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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 April, 2005, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
Dhoni sets up emphatic Indian win
Second one-day international, Visakhapatnam:
India 356-9 beat Pakistan 298 by 58 runs

India lead six-match series 2-0
Mahendra Dhoni

Mahendra Dhoni struck his maiden ton in a high-scoring affair as India raced to a 2-0 series lead with a 58-run win over Pakistan in Vishakhapatnam.

Dhoni crashed 148 off 123 balls, with four sixes and 15 fours, as India posted a massive 356-9, their highest limited-overs score against Pakistan.

He put on 96 with Virender Sehwag, who blasted a 40-ball 74, and 149 with Rahul Dravid, who was caught for 52.

Pakistan were bowled out in the 45th over despite Abdul Razzaq's brave 88.

Ashish Nehra (4-72) and Yuvraj Singh (3-55) did most of the damage as India took wickets at key intervals to deny the plucky Pakistanis, whose skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq admitted would have batted first had he not lost the toss.

The early departure of Sachin Tendulkar to a Yousuf Youhana direct hit was not the start India skipper Sourav Ganguly had in mind after he sent his team in to bat.

But the loss was quickly forgotten as Dhoni and Sehwag set about dismantling the Pakistani attack.

We sent Dhoni up the order because he can hit the ball
India skipper Sourav Ganguly

Wicket-keeper Dhoni, promoted to number three, got off the mark with an off-driven boundary off Mohammad Sami and followed up with 10 runs in two balls off Shahid Afridi after surviving a decent lbw shout.

Sehwag had already clubbed the poor Sami for six, and in the 10th over crashed Naved-ul-Hasan to the fence for his 17th limited-overs fifty, scored off just 26 balls.

More carnage followed until the opener went for one big shot too many and mis-hit Naved to Salman Butt at mid-wicket.

A lull in scoring followed the out-of-touch Ganguly to the crease, with only 18 runs scored in almost six overs.

Ganguly's scratchy effort was terminated after 22 balls by Sami, who pierced his defence and levelled middle-stump.

Predictably it was Dhoni who livened up proceedings with a six off Arshad Khan, and a flurry of boundaries soon moved him to 99.

Pakistan fielders
Pakistan were made to work very hard in the field

The five-Test veteran allowed himself the luxury of an easy single to get into triple figures, but normal service was soon resumed as the runs continued to flow.

It was a tired Dhoni who fell in the 42nd over - with the score 300-4 - when he lofted Hafeez into the hands of Shoaib Malik.

Dhoni received excellent support from Rahul Dravid, who was content to give his partner most of the strike.

Dravid's anchoring knock of 52 off 59 balls came to an end the following over when his first real aggressive shot ended up in the hands of Afridi.

Mohammad Kaif was trapped lbw for a golden duck in the same Naved over, and India lost five wickets for 36 runs to snuff out any hopes of eclipsing their highest score in one-day history, 376-2 scored against New Zealand in 1999.

Nevertheless, fireworks at the death courtesy of Laxmipathy Balaji and Zaheer Khan took India past the 349-7 they scored against Pakistan last year in Karachi.

A formidable task for Pakistan was made all the tougher by big-hitting Afridi's early departure, bowled by Nehra for a duck in the second over.

But with Razzaq, and then Youhana, at the crease on a belter of a pitch the unlikely never seemed the impossible.

Razzaq battled cramp to fire 13 boundaries and a six in a feisty 93-ball dig, first putting on 84 runs in 11 overs with Butt for the second wicket.

Pakistan suffered a setback when Inzamam was sent back by the all-rounder and run out for 16, and again when Razzaq was caught behind off Yuvraj in the 28th over.

Yousuf Youhana picked up the slack and kept Pakistan in sight of the required run-rate with a superb 71 off 56 balls, but he lost partners at regular intervals.

Zaheer Khan delivered the hammer blow when trapping Kamran Akmal lbw for 41, ending a first international match at the ACA-VDCA Stadium which in truth was always in India's keeping.

India: Sourav Ganguly (capt), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Mohammad Kaif, Yuvraj Singh, Mahender Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Laxmipathy Balaji, Ashish Nehra.

Pakistan: Inzamam-ul Haq (capt), Salman Butt, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Yousuf Youhana, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal (wicket-keeper), Mohammed Hafeez, Mohammed Sami, Rana Naved-ul Hasan, Arshad Khan.

Umpires: Billy Bowden, Arani Jayaprakash.


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