In the 2nd ODI played at Rawalpindi, India defeated Pakistan by 7 wickets. Pakistan elected to bat first after winning the toss. They could not make a big score due to superb bowling and extraordinary fielding of Indian players. Pathan was outstanding and performed very well according to expectations o his fans.
Pakistan was lucky to win the toss but was unable to convert it into their favour. Deciding to bat first was a crucial and a bold decision by Inzamam. Pakistanis were supposed to make at least 320+ runs to have a defendable total because Indians are well known for chasing big totals. As Inzamam himself mentioned, after winning toss, that they will have to see through at least 10-15 overs to have a big score in the end he must had the fact in mind that this has been a very difficult task to play some initial over safely in such a situation. A similar collapse had happened in the 3rd test at Karachi where Pakistan lost 6 wickets for 39 runs only. Malik and Younis came to rescue when 4 wickets were down only for 68 runs and four top batsman including Muhammad Yousaf and Inzamam-Ul-Haq had gone back to pavilion.
Four run outs especially of Muhammad Yousaf, Shoaib and Razzaq turned the game into Indian’s favor. Pakistani Players appeared to be in panic and were tempted for non existing doubles and singles. It was great effort by Shoaib and Younis Khan that Pakistan was able to make some respectable total of 265.
265 never seeded to be a defend able total when Sehwag and Tendulkar were batting. Muhammad Asif was only bowler from Pakistani side who was able to control the situation to some extent but on the other end every one was treated mercilessly by Sehwag and Tendulkar. There was no pressure exerted or aggression shown by Pakistani team when Indians were batting even the only bowler performing better was not brought back to deliver after his first spell of six overs.
Fielding is another important factor which caused defeat for Pakistan. No doubt Pakistan has never been a good fielding side. Fielders can not stop boundaries, ones are turned into twos due too miss-fielding, easy catches and chances are dropped; with all these problem no team can win important games even if they have very good batting and bowling. Though Pakistanis look very good in some matches in fielding like at Peshawar their fielding looked improved but in the very next match they tear the entire image and can not continue their form in next matches.
Irfan Pathan was declared the man-of-the-match for his three important wickets. He took the wicket of Salman Butt, Kamran Akmal at right time with beauty. Shahid Afridi was his third victim in his last over. Afridi could have been a big threat for India if he had survived for 5 more overs.
It was again an interesting and worth viewing game between India and Pakistan. Lets hope next math to be played at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore on Monday also proves to be an interesting thriller.
FALL OF WICKETS:
- Sachin Tendulkar c Akmal b Razzaq 42 (105 for 1)
- Virender Sehwag run out (Gul) 67 (123 for 2)
- Rahul Dravid c and b Malik 56 (241 for 3)
- Salman Butt c Dhoni b Pathan 0 (0 for 1)
- Kamran Akmal b Pathan 14 (43 for 2)
- Mohammad Yousaf run out (Tendulkar) 1 (46 for 3)
- Inzamam-ul-Haq c Sreesanth b Zaheer 8 (68 for 4)
- Shoaib Malik run out (Sreesanth) 95 (170 for 5)
- Shahid Afridi c Kaif b Pathan 18 (204 for 6)
- Abdul Razzaq run out (Raina) 14 (234 for 7)
- Younis Khan c Kaif b Agarkar 81 (242 for 8 )
- Rana Naved-ul-Hasan c Raina b Agarkar 6 (257 for 9)
- Mohammad Asif run out (Sehwag) 2 (265 all out)