FIFTH ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL, Jaipur:
Pakistan 306-6 bt India 275 by 31 runs
Shoaib Malik produced a fine all-round display to inspire his side to a 31-run win as Pakistan salvaged some pride from their 3-2 series defeat in India.
Shoaib Malik (left) starred with bat and ball to fire Pakistan to victory
Malik fired 89 off just 82 balls as he and Mohammad Yousuf shared a record fourth-wicket stand against India of 168 in helping Pakistan to 306-6.
India always looked like struggling after Sohail Tanvir took 3-42 early on.
Yuvraj Singh (50) and Rohit Sharma (52) provided some hope, but skipper Malik (3-61) helped bowl them out for 275.
It brought muted celebrations from the visitors, who will not be happy despite their victorious finale following their first one-day series defeat in India for 24 years.
That result had already been secured by the hosts' six-wicket win in Gwalior on Thursday.
And, with that in mind, the hosts took the opportunity to give their fringe players a match, with debutant Praneev Kumar joined by Sharma, Murali Kartik and Sree Santh in the starting XI.
That meant Sourav Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh, RP Singh and Zaheer Khan could watch from the sidelines, alongside Pakistan stars Shoaib Akhtar, Younus Khan and Shahid Afridi.
However, the Jaipur crowd attempted to dampen any sense of anti-climax in a thriving atmosphere as the sun set in the north of India.
And Pakistan's new opening pair of Salman Butt and Imran Nazir settled quickly after negotiating a decent spell from Kumar, who found seam and swing in the dewy afternoon conditions.
Butt, in particular, looked in fine form, crashing a series of boundaries through square on his way to 36 as he and Nazir put on 65 - the visitors' highest opening stand of the series.
Santh was wayward other than a fine spell in which he took three wickets
However, Santh returned after an indifferent first spell with renewed vigour and a fierce bouncer saw Butt top-edge to mid-on, before he found a jaffa to have Yasir Hameed caught behind.
And when a slower Santh delivery prompted Nazir to slap a simple return catch, Pakistan were struggling on 77-3 in the 17th over.
That brought Yousuf and Malik to the crease, though, and the experienced pair mixed the occasional boundary with a series of ones and twos to rebuild Pakistan's innings.
Yousuf was twice lucky to remain at the crease, firstly when he was trapped in front by Yuvraj only for the appeals to be waved away by umpire Billy Doctrove, and then when his top-edged sweep fell between the fielders at square leg.
But, almost under the radar, he and Malik - who heaved two wonderful sixes over mid-wicket and six fours in an aggressive knock - had soon moved Pakistan to 245-3 with eight overs remaining.
Kartik returned to the attack to have Malik cleverly stumped, and Yousuf fell in similar fashion to Yuvraj two overs later, but Misbah-ul-haq (22) and Fawad Alam (31no) took up the baton.
The pair put on 38 in 4.5 overs, sharing two sixes and three fours, and even after Misbah fell to a brilliant caught-and-bowled to Irfan Pathan, Alam saw Pakistan past 300.
It was always going to be a tough total - despite the batsman-friendly surface in Jaipur - but Pakistan got off to a fabulous start with four wickets in the first 12 overs.
Sohail Tanvir (left) celebrates the key wicket of Sachin Tendulkar
Tanvir was the hosts' main tormentor, the seamer trapping Gautam Gambhir plumb in front in the fourth over, and inducing a rash swipe from Virender Sehwag in the 12th.
That came after the seamer had snared the prize wicket of Sachin Tendulkar, the Little Master edging to slip just as he looked like getting into his stride.
Rao Iftikhar was the other early wicket-taker, Robin Uthappa falling to a simple catch at first slip two balls after he had been dropped by the same fielder, but Sharma and Yuvraj built something of a recovery.
With the dewy conditions playing havoc with the spinners' grip and the seamers increasingly ineffectual under the lights, the pair milked the ones and twos in putting on 81.
However, minutes after reaching his maiden half-century, Sharma fell for 52 when he dollied Malik to long-on - and Yuvraj followed suit when he was given out caught behind off Umar Gul on 50 despite the ball appearing to come off his shoulder.
While Mahendra Dhoni remained even the asking rate of over nine an over did not seem totally out of India's reach, but the wicket-keeper soon took one liberty too many when he skied Malik to mid-wicket.
The hosts were never in the race thereafter and Malik took his third wicket with his off-spinners when Kumar holed out at mid-wicket, before Kartik skewed Iftikhar to backward point to end his enterprising knock of 16.
Pathan (44 off 39 balls) produced some late fireworks, but he was left with far too much to do and home resistance was finally ended with a ball to spare when Tanvir clean bowled the left-hander to finish with figures of 9.5-0-53-4.