Dhoni upstaged by Junaid and Jamshed
Pakistanis spoil India's opening ODI party in Chennai
Nasir Jamshed struck an unbeaten century as Pakistan claimed a six-wicket win over India here yesterday to take a 1-0 lead in the one-day series.
The 23-year-old opener hit 101 from 132 balls as Pakistan reached their target of 228 for the loss of four wickets and with 11 balls to spare.
Younis Khan made 58, putting on a third-wicket stand of 112 with Jamshed, while Shoaib Malik contributed an unbeaten 34, sealing victory with a four.
India, playing their first match since the one-day retirement of Sachin Tendulkar, made 227 for six and the Little Master proved a predictably tough act to follow.
The top five scored a combined 18 and only a magnificent 113 not out from captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni made their total remotely competitive.
Junaid Khan did most of the damage to the top order and finished with four wickets for 43.
Pakistan’s chase got off to the worst possible start though as they lost the wicket of Mohammad Hafeez first ball, Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s delivery taking out the off stump as the batsman failed to offer a shot.
Azhar Ali became Bhuvneshwar’s second victim when he had him caught by Rohit Sharma at square leg for just nine as Pakistan reached 21 for two.
Jamshed stood firm throughout a tricky period, though, and, with Younis getting comfortable at the other end, brought up his half-century with a flicked single.
Younis reached his 50 in more spectacular style, hitting Suresh Raina for six.
India finally made a breakthrough when they removed Younis, the dismissal confirmed by the third umpire.
Ashok Dinda delivered a low full toss and Ashwin took a low catch, replays showing he had got his hands under the ball in the nick of time.
With Younis gone for 58 off 60, Pakistan were 133 for three, but Jamshed remained a consistent presence at the other end. Misbah-ul-Haq was beaten by a slower delivery from Ishant Sharma for 16, but India were dealt a blow when Virat Kohli appeared to hurt his knee in a fall when his back foot slipped as he came into bowl and he had to limp from the field.
And, with the victory target in sight, Jamshed and Malik guided the visitors home. Earlier, India had a captain’s innings from Dhoni to thank for rescuing them from a desperate position. Junaid ripped through the top order to leave the hosts on 29 for five in the 10th over.
Virender Sehwag (four) misjudged an attempted a push to cover to become Junaid’s first victim, bowled between bat and pads. Gautam Gambhir fared little better as he went for eight in the next over, this time Mohammad Irfan taking out the batsman's middle stump.
Junaid took two more scalps in quick succession, deceiving Virat Kohli, bowled off an inside edge, with a fuller-length delivery for nought and then dismissing Yuvraj Singh for two. The onslaught continued in the 10th over, Rohit Sharma (four) snapped up by Hafeez at third slip, again off the bowling of Junaid. That brought Dhoni to join Raina and the pair steadied the ship with a stand of 73.
Miss by Misbah
Dhoni survived a scare on 17 when he punched a Hafeez delivery straight to Misbah at mid-wicket, but the Pakistan skipper could only palm the chance over his head. The pair dug in stubbornly, but with only the second ball of the batting powerplay Raina (43) was removed by Hafeez. Dhoni then brought up the 200 with a boundary. Another four saw him pass 7000 runs in one-day internationals. Irfan took some late punishment as Dhoni lofted him over cover for six to bring up his century, while at the other end.