India 269 for 5 (Dravid 92, Sehwag 73, Dhoni 59) beat Pakistan 218 (Inzamam 79) by 51 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out

Rahul Dravid's 71st ODI fifty boosted India to a target that proved too much © Getty Images

India levelled the series 1-1 through a solid batting performance backed up by a fine bowling effort by a team that understood the need of the hour and sent down a mixture of diligent pace and crafty spin, supported well by the field, to notch up a 51-run win. It was Virender Sehwag's timely 73, and Rahul Dravid's meaty 92 that took India to 269, a sizeable score, and then Irfan Pathan checked in with early breakthroughs and Ramesh Powar weighed in with a crafty spell to take the game away from Pakistan.

When Dravid won the toss and quickly chose to bat it was obvious that the Indian team had learnt quickly from the first match. They decided early on that there was no point in going for the big hits even with the powerplays on, and instead settled down to build partnerships and conserve wickets for a late charge. It was a throwback to the times when wickets were at a premium in ODIs and runscoring took care of itself.

Mohammad Asif was at his usual accurate best, landing the ball on a length and allowing it to seam one way or the other if it did. But, with Dravid and Sehwag taking no chances, he had little joy, and was merely economical. Sehwag, struggling for form to the extent that he had only two half-centuries in 21 ODI knocks leading up to this game, was lucky not to be bowled off the inside edge early on, and settled down. Dravid, in his latest avatar as limited-overs opener, kept things under control.

Although both batsmen struggled to beat the infield early on, soon supple wrists and confident on-the-rise drives came into play. Dravid was severe on anything that was straight - drifting down leg or just plain straight - flicking both in front of and behind square for boundaries, while Sehwag showed that even in bad form he is no blocker.

Before Pakistan knew it, both Dravid and Sehwag had fifties, and the opening partnership had gone past the century-mark. Eventually, on 138, Pakistan struck, as a quick, skidding delivery from Shahid Afridi beat the outside edge of Sehwag's bat and hit the top of off stump. Sehwag, who had rested for the last game and come into the side for this one in place of Robin Uthappa, had scored 73, and put India well on the way to a big score.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni ran out to the middle as is his wont at No. 3 and ensured that Sehwag was not missed. Although not teeing off from the crease like he is famous for, Dhoni kept the run rate up with a succession of cheeky strokes. A dab here, a push there, a whip through midwicket, a fine sweep past the keeper with an almost-straight bat, and suddenly India were clipping along.

When Dravid fell, eight short of a century, his powers of concentration not being equal to keeping out an Asif yorker, India were still well placed. Soon after Dhoni played all over a Naved-ul-Hasan slower ball, and was gone for 59. India were not quite in trouble, but there was a chance that batsmen fresh to the crease would not score as quickly as desired. But no-one told Yuvraj Singh that the pitch was low and slow. He walked out to thump three consecutive boundaries and a nonchalantly flicked six, racking up 24 from just 10 balls to push the Indian score to 269 for 5 from 50 overs.

Pakistan needed a good start and they did not get it. Irfan Pathan, with some help from Rudi Koertzen, had his 100th ODI wicket, when Imran Farhat was adjudged lbw as he fell over and missed a scrambled-seam straight one. Soon after Shahid Afridi, sent in at No. 3, played all over a classic indipper from Pathan and was cleaned up. When Younis Khan, one of the real dangermen, tickled Ajit Agarkar to the keeper, Pakistan were 45 for 3 and in deep trouble. Then Yuvraj plucked a stunner out of the air as Malik swept Powar on 45, and trouble became distress.

Inzamam-ul-Haq, calm as ever, cool and calculating, batted safely yet confidently, and kept one end up. Mohammad Yousuf was the first to underestimate Powar, and was caught at midwicket trying to heave over the leg side. Abdul Razzaq forgot to reckon with Powar's dip and only managed to find Kaif at long-on. Naved-ul-Hassan clattered the ball here and there, taking the pressure of his captain, but his innings of 27, off only 17 balls, was always fraught with danger, and it ended when Venugopala Rao took a well-judged catch on the roped at long-on.

If Pakistani hopes were still afloat they were properly snuffed out when Inzamam was, yes, run out, as he jogged across for a non-existant single when Iftikhar Anjum played the ball to midwicket and Dravid collected the ball, ran to the stumps at the bowler's end and took off the bails. Soon after Pakistan folded for 218 and India had levelled the series 1-1.


Virender Sehwag b Afridi 73 (138 for 1)
Beaten by a quickish delivery that skidded off the pitch and turned enough to beat bat and hit the top of off stump

Rahul Dravid b Asif 92 (228 for 2)
Failed to bring the bat down in time to a yorker

Mahendra Singh Dhoni b Naved-ul-Hasan 59 (234 for 3)
Played early to a slower delivery and was bowled

Yuvraj Singh c Asif b Naved-ul-Hasan 24 (255 for 4)
Deceived by a slower ball going for a big hit over square-leg

Suresh Raina run out (Akmal/Razzaq) 6 (269 for 5)
Run out trying to pinch a bye off the last ball of the innings


Imran Farhat lbw b Pathan 8 (22 for 1)
Unlucky to be adjudged lbw to one slipping down leg

Shahid Afridi b Pathan 0 (23 for 2)
Bowled through the gate by an indipper

Younis Khan c Dhoni b Agarkar 5 (45 for 3)
Tickled an outswinger to the 'keeper

Shoaib Malik c Yuvraj b Powar 45 (91 for 4)
Swept hard and brilliantly caught

Mohammad Yousuf c Raina b Powar 5 (108 for 5)
Failed to clear midwicket

Kamran Akmal c Dravid b Harbhajan 18 (167 for 6)
Closed the face of the bat early and bobbed up a catch to short cover

Abdul Razzaq c Kaif b Powar 1 (148 for 7)
Holed out to long-on

Rana Naved-ul-Hasan c Rao b Pathan 27 (198 for 8)
Superbly caught on the ropes at long-on

Inzamam-ul-Haq run out (Dravid) 79 (209 for 9)
Classic mix-up, backed up too much and left stranded

Iftikhar Anjum b Sreesanth 11 (218 for 10)
Missed an offcutter and was cleaned up

Anand Vasu is assistant editor of Cricinfo