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December 29, 2012
Mohammad Hafeez, the Pakistan Twenty20 captain, has said the 97-run partnership between Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni was turning point of the match, but also pointed to other significant moments where the visitors came out second best. "Although they went off to a promising start, we were hopeful of restricting them to 160-170… But Yuvraj was exceptional today. The way he batted was outstanding. He also struck a good partnership with Dhoni. We were not expecting the partnership to go that further," Hafeez said.
Yuvraj and Dhoni added 97 in just 44 balls to propel India to 192. Pakistan began promisingly in the chase but an 18-ball spell from India's spinners between overs seven and 10, during which only 16 runs were scored, increased the required-rate significantly. "It was a very small period in the match where we got stuck… Ravichandran Ashwin and Suresh Raina didn't give the batsmen any space to hit. It really did affect our run chase later in the match."
Ashok Dinda bowled an excellent second spell towards the death, picking up three wickets and containing Pakistan at a time when they had wickets in hand and were pushing for a win. "Their bowlers didn't perform well in the last couple of matches. But they did the basics right and were on target today," Hafeez said. "Dinda was good in the last two overs… He bowled perfect yorkers and it was difficult to hit him. In the penultimate over of our innings, he got the vital wickets of Kamran and mine. If either of us had scored a boundary, then it would have eased the pressure. Unfortunately, it didn't happen."
Yuvraj smashed seven sixes in his 72 off 36 balls. "It is just that in T20, you get less time to get set and you have straightaway start hitting the balls," Yuvraj said. "That is why batting averages aren't high and you don't get time to set in and hit those balls. But today, I got to bat in seventh over and got three to four overs to get set and that really made the difference."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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