India v Pakistan, 2nd T20, Ahmedabad December 28, 2012

Yuvraj and Dinda take India to series-levelling win


India 192 for 5 (Yuvraj 72, Dhoni 33*, Gul 4-37) beat Pakistan 181 for 7 (Hafeez 55, Jamshed 41, Dinda 3-36) by 11 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

India overcame a Mohammad Hafeez masterclass to win by 11 runs and level the two-match series. His wristwork and effortless clearing of the ropes would have inspired admiration from those he tormented today. But Ashok Dinda bowled an excellent second spell at a time when Pakistan, led by Hafeez, were on track to chase down 193, a target set up by a dominating innings by Yuvraj Singh, who treated a packed house in Ahmedabad to an airshow that included seven sixes.

Dinda was at the receiving end of a last-ball six that sealed victory for England in their T20 against India less than a week ago, but he came back well despite being put under pressure early in each of his two spells. He conceded 13 in his first over, during a promising opening stand of 74 between Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad, and was struck for two consecutive fours by Mohammad Hafeez in the 15th over that began with Pakistan needing 68 to win off 36 balls.

The conditions in Ahmedabad were pitted against the seamers, with no movement on offer and thereby forcing them to rely on variations to contain the batsmen. Dinda not only did that, he was largely accurate and picked up three wickets, including Hafeez, in a three over spell that yielded 23 when Pakistan still had wickets in hand and the target appeared within reach. A slower ball that bowled Umar Akmal ended a 62-run stand with Hafeez that had given Pakistan the edge in the chase, and Dinda got Hafeez and Kamran Akmal to hole out in the penultimate over at the start of which Pakistan required 26.

India's spinners, R Ashwin, part-timer Suresh Raina and Yuvraj, slowed down Pakistan's openers between overs six to 11, resulting in their wickets at the cost of just two boundaries. The required rate had climbed to more than 12 in the 12th over, when Hafeez began his charge with a scoop for four that highlighted the feature of his innings, swift but skilful and interspersed with some wonderful touch-play, but little brute force.

Hafeez deftly guided Yuvraj past point, then proceeded to dispatch Ashwin for two straight sixes over midwicket before driving and paddling Dinda for two consecutive boundaries, all in successive overs. A flat six over extra cover off Ishant Sharma showed the confidence he was playing with, but Dinda's comeback was vital in preventing Pakistan from pushing on. Two wickets in the penultimate over brought the equation to 20 required off the last, too much for Umar Gul and Shoaib Malik against Ishant.

India's middle order played a prominent role in the win, after having squandered an excellent foundation laid by openers Gautam Gambhir and Ajinkya Rahane in the opening encounter in Bangalore. The openers did their job again, and Yuvraj and MS Dhoni, in a stand of 97 off 44 balls, ensured their work wasn't laid to waste.

Yuvraj , who was struck a painful blow to the toe off a Mohammad Irfan yorker early in his innings, recovered well and seemed to be in his element, striking the ball cleanly, with a lovely flourish. Afridi and Saeed Ajmal were deposited towards cow corner, and two successive short balls were pulled over the square-leg boundary. Ajmal was targeted in the penultimate over, as Yuvraj took him for three consecutive sixes, the last of them smacked over long-on.

The last five overs yielded 74 and though Dhoni played the supporting role, he wasn't left far behind. He ran well between wickets, and pulled and drove Umar Gul for two straight fours. Though Gul picked up four wickets, accounting for India's openers and the pair that took them towards 192, he was short of support from the rest of his attack and bowled a no-ball in the final over that yielded a boundary off the free-hit. Tanvir, Ajmal and Afridi each went for over 10 an over, leaving their batsmen too much to compensate for.

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • abdul on December 30, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    @g.narsima pluming india is always a pleasure ask any pakistani, as far as irfan is concerned he is ok i think pak should work with him and try to retain him for next couple of years till Mohammad Aamir is back watching pakistan's opening attack reminded me of the sultan's of swing that we used to have

  • narsimha on December 30, 2012, 5:20 GMT

    WICKYROYPAKLOVER-ROAD TYPE PITCHES - is it pak played on deferent pitch pl dont claim like our SL brothers that u r team too only plays on fast tracks- at present no deneing that we are at low on confident , internal tussel, wrong selections , u r PEOPLE STRARVED of positive in all folds of u r life so smallest things like a win gives u so much pleasure , at the same time i dont have any reservations in admitting u r team really deserved to win this match the way they batted.better luck next time i dont have much faith non our team inodis al;so.

  • Bhran on December 30, 2012, 3:02 GMT

    @mtalhas : You are not kidding right ?? Non of the subcontinent teams have these so called sportsman spirit., Have you seen Asian cup and T20 in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka., Pak may consider UAE as their home ground but it is not. Stop preaching to us

  • Sanjay on December 30, 2012, 1:38 GMT

    @ brusselslion Please find out how many people are interested in TEST CRICKET-just check the crowd numbers or TV ratings of a Test match all over the cricket world. Then check the worldwide interest in the 20/20- Rocket science will be easy!

  • Ashok on December 30, 2012, 0:16 GMT

    @haq33: Admittedly Indian bowlers are poor compared to Pakistani ones. But in T20 format, you get batsmen out in whatever manner you can. Most of the times the batsmen get out while hitting out. If a bowler can get a wkt. via this process by having fielders in the right spot, it does not matter what sort of ball it is. Dinda managed to get via this process but also bowled tight Yorkers difficult to put away. He got both Hafeez & Akmal which sent Pakistan from a strong position to losing one. Please also note that Yuvraj got out caught on the fence to a ball which was going for a Six - if there was no fielder in place there. So an OUT is out, no matter how the bowler gets him. T29 is lottery type of format. On a good day, a batsman can light up the board or get out for duck if he is unlucky. The same applies to the bowlers too. ODI is a much better format to show one's skills in Cricket.

  • M on December 29, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    Someone claimed there is no such thing as scoreboard pressure and dinda's bowling was genuinely special... Look...let me make it simple. I appreciate that Indians are desperate for a star bowler but dinda is not that man. Yes his previous tight balls were good but not good enough to take wickets. The later ones that DID take wickets (2 of the outfield caughts) were ALSO not good enough to take wickets but the batsmen had to hit out. That is scoreboard pressure, not great bowling. We would have seen lbw or bowled for all of his wickets if he was really good. Or he cud have induced a shot to create a catch through an extra yard of pace surprising the batsmen but again that is not what actually happened in this case. The score was just too high to chase and some poor discipline by pak bowlers and fielders allowed the extra runs while a few batting hesitations at crucial points also helped India. Looking forward to the odi series.

  • Dummy4 on December 29, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    The English/Australians are really fixated with their test match success and why not!!! But you guys just have to let the others be... If india is thrilled to be winning T20s... so be it... If you think that India is living in some fancy world... so be it...

    Good for you guys... no one to challenge your test supremacy. Gloat while it lasts... cos some one is coming to displace you.

  • Dummy4 on December 29, 2012, 17:41 GMT

    Congratulations to India and well played Yuvraj. I think it's suffice to say that clean hitting of Yuvi saw India home with assistance from Dinda. Pakistan should take some positive from the game that they nearly chase down mammoth score of 192. End result may be loss for Pakistan but a great show of effort from a side not know for their batting. On the other hand, some critical thinking time for Indian think tank on the bowling end where they nearly blew a sure win. At the end, well played both teams.

  • Dummy4 on December 29, 2012, 16:58 GMT

    Excellent match by two asian powerhouses . I am pakistani fan but i really enjoyed the class batting of yuraj who alongwith dhoni made a match winning partnership .The other highlight was bowling of irfan what a class act he is appearing to be .He will really test the quality of all test nations if he was fit enough to play for 5 or 6 years .Overall india pakistan matches are must for the quality of cricket .India srilanka or Pak BD series cant come closer to Pak Ind clashes . Eagerly waiting to see test series between arch rivals.

  • romi on December 29, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    pathetic team selection from pakistan. Junaid khan the promising fast bowler was sat out for the worse bowler in the team i.e sohail tanvir. what he has done that he is over junaid. look out the result. he was so expensive and neither done well in previous match. and plz no more afridi. i like his bating but he is completely out of form with bat and bowl. so he needs a break. now try haris sohail for odi and give him fair chance. hope he comes good for pak. I stil think junaid is the best bowler in this pakistan bowling line up. umar akmal needs some break. he played lot of cricket so give his some rest and let him work on his temprement. he has all the talent but temprement is worse. drop him for few series. hop he get his confidence back. best of luck for odi...