore the heart out of the Indian bowlers, scoring 80 off a mere 58 deliveries, smashing ten fours and four sixes, putting India on the backfoot straight away. As if that were not enough, he then dismissed Indian captain Sourav Ganguly in his opening spell and then came back in the 45th over to dismiss the dangerous-looking Yuvraj. One could not have asked for more.

If the first game was about Inzamam's majesty at the crease, this one was about Tendulkar's power-packed 141. The man with more runs than anyone in ODIs has often been accused of going missing on big occasions but he sure was in no mood to miss out today. He produced a beautifully paced innings, beginning steadily and then accelerating rapidly. It was his dismissal that effectively ended India's chances of seizing an unlikely win. Nevertheless, after the bitterness of defeat fades away, he will have fond memories of this innings.

  
Lighter moments of the match:

* Laxmipathy Balaji may be a fine young cricketer but he seemed to be in a world of his own during the sixth over of the innings. Even as Zaheer Khan and Sourav Ganguly hollered at him to change his fielding position, Balaji seemed wrapped up in his own thoughts. Nearly a minute was lost before Balaji noticed that his captain was speaking to him and was not sounding too pleased about it either. In his haste to make up for lost time, the Indian pace bowler actually moved to a wrong fielding position before finally going where Ganguly wanted him to be. The batsmen giggled their heads off but Ganguly's expression could have boiled eggs in seconds!

* Hemang Badani should be nominated for the craziest throw of the series. He came on as a substitute for Ashish Nehra in the 47th over and almost immediately came into play as Razzaq turned a ball to him at square leg. What followed was eccentricity at its best as Badani's throw went neither to the bowler or the wicket-keeper but headed to widish mid-on! Razzaq grinned all the way for an extra run while the bowler, Sachin Tendulkar, was busy tearing his hair out in frustration.

It is the most intense and bitter rivalry in cricket and one about which almost everyone has an opinion. Get your point of view online and join what promises to be a great debate at our discussion board: Discussion Forum

 

 


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