India v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Chennai December 30, 2012

Junaid, Jamshed set up Pakistan win


Pakistan 228 for 4 (Jamshed 101*, Younis 58) beat India 227 for 6 (Dhoni 113*, Raina 43, Junaid 4-43) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Fortunes swung in an absorbing opening one-dayer, but it was Pakistan who held their nerve to record a six-wicket win and go one-up in Chennai. Junaid Khan had India reeling with a remarkable spell of swing bowling, MS Dhoni bailed India out with a tenacious, unbeaten century but the target of 228 wasn't enough to test Pakistan. Nasir Jamshed played a composed, yet chancy century, but nevertheless took the responsibility of finishing the job he had started.

The difference was in the way the teams batted against the new ball. India were put in and ended up losing five for 29 by the tenth over. Dhoni toiled masterfully, fighting off cramps to take India to a respectable total, but not quite a winning one. Pakistan too looked shaky when they came out against the moving ball, but ensured they didn't lose wickets in a clump early, unlike India.

The morning had ingredients you wouldn't normally associate with one-day cricket in India - morning start, overcast conditions, a green pitch, moisture. The left-arm seam duo of Junaid and Mohammad Irfan hit the timber with such regularity that they might well have come out wielding axes rather than cricket balls. Reputations counted for nothing as India's top order was exposed for their lack of technique against the moving ball against two seamers with a combined experience of 15 ODIs.

Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh were all bowled, playing down the wrong line to full, swinging deliveries. Dhoni and Suresh Raina came together at 29 for 5 and focused on picking up singles rather than counterattacking their way to a recovery.

The innings could have finished earlier had Misbah not put down Dhoni at midwicket on 16. The drop was to cost Pakistan 97 runs. The boundaries had dried up during an attritional phase in which only two boundaries were scored in the space of nearly 30 overs.

Dhoni's innings was of two contrasting parts. He nudged and poked his way to 50 off 86 balls, hitting just two boundaries and a six. The plan was to delay the slog till the final block of ten overs. His next 63 came off just 39 balls. As the innings closed, Dhoni could barely stand. In a bid to conserve energy, Dhoni focused on hitting out and it was a blessing in disguise for India as he regularly found the gaps, helping India ransack an unlikely 81 off the last 10 overs.

Dhoni bashed the free hit off Junaid over wide long-on for the first six of the innings, launched Ajmal out of the ground over long-on and brought up his century with a six over extra cover. His stand of 125 with Ashwin was India's highest for the seventh wicket. Dhoni's march towards his century featured an array of shots on both sides of the wicket, including the helicopter shot, the pull and the squirt past gully.

India held control at the start of the innings when Mohammad Hafeez misjudged a viscious inswinger and lost his off stump, giving Bhuvneshwar Kumar a wicket off his first ball in ODIs. Bhuvneshwar dismissed a shaky Azhar Ali cheaply to reduce Pakistan to 21 for 2 after 10.2 overs. Thereafter, the initiative slipped from India due to a combination of bad luck and poor fielding.

Jamshed was let off thrice in his innings, on 7, 24 and 68. He first set off for a single that should never have happened, scampered back but there was nobody to back Bhuvneshwar's throw. He was then let off by the umpire, who failed to spot an inside edge to the pads on its way to slip. Later, Yuvraj spilled a sitter at point at a time when India were desperate for a wicket.

In between, Jamshed impressed with his temperament and it helped that he had the experienced Younis Khan to guide him. The pair focused on preserving wickets, preferring to keep with the asking rate rather than exceed it. Younis didn't allow the spinners to settle, picking Yuvraj for boundaries through the on side. Yuvraj was India's best spinner in the T20s, but he wasn't as effective today. Raina leaked two sixes in an over, thereby forcing Dhoni to look at other options.

Ashok Dinda broke the stand when he had Younis chipping a low catch to Ashwin at midwicket, and he ought to have had Jamshed as well, had Yuvraj hung on at point. As Jamshed began to tire, Misbah and Shoaib Malik scored boundaries to take Pakistan closer. Jamshed reached his century with a pull, drawing comparisons with his innings against Australia in Abu Dhabi in August, also scored under excessive humidity.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • GrindAR on January 2, 2013, 21:59 GMT

    dude... was dreaming about this....

    Team X: India/Pak Batsmen (Performing) + Pak/India Bowlers (Performing) Team Y: CA/CSA Batsmen (Performing) + CSA/CA Bowlers (performing)

    Will be a beauty to watch. 5 tests series 5 one days

    Enough for the full year of Cricket

  • GrindAR on January 2, 2013, 21:21 GMT

    Dhoni could have used Yuvi for 10 overs. Match could have been more nail bitting. Decent match overall. Mainly good to see bowler friendly pitches in India. Will help develop athletes in the team than sitters. We need a leaner team both in terms BMI of players and error margins in their games.

  • Major85D on January 2, 2013, 14:51 GMT

    Why is misbah still captain?? He should retire! Hafeez is much better! And Azhar Ali is a better test player than ODI. Imran Farhat should come in! I hope, the selectors have seen, that sohail tanvir cant`t mess with junaid. He is the future of pakistan`s fastbowling!

  • Dannymania on January 2, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    I agree with the one that said take off umar gul.Umar gul doesnt deserve to be in any international team now a days.he was good,but he isnt good anymore.he concedes so many runs!It doesnt matter if he takes 2 wickets per match at an economy rate of 7 per over in the ODIs and 2 wickets per match in T20Is with an economy of over 10!Kamran Akmal also needs to be dropped but it looks like he wont be.because i honestly think kamran's 'Sifarish' is a big one!i am hopeless about both of these players.I have been watching cricket for about 20 years now and if i can realise that these players cannot play well,how can the people who work for the admin of cricket not understand it?!answer is,that they do understand,but kamran's sifarish is too big and Umar gul is misbah's boy.I dont really dislike misbah though.Under his captaincy,pakistanis have done well,so he has succeeded,although he isnt as talented as even kamran akmal as a batsman.

  • srisharma_12 on January 2, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    Ajinkya Rahane should open with Gautam Gambhir.Sehwag should be rested for this series.Rohit sharma should be rested if he do not perform in the next match.And Bhuvaneshwar kumar should bowl 8 overs at a time.He is giving runs in last overs.

  • khurramkhalil23 on January 2, 2013, 5:31 GMT

    great win for pakistan and what a fantastic bowling junaid khan well done:).. india needs quality bowler otherwise india struggle future's match :)

  • dummy4fb on January 2, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    India's bowling a misery. india should import fast bowlers from aus,wi or pak.

  • bhrangi on January 2, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    @Sinhaya : Actually I never like IPL., every 2 or 3 years it is fine but every year 4 weeks it is boring and not interesting. BCCI wants to control the umpire decisions if DRS was there then it has to be reviewed, but it back fired us most of times. @ Sachin Bashers : I wonder why they never used the irritating statement " He hits a century and we lost " may be it will take sometime. Thank god sachin didn't hit that century, otherwise our fans never realize the real problem in our team. Now they are correctly blaming Gambhir, Viru , Kohli and Rohit, if it was sachin then they will say only reason was Sachin.

  • dummy4fb on January 2, 2013, 1:01 GMT

    Match will be remembered for how well Dhoni batted in bowler friendly conditions. Just fantastic!

  • OldRagDoll on January 1, 2013, 22:36 GMT

    It is high time to get rid of Sehwag, Gambhir and Rohit Sharma. Why not give Rahane a fair chance. How long you keep trying the failed players again and again. I am sure some guys here will now jump up with their statistics. Absolutely with this team India has minimal chance.