India v Pakistan, 3rd ODI, Delhi January 6, 2013

India's bowlers prevent whitewash


India 167 (Dhoni 36, Ajmal 5-24) beat Pakistan 157 (Misbah 39, Ishant 3-36) by ten runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Not since the winter of 1983, when Clive Lloyd's West Indies avenged their loss in the World Cup final, had India been whitewashed in an ODI series at home. Following their third poor batting performance against Pakistan, India were hurtling towards a 0-3 score line in the cold of Delhi, until their bowlers rallied in conditions that offered seam and spin, applying relentless pressure until Misbah-ul-Haq's team cracked in the dead rubber.

As Yuvraj Singh, pursued by team-mates, went off on a celebratory run and slide after catching Mohammad Hafeez in the penultimate over to secure a hard-fought victory, the exuberant celebrations on the field and in the stands at the Kotla were a release of emotion from a country that has had precious little to celebrate in cricket in recent times.

An Indian victory, however, had appeared unlikely after their batsmen had crumbled against Pakistan's versatile attack. A raw seam attack, spearheaded by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and the debutant Shami Ahmed, had only 167 to defend and they went about it manfully. Ahmed began his spell with two maiden overs and continued to bowl with economy. Bhuvneshwar nipped out two early wickets with inswingers and bowled his ten overs on the trot, leaving Pakistan 55 for 2 after 19 overs.

During that period, India's fielding was at its best, with Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja throwing their bodies around on a chilly evening to cut off fluent flicks and drives. The only easy runs Pakistan got were two leg-side wides from the offspinner R Ashwin that beat MS Dhoni and sped to the boundary.

Pakistan rebuilt through Misbah, who batted doggedly for 39 off 82 balls, first with Nasir Jamshed and then with Umar Akmal. Both those stands were ended by Ashwin, and at 113 for 4 in difficult batting conditions, India were gaining ground. They received a lucky break, when Shoaib Malik was adjudged lbw to Ishant Sharma though he was hit outside the line, and Akmal charged Ravindra Jadeja too early and was stumped.

Only Hafeez, batting at No. 7 because of an injury while bowling, stood between India and victory and he was dropped by Rahane in the 42nd over, a straightforward chance at leg slip. He dragged his team towards the target and had to refuse singles with the No. 11 Mohammad Irfan, after Pakistan had lost three wickets in eight balls. With 23 runs needed in the last two overs, Hafeez hit two boundaries before holing out to off Ishant.

Any immediate anguish Pakistan felt, however, quickly dissipated as their players, heavily jacketed in the misty evening, celebrated a 2-1 series victory.

That India had at least 167 to defend was largely down to Dhoni, who was Man of the Match for his captaincy and his 36 off 55 balls, and Jadeja. Having left out Virender Sehwag to give Rahane a run, India lost three early wickets to the pace and swing of Mohammad Irfan and Junaid Khan. And they continued to struggle against Saeed Ajmal, who dismissed Suresh Raina and Ashwin off successive deliveries on his way to a five-wicket haul. India were 111 for 6 in the 29th over. Dhoni immediately carted Hafeez for his third six over deep midwicket and in a later over he inflicted the blow - a flat smash - that forced the Pakistan opener down the order.

Dhoni fell in the 35th over and Jadeja, because he was running out of partners, began to attack and score what he could. He hit a towering straight six off Umar Gul, and another off Ajmal over cow corner, but his riposte ended on 27. India were dismissed in the 44th over, but the wasted resources did not cost them the game.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harmony111 on January 9, 2013, 18:58 GMT

    @mazii: Oh, so cos Bhuvnesh went for runs in a match he ceases to be a promising bowler? Is that your argument? Well, your best bowler Ajmal was ravaged for 18 runs by Hussey in WT20 in WI to win the match - so is Ajmal not a good bowler? The very same bowler looked helpless in Asia Cup vs Ind and your Umar Gul went for 60-65 runs in 9 overs. Considering that these were pretty experienced bowlers they must be worse than Bhuvnesh Kumar if one goes by your argument.

    Anyways, it is easy to see that from Ind vs Pak you have now come down to comparing a rookie Ind bowler with your so called great bowling attack. Well, if young Bhuvnesh gets compared to Umar Gul or Junaid Khan then it shows Bhuvnesh must be very promising. But your Junaid Khan gets compared to another Pak disappointment Mohd Sammi so one can see where Junaid will end up finally.

    Listen buddy, a bowling attack that fails to defend 329 must be an overrated lot.

    Still no signs of Kiwirocker - he must be in hiding, shaken.

  • Harmony111 on January 9, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    @mazii: So you took your first English lesson today and learnt the word "Imagine"? Good going.

    I thought it was obvious to anyone but I comment here cos I like this game. Inf act I comment on other articles too, not just Ind-Pak. My love goes beyond your typical parochial limits. You and your dear friend Kiwirocker keep saying they will answer they will answer yet you guys never answer. Even when you are exposed fully you still keep making fresh frivolous claims. Where is your fella Kiiwrocker? Where is he hiding now? And Jamshed scored one of the ugliest 100s I have ever seen, hardly the sign of a good future. Jamshed will at best be a above average batsman, he will never become a great, he is far too limited in talent to ever become a great.

    Let's see what your Juanid Khan does in the future, as of now he is another Sammi for me. Ind will thrash Pak when it comes to another big match in WC, I hope you will l call your bowlers great even then - keep enjoying your grandeur delusions.

  • mazii on January 9, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    harmony111. you are funny my dear. keep it up with your good work. Your comments really made me laugh. Do you know B.kumar performance in the 2nd ODI, in nine overs he gave away 61 runs with just one wicket. And in the same match junaid took three wicket for 39 runs. You really need some mentorship man as you are really shattered by 8-0, 2-1 and now 2-1....lolzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  • mazii on January 9, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    Harmony111... I can't help my laughter my dear. Are you serious that you don't care this series loss 2-1. Then why are you commenting here if you don't care. The reason why you are commenting here is just because you are frustrated my dear and try to console yourself after this humiliation. Don't worry about kiwirocker. I'm here to give reply of every frustrated question of yours. I imagine how it feels like losing a series from your arch-rival. I can imagine the deep pain you are in. I can imagine the silence of crowd after Junaid's wickets. I can imagine how annoayed, but helpless, you are when Jamshed scored two centuries in India and in front of Indian crowd. I can imagine you how livid you would have been when the best batting line up shattered like house of cards against world class but inexperieneced bowlers. Now please don't use my word imagine as you have been using my word. I think you better teach your cricketrs how to bat against moving ball instead of defending them. lolz

  • Harmony111 on January 9, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    @g.narsimha: Yes dear, the Pak fans talk so much about Junaid and Irfan but it was our Bhuvnesh who made their batsmen look like ducks in his spells. The way he bowled Hafeez and Akmal was absolutely awesome. Junaid khan is good but the Pak fans have started to talk about him as if he is already a great bowler, we've seen what happened to their other bowlers in the past too. Even their speed sensation Shoaib Akhtar did not achieve much at the Intl level and their Mohd Sami is long obscure now. I was only being civil and sporting with them when I praised Junaid and Irfan but TBH, Irfan is not a bog deal to handle, he is not even too quick, around 140 at most times. We wills see where Junaid Khan goes but he is def not as of now a great bowler, only a promising bowler.

    Besides, Pak struggled to chase 133 in 1st T20 and could not chase 167 in the 3rd ODI, Indi scored 192 in the 2nd T20 and Dhoni absolutely murdered them in the 1st ODI - where was their good bowling attack then?

  • Harmony111 on January 9, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    @Kiwirocker:- HAHA, u vanished from here cos you had absolutely no answers to my challenges. Prove that dodgy balls were used in WC 2011 & Sachin used his clout to prevent Ind-Pak cricket in 90s. Prove or accept defeat.

    @Mazii:- So did you enroll for English and Maths lessons? You really really need them. You can't get away after saying that Ind's batting failed 4 times in 3 matches - just how big a blunder was that from you? And if you say that Pak have won the latets ODI series vs India and the past suddenly does not matter then we Ind fans look at it this way: Ind have won vs Pak the last time they played in WC, the last time they played in WT20, the last time they played an ODI vs them and the last time they played an T20 vs them. Where is anything for Pak to feel good about? You guy only won by a 1 ODI margin. Who knows what Ind would have done had it been a 4 0r 5 match series? Ind defeated you 4-1 the last time Ind played IN Pak - that was something special, not this 2-1 win.

  • bearface on January 9, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    Pakistan completely dominated India in the first two odis in their home conditions. The Indian Flat track bullies were exposed once again against quality seam bowling. India played well to win the last game though they were helped by some horrendous batting from pakistan but that is not the point really the pakistani batting lineup in the recent past has been pretty much hopeless and they continued that in this series except Jamshed who was brilliant but the Indian batting line up has always been considered their strength but they were completely dismantled by the Pakistani bowlers which setup the series for Pakistan. Junaid and Jamshed were the bright sparks for Pakistan and Bhuveshnwar Kumar was the bright spark for India. The Indian team was humiliated in this series and yet we see posters crowing about the 10 run victory . India better do something about their Overrated and Arrogant primadonnas who think they are indispensable they are pretty much on the verge of being minnows.

  • g.narsimha on January 9, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    HARMONY-111-Nothing can convince these people let them live in falsified pride on winning an odd odi series, instead the credit must go to ENG for demoralising our team we are low on confidence,internal fued,wrong selection contributed in our loss they could capatalis it,but we must give credit where it deserve,pak team played good crecket &won, let them celebrat ,these are the rare opportunities for them to cheer for something as they starved off positives .one thing they canningly avoiding is if thier JUNAID WAS OUTSTANDING THAN OUR KUMAR WAS EQUALLY IMPRESSIVE& now we got SHAMI ,they always refer our bowling as weak but we always won matches with better performance of bowlers this medeocre bowling bundled them for just 120 in SL in t-20,couldnt chase 160 against worse bowling in the world,KIWIROCKER must know its not INDIAS test playing status under review BUT its thier teams future still hangs in uncertenity as still no one wants to engage them,forget visiting thier place ,

  • Harmony111 on January 8, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    As usual Kiwirocker makes some absolutely blatantly frivolous comments about something connected to India and then when challenged to prove those frivolous claims he either does not reply at all or makes a very feeble attempt by making another equally frivolous and funny claim. I've seen him for long here, have challenged him plenty of times in the past and have never had a proper reply from him about his claims. For eg, he often claimed that Sachin used his clout in the early 1990s to prevent Ind-Pak cricket cos he was afraid of facing the Pak fast bowlers - can anything be more frivolous than this? Firstly, Sachin never had that sort of clout in early 90s and he was never afraid of facing them ever. He came back to face them even in his debut series when he was hit so Kiwirocker's claim is totally baseless and imaginary. In any case, we all know how Sachin smashed all of these fast bowlers in WC 03.

    Today too, Kiwirocker made some claims but proved none of them - then he ran away.

  • Harmony111 on January 8, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    @mazii: Oh come on, you have now lost all sense of tracking here. Ind scored 133 in the T20 match - THAT WAS A DIFFERENT SERIES. The ODI series has only 3 matches fyi.

    And if a new or a rebuilding team does well in some match then it is good news cos its a bonus, if it fails in some match then it does not mean it should be needlessly criticized. And so what if Kohli did not score runs in this series? He is human too, he will not score runs all the time. We are not worried about him at all. He is one of the best batsman in the world and he will come good in crunch matches.

    A more imp question is for your bowling. Your so called great bowlers could not stop India from chasing 329 runs - and they did it easily. You still want to call them great bowlers? With all due respect to them, it is very premature to label any one of them as great except perhaps Ajmal - who I think is 35 - right?

    When batsmen struggle, any bowler will get wickets obviously. Nothing special there.