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Last Updated: Friday, 15 April, 2005, 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK
Brilliant Afridi pulverises India
Fifth one-day international, Kanpur
Pakistan 252-5 beat India 249-6 by five wickets

Shahid Afridi
Shahid Afridi equalled the second fastest one-day century as Pakistan beat India to gain a 3-2 lead in the series with one match to play.

India batted first and hit 249-6 with Pakistan's Naved-ul-Hasan taking 3-35.

Captain Rahul Dravid hit 86 while Mohammad Kaif gave the innings a boost with 78 off just 88 deliveries.

But the total proved insufficient as Afridi (102) clubbed nine sixes in a 46-ball whirlwind, Pakistan winning by five wickets in the 43rd over.

Afridi brought up his century off 45 balls. The record, at 37 balls, is also held by him.

India made three changes from the team beaten in Ahmedabad.

Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble and Dinesh Mongia all came into the side as Sourav Ganguly, Ashish Nehra and Murali Kartik made way.

Though Ganguly's six-match ban is suspended following his appeal, the selectors asked him not to fly from Calcutta to Kanpur and the side was instead led by Dravid, who won the toss.

Early on, it seemed he had made a poor decision to bat first as Naved got the new ball to bounce awkwardly on the fresh wicket.

Shahid Afridi: 37 balls (v Sri Lanka, Nairobi, 1996)
Brian Lara: 45 balls (v B'desh, Dhaka, 1999)
Shahid Afridi: 45 balls (v India, Kanpur, 2005)
S Jayasuriya: 48 balls (v Pakistan, Singapore, 1996)
M Azharuddin: 62 balls (v New Zealand, Baroda, 1988)

Sachin Tendulkar edged a catch to wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal, Virender Sehwag was stuck on his crease to be clean bowled and Mahendra Dhoni drove to slip.

That left India at 26-3 after seven overs, Naved claming all three of those wickets.

Next, Yuvraj Singh came in and played some gorgeous drives off front and back foot.

So it was a real surprise when an Abdul Razzaq delivery kept a fraction low and crashed into his stumps off a crooked inside edge.

At 59-4, the crisis was deepening and India were glad that Dravid was still there.

But he struggled to advance the score against the spinners, relying on new arrival Mohammad Kaif to give the innings a forward gear.

Kaif drove smartly on both sides of the wicket, and also deflected the ball intelligently into the gaps behind square.

It took until the 43rd over for the fifth wicket to fall, and by then Razzaq was back on and the partnership was worth 135 - a record for India against Pakistan.

Kaif, having hit 78 from 88 balls, was the man to go - driving a catch to short mid-wicket to bring Mongia to the crease.

The left-handed batsman proceeded to hit two sixes off the off-spinner Arshad Khan, who had come into the side in place of Danish Kaneria.

And when the innings closed at 249-6, with Dravid run out for 86, India seemed to be in with a decent chance of victory.

But the pitch had now flattened out and Afridi was in destructive mood.

Naved-ul-Hasan claims the early wicket of Sachin Tendulkar
Naved-ul-Hasan claims the early wicket of Sachin Tendulkar

The fireworks began in the third over, when he slammed Balaji for a brace of sixes and threw in a pair of fours.

The following over from the Mill Pavilion End was bowled by Kumble. This time, Afridi walloped three leg-side sixes and a boundary over mid-off.

A drive down the ground for four off Zaheer Khan gave Afridi a 20-ball fifty, the seventh-fastest ever, and there were two more big sixes off Mongia.

Afridi was caught in that same over, but Mongia had bowled a no-ball.

Finally, Afridi was dismissed - ironically playing a defensive shot off Harbhajan - after putting on 131 with Salman Butt in 14.2 overs.

He had gone to his century with a boundary down the ground off the same bowler.

All that was needed for the other batsmen was to play normal cricket shots and victory was wrapped up when Inzamam-ul-Haq hit Mongia to the cover-point boundary.

India: V Sehwag, SR Tendulkar, +MS Dhoni, *R Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, M Kaif, Harbhajan Singh, D Mongia, L Balaji, Z Khan, A Kumble

Pakistan: Salman Butt, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Malik, *Inzamam-ul-Haq, Yousuf Youhana, Younis Khan, +Kamran Akmal, Iftikhar Anjum, Naved-ul-Hasan, Arshad Khan

Report: Kamlesh Purohit for BBC Sport


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