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Cricket: Dhoni Ton In Vain As Pakistan Beat India In First ODI!
Team India never
knows a thing when there is seam, swing and green. A cricketing fact that has
been proved time and again over the years. There had been lot of rains in
Chennai on Saturday and the match on Sunday was in doubt due to wet ground
conditions and chances for more showers. Finally the match did start after some delay, but the conditions were
still overcast, ground still moist and the wicket green. An ideal situation
for the Pakistan
fast bowlers in a day match starting in the morning. Pakistan
won the toss for the third time in this tour and India faced the usual music right
from the start. A perfect display of seam and swing bowling had the Indian
stumps in tatters. Junaid Khan started India’s top order collapse by
bowling out Sehwag who came into the One Day team just to go back to the
pavilion in quick time. The Junaid fury went unabated to root out the stumps of
Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh too, and had Rohit Sharma caught. Mohammad Irfan
credited himself with the stumps of Gambhir. India were reduced to 29 for 5 in
under 10 overs. Any cricket team would find this situation very difficult to
recover from and come back into the match.
But India captain
MS Dhoni nearly did it. First with Raina and then with Ashwin Dhoni started
from scratches to build the innings—he took 86 balls to get to his half century
and then pressed on the accelerator. At the most crucial time for his team
Dhoni hit his 8th hundred in 212 ODIs and remained not out on 113. India reached
227 for 6 which looked impossible early on. In the final analysis Dhoni managed
only to add respectability to the Indian total and the target of 228 for Pakistan was
never going to be a winning one. Pakistan
captain Misbah’s drop catch of Dhoni saved India from further embarrassment.
Kumar and Ishant Sharma started with a fierce spell of fast bowling reducing Pakistan 21 for
2 in 10 overs, and run getting was proving to be extremely difficult. But India
failed to keep up the pressure as Jamshed who laid anchors strongly was let off
three times, and the Indian spin and slow bowlers, Ashwin and Yuvraj in
particular failed to provide any breakthrough. Younus Khan (58) and Jamshed
steadied the innings building a hundred run plus partnership and the solidity
of Shoaib Malik (34 not out) in the end guided Pakistan to a rather easy victory
with almost two overs to spare. Jamshed achieved a painstaking but rewarding
century and he saw his team through remaining not out on 101. The Scorecard:
Pakistan now lead the ODI Series 1-0 defeating India by
6 wickets in the first one day international played in Chennai yesterday.
Though featuring on the losing side MS Dhoni was adjudged the Player of the
Match for his great efforts. However, playing true to his pitch-and-conditions
mindedness Dhoni said after the match that the Chennai pitch played better in
innings. Why doesn’t he instead analyze why his team continues to be clueless
against seam, swing and green irrespective of where it plays?
The second ODI
of the three match India-Pakistan Series is scheduled on January 3 in Kolkata.
For the moment it is about ushering in the New Year 2013 and exchange of good
wishes on both sides. We wish all our readers a Happy New Year 2013! Of course,
on a subdued and sober note due to the tragic circumstances prevailing in the
country now as is apparent in these pages.