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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 March, 2004, 16:57 GMT
India overcome Pakistan
One-day international, Lahore: Pakistan 253 all out (47.3 overs) lost to India 293-7 by 40 runs
India win one-day series 3-2

VVS Laxman

India wrapped up the one-day series against Pakistan with a gruelling 40-run win in the final match in Lahore.

VVS Laxman hit a masterful 107 off 104 balls to lead India to 293-7 after they were invited to bat by Pakistan.

Irfan Pathan took 3-32 as Pakistan stumbled to 96-6, but Shoaib Malik and Moin Khan struck half-centuries to put their side back in the game.

India's win was soured by the news skipper Sourav Ganguly could miss the first Test after injuring his back.

Ganguly was said to be in "intense pain" after he fell attempting a stop at mid-off to Inzamam-ul-Haq, who scored 38 in the unsuccessful run-chase.

But Ganguly's discomfort will have been soothed by the efforts of his team, who came from 2-1 down to become the first Indian side to win a one-day series in Pakistan.

It was perhaps unsurprising Inzamam wanted to bat second after winning his fifth toss in a row, given how readily India chased 294 to win at the same ground on Sunday.

Sourav Ganguly
Ganguly is stretchered from the field in a worrying scene for India

But Laxman mocked the decision with a superb innings, making the most of a missed run-out and dropped catch to score his sixth one-day century.

It was also his first against Pakistan and easily eclipsed his previous best score of 20in the series.

Laxman put on 91 runs in a pivotal third-wicket stand with Ganguly after openers Virender Sehwag (20) and Sachin Tendulkar (37) were caught behind the wicket.

India were 171-3 and well on the way to a formidable total by the time Ganguly fell to Shoaib Akhtar in the 33rd over.

Shoaib was the pick of Pakistan's pace attack with figures of 1-47, though his final two overs leaked 22 as Mohammad Kaif (16 off 20) and Pathan (20 not out off 12) hit out.

Shabbir Ahmed (2-56) and Mohammad Sami (3-63) were both among the wickets, but both proved expensive in their hunt for wickets.

It's fantastic to win in Pakistan, it's a phenomenal effort
India skipper Sourav Ganguly

Pakistan looked edgy at the start of their chase as they confronted an asking rate of almost six runs per over.

Laxmipathy Balaji struck first, bowling Yasir Hameed for two, before Pathan took over and ran through the top order.

Yousuf Youhana (lbw), Taufiq Umar (bowled) and Younis Khan (caught) all fell cheaply to the left-armer as Pakistan descended to 58-4 at the start of the 13th over.

Inzamam briefly threatened with a quickfire knock before falling to Tendulkar's wonderful catch in the deep.

Pakistan looked dead and buried at 96-6 when Abdul Razzaq fell to Balaji for five.

But Malik (65) and Moin Khan (72) joined forces against India's threadbare attack to give Pakistan hope.

They put on 99 in 97 balls for the seventh wicket - a one-day record for India against Pakistan.

The pair took Pakistan to within 99 runs of victory in the 41st over before Moin and Sami (23 off 26) eroded the deficit to 48 off the last four overs.

Zaheer Khan's dismissal of Sami was something of a hammer blow.

Moin fought on but was unable to compensate for the shortcomings of the top order, his removal on the last ball of the 48th over ending the match.

The one-day decider provided a tantalising precursor to the three-match Test series, which gets under way in Multan on Sunday.

India: Sourav Ganguly (capt), Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Venkatsai Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Zaheer Khan, Laxmipathy Balaji, Irfan Pathan, Murali Kartik.

Pakistan: Inzamam-ul Haq (capt), Yousuf Youhana, Taufiq Umer, Yasir Hameed, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq, Moin Khan, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami, Shabbir Ahmed.

BBC Sport's Matt Davies
"Pakistan only briefly threatened to overhaul the Indian total"

PCB chairman Shariah Khan
"The friendship and goodwill in the series has been a pleasant surprise"

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