Younis inspires Pakistan to four-wicket win over India
by AFP

Ground:Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
Scorecard:India v Pakistan
Player:Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Shoaib Akhtar, G Gambhir, SR Tendulkar
Event:Pakistan in India 2007/08

DateLine: 8th November 2007


Younis Khan hit a blazing century as Pakistan scripted an unlikely four-wicket win against India in the second one-day international here on Thursday.


Younis anchored the Pakistani innings with a 117-run knock off 110 balls to help his side surpass India's total of 321-9 and register their most successful run chase ever in one-day internationals.


The thrilling win helped the visitors draw level 1-1 in the five-match series after India won the opener in Guwahati by five wickets.


Man-of-the-match Younis, dropped on 72, shared a crucial 102-run stand for the fifth wicket with Misbah-ul-Haq (49) before being dismissed in the 46th over.


He slammed nine fours and two sixes to overshadow the effort of Sachin Tendulkar, who hit a masterly 99 studded with 14 fours and a six to prop up the Indian innings.


A Pakistan victory looked in doubt after the dismissal of Younis but Shahid Afridi hit a quickfire 29 off 14 balls to seal the fate of the hosts.


"It was a real team effort. Younis, Misbah and Afridi batted really well under pressure," Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik said.


"We have gained a lot of encouragement from the win and our morale will be high as we go into the next match. The wicket was excellent, it was good for the batsmen and also had something for the bowlers."


Pakistan were off to a shaky start, losing opener Kamran Akmal to Rudra Pratap Singh in the sixth over and his in-form partner Salman Butt to Irfan Pathan.


Mohammad Yousuf (12) was stumped by Mahendra Singh Dhoni off Harbhajan Singh before Younis steadied the innings with his third one-day century.


"We could have bowled a bit better. We got a start with the ball but failed to capitalise on it," Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said.


Earlier, Tendulkar, 34, fell just one run short of his century.


It was also Tendulkar's fifth dismissal in the nervous 90s this season following scores of 99, 93, 99 and 94 on the tour of Ireland and England earlier this year.


Tendulkar, playing in his record 404th one-dayer, shared a 173-run stand with Gautam Gambhir, who hit seven fours in his 57-ball knock.


Both Tendulkar and Gambhir were dismissed by pacer Umar Gul (2-56) in the space of two overs to peg back the Indian innings after Dhoni had elected to bat on a sporting track.


Tendulkar, in the news recently for refusing India's Test captaincy, was caught behind the wicket by Akmal diving to his right.


The wayward Pakistani bowlers gave away a whopping 41 extras, including 31 wides. Shoaib Akhtar picked up 3-42 but mostly bowled from a shortened run-up and was sloppy in the field, raising doubts about his fitness.


Pakistan's previous best one-day run chase was 319-7, also against India, in Ahmedabad in 2005.


Following the match, both sides were fined for slow over-rates, the International Cricket Council said.


ICC match referee Roshan Mahanama imposed the fines after the teams were ruled to be one over short of their targets when time allowances were taken into consideration.


Both captains were fined 10 percent of their match fees while the players each received five per cent fines.

(Article: Copyright © 2007 AFP)


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