It was a pitched battle between team effort and individual brilliancy in the 3rd tie of the ongoing ODI series, which saw the balance sharply tilted in favor of the former to score a comfortable 46-run Indian win against Pakistan at Green Park Stadium in Kanpur on Sunday, 11th November, 2007. In their consecutive run-chase against India, Pakistan at times seemed in with a chance to overshadow the Indian score of 294, with some glimmering strokeplay from Salman Butt, if only he could get some steady support from the other end.
The glare of Butt's commendable 129 run-effort off 142 balls, however, failed to blind out Indian bowlers from finding their way and Pak biggies had to depart with unworthy contributions to their credit. Apart from Butt, Misbah was the only exception, who came in handy with a gutsy 38-run knock off 47 balls but the effort, in combination with a dazzling century effort by Salman Butt proved only too insufficient to reach the goal.
Shahid Afridi proved to be a disastrous choice for opening Pakistan's innings as he failed to channelize his aggression for the good of his side and was done in by a brilliant inswinger from Pathan. What followed was simply an avalanche of wickets in the waiting, brought to life with the help of a directionless batting strategy of Pakistan. By the end, Pakistan was all out for 248 runs in 47.2 overs and lost the crucial tie to India by 46 runs placing Pakistan 2-1 down in the 5-match ODI series.
Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and took its seemingly well-thought gamble based on a pre-match assessment of the pitch behavior and possibly a successful 300-plus chase in the last match against India at the back of its mind. But things misfired for Pakistan from the very beginning as most of the Indian batsmen made their contributions count by building up effective partnerships just in time. With an opening stand of 68 runs, India seemed well poised for another run-feast before a couple of wickets fell and suddenly the scoreboard read 129 runs for 3 wickets which read like an omnious sign for things to come.
At the moment,however, in came Indian skipper Dhoni, with Yuvraj on the other end, and just let the natural flow of things take over. The aggressive duo built up a century partnership at unbelievable pace before Uthappa and Pathan chipped in with their small but significant contributions at the end. Yuvraj made the highest contribution of 77 runs off just 95 balls which proved more than enough to nail Pakistan for a series lead of 2-1 with two matches remaining.
Last Updated on 24 August 2012