India successfully sealed the 5-match Indian Oil Cup ODI series with an emphatic 6-wicket victory over Pakistan in the 4th ODI played at Captain Roop Singh Stadium, Gwalior on Thursday, 15th November, 2007. Pakistan began the day with a poor decision to bat first after winning the toss which proved to be a miscalculation in the final assessment costing Pakistan nothing less than the Indian Oil Cup. Looking to set an imposing target, Pakistan was off to an unfortunate start with opener Salman Butt finding his way back to the pavilion on the very second ball of the innings. Shoaib Malik and Younis Khan took the task upon themselves and stabilized the innings with a steadily built 78-run partnership before Shoaib Malik was done in by an excellent inswinger from Zaheer Khan in the 20th over.
In came Mohammad Yousuf and both the batsmen seemed to grow ever more comfortable on the crease and India was starting to feel the heat. At this crucial juncture, Yuvraj caught and bowled Younis Khan to find an all-important breakthrough which virtually rejuvenated the Indian side. With Afridi on the crease, Indian skipper put on his thinking cap and chose to send in Ganguly with the ball and the decision paid off with rich dividends. Ganguly deceived Afridi with a length delivery which hit him on the pad in front of the off stump and up went the finger to the joy of Indian cricket fans. Mohammad Yousuf seemed like the only semblance of stability on the crease who found some intelligent support from Misbah-ul-Haq at the other end. The two shared a 94-run partnership for the 5th wicket to help post a defendable score for Pakistan. In the 48th over, Misbah misread a slower one by Pathan and was bowled out with a brilliant 40-run knock to his credit. Sohail Tanvir and Kamran Akmal could not do much for their side and it was the lone effort of Mohammad Yousuf who remained unbeaten at 99 to keep Pakistan in with a chance to make a comeback in the series.
Indian innings started off in no better way than Pakistan as Ganguly edged Shoaib Akhtar early in the innings only to be caught at the second slip. But with Tendulkar on a song, advantage always lay with India no matter what the situation. Soon, Pakistan found its second breakthrough in the form of Gambhir who departed without contributing much to the Indian cause. Contrary to Pakistan's expectations, instead of giving in to the pressure Tendulkar seemed to strike his subtle best in quite a while with a somewhat jittery Sehwag at the other end but it was not for long before he too joined the party and Pakistan seemed to be in deep trouble. India was cruising to a series victory with the infamously elusive 42nd century well in sight for Tendulkar when Sehwag fell a victim to an excellent run-out effort by Shoaib Malik. Tendulkar had also survived a close run-out call only a few balls earlier, however, he remained largely immune to these ominous indications before the 90s jinx came into play yet again and he was unbelievably bowled in at 97 by Umar Gul. With Indian scorecard reading 159 for 4 wickets, Pakistan was apparently back in the game but the deadly duo of Yuvraj and Dhoni made it sure that nothing goes wrong for the Indian side. Rotating the strike with a hint of caution, the duo started frustrating Pakistan's efforts to make further inroads in the Indian batting line-up. As the final overs inched closer and Indian camp sensed victory, Yuvraj and Dhoni opened up their arms to hit a few boundaries before Dhoni sealed the match with a lofty six with 21 balls to spare in the innings and one match to spare in the series. The victory not only won Team India the Indian Oil Cup but effectively stamped their cricketing superiority against the subcontinental arch-rivals. Despite India having already won the series, the last match to be played at Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Sunday could be as dramatic as one might imagine because it is the unexpected to be expected in the India-Pakistan game of cricket.
Last Updated on 24 August 2012