In a game where bat dominated ball almost right from the start, both teams will probably look back at the last six overs of the Indian innings as the phase which turned out to be the most critical. After 44, India were cruising along at 300 for 4 - a run-rate of 6.82. In the next six overs, that rate fell drastically to 4.67, as Pakistan nailed six wickets, starting with the crucial scalp of Sachin Tendulkar in the 45th over. No over fetched more than seven, and a total which appeared headed towards the 340-plus mark finished up only on 328.
Even that total was a huge one, but Pakistan's batting, led by Salman Butt, ensured that the Indians were on the back foot very quickly. The most impressive aspect of his batting was the manner in which he scored runs almost equally off all the Indian bowlers - the bowler who finished up with the best economy rate against him was Zaheer Khan, and even he went for 15 from 18 balls.
The performance which would have most pleased the Indian fans was Sachin Tendulkar's hundred. Plenty had been written about him after his failure in the Tests, but he answered the critics in the manner he knows best - with runs off the bat. Tendulkar didn't start as fluently as he normally does - against the fast bowlers (Naved-ul-Hasan, Asif, Gul and Razzaq) he only scored 41 off 66 balls. Against the slow bowlers, though, Tendulkar was in his elements, milking 59 from 47. With the confidence back, he could well be more aggressive against the fast bowlers through the rest of the series.