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March 30, 2005
Pakistanis 190 for 2 (Shoaib Malik 81*, Salman Butt 70) beat India A 189 for 7 (Raina 55) by eight wickets
Flushed with confidence after their series-equalling heroics at Bangalore this week, Pakistan launched the one-day leg of their tour of India with similar panache, as they swept to a facile eight-wicket victory over India A at Hyderabad. After winning the toss and bowling first, the Pakistanis were always in command, and eventually wrapped up victory with four overs to spare.
Pakistan's bowling performance was tight and disciplined, and exemplified by Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, who plucked out both openers in a strangulating first spell. Suresh Raina, the Indian Under-19 batsman, fought back with a brisk 55 from 65 balls, but none of his colleagues could convert their starts, as Pakistan chipped away all down the order.
Needing a stately 190 from their 45 overs, the Pakistanis had no need for a helter-skelter opening to their innings, and had added 47 for the first wicket when Mohammad Hafeez was run out for 16. If India A thought that would be a turning point for their fortunes, however, they were sorely mistaken. Out to the wicket strode Shoaib Malik, with a point or two to prove after his omission from the Test series, and with Salman Butt dropping anchor, he proceeded to lay waste to the bowling.
In all, Shoaib struck four fours and four sixes in an unbeaten 81 from 78 balls, and the pair had added 137 for the second wicket when Salman was bowled by Ranadeb Bose with just six runs needed for victory. A quick single from Abdul Razzaq and a lofted legside four from Shoaib levelled the scores, however, before Shoaib strolled the winning runs to ensure that Pakistan enter the first one-day international at Cochin on Saturday brimful of confidence.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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