Apr 252013

India claim the upper hand

Yuvraj: Top-scored for India

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India beat Pakistan by 46 runs in the third one-day international in Kanpur to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

Pakistan fell well short of their victory target despite a brilliant 129 from opener Salman Butt.

India reached 294-6 from their 50 overs, with Yuvraj Singh top-scoring with 77 while all eight batsmen reached double figures.

Pakistan’s batting was more erratic and their hopes of success ended when Butt was trapped lbw by Harbhajan Singh after an impressive 142-ball innings.

The tourists eventually crumbled to 248 all out, with RP Singh’s three wickets proving crucial.

An 80-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Butt and Misbah-ul-Haq briefly threatened to get Pakistan back into the match.


But, either side of that stand, Butt’s partners came and went far too frequently to allow Geoff Lawson’s team to build the necessary momentum.

Shahid Afridi was the first to go – bowled between bat and pad by Irfan Pathan for 12 in the fourth over.

Younus Khan made 21 before being bowled by RP Singh, caught in two minds and offering no shot when faced with a relatively straightforward delivery.

Mohammad Yousuf was just getting into his stride when, on 16, he was run out attempting a quick single by a superb direct hit to the bowler’s end from Yuvraj Singh.

Yuvraj then trapped Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik lbw playing forward for 12 to leave Pakistan struggling on 134 for four.

Misbah helped Butt keep things ticking along for a while before being bowled on 38 by left-armer Murali Kartik, who got the ball to turn off the rough area as Misbah was attempting to guide to third man for a single.

Kamran Akmal made just two before offering a comfortable catch to Harbhajan at long-on off the bowling of RP Singh, and Sohail Tanvir failed to trouble the scorers before being run out in bizarre circumstances when both he and Butt found themselves stranded at the bowler’s end.

Tail failure

The Pakistan tail failed to wag with Abdur Rehman the eighth to fall when he was beaten by the pace of RP Singh and bowled for two.

Butt’s excellent innings – his fourth ODI century coming in 188 balls and including 14 fours – was then brought to an end attempting a reverse sweep to Harbhajan.

Shoaib Akhtar was the last man out for one when he was caught at extra cover by substitute Rohit Sharma off the bowling of Zaheer Khan, leaving Pakistan all out well short of their target.

Man-of-the-match Yuvraj was the star of the India innings with a superb 77 as he shared a brilliant fourth-wicket partnership of 100 with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who made 49 from 52 balls.

Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar gave the hosts a solid start, putting on 68 for the first wicket before the latter offered an outside edge to Akmal off the bowling of Tanvir for 29 in the 11th over.

Ganguly – who was dropped by Akmal before getting off the mark – soon followed his opening partner back to the pavilion, bowled between bat and pad by Tanvir for 39.

Gautam Gambhir added 25 to the total before being bowled off an inside edge by Rehman.

Gambhir’s dismissal saw Dhoni join Yuvraj in the middle and the pair took the hosts from 129 for three to 229 for four.

Dhoni was the first to perish, bowled off an inside edge by Shoaib Akhtar just one run short of his half-century and soon afterwards Yuvraj – who had been dropped on 26 by Butt – holed out to Misbah at deep mid-wicket.

Robin Uthappa hit 19 from 17 balls before being bowled by Umar Gul, with Irfan (17) and Harbhajan (10) unbeaten at the end of 50 overs.

The fourth match of the five-day series takes place in Gwalior on Thursday.

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