A Nail Biter!!

What a match it was! 3rd ODI played between Pakistan and India at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore today was a real thriller and an exciting match. Both the teams played very well and India won by 5 wickets in the sparing two overs.

Pakistan had set a target of 289 for India which was very easy at the start but when they came to bat two early wickets were down. Gotam Ghambeer and Irfan Pathan were sent back to pavilion by Muhammad Asif. Asif was marvelous in his first spell. After that Dravid and Tendulkar made basis for the success of India.

Turning point of match was probably the catch dropped by Kamran Akmal behind the stumps when Tendulkar edged the ball to the leg side. That was not at all some difficult catch for a professional wicket keeper at that level. That was a chance provided to Pakistan on delivery of Umer Gul to win the match other wise Pakistan had very less chance after scoring only 288. Though Asif and Gul bowled very well but they were unable to get the key wicket of Sachin Tendulkar. Dravid and Tendulkar played very sensibly in that phase of match.

Once Dravid was run out by Gul, Yuvraj came out to accompany Tendulkar. He had played a superb innings of 82* and also played a responsible innings here to ensure the win for his country. But the star of the day was Dhoni who really brought India out of any trouble that they would have to face in form of climbing required run rate. Required rate had just exceeded 7 after dismissal of Sachin on 95 and Kaif on a duck. But Dhoni really played in his own natural style with out feeling the pressure rather he was the person to remove pressure from Yuvraj who had played with responsibility.

Start of Pakistani batting was not different from that in Pindi. Again top order and middle order collapsed terribly. Salman Butt again got a duck in the very first over of the innings by Pathan. This time he was out on defending a swinging delivery. The only remedy at the instance can be to bring him at non-striker end at the start of innings. Other opener with him was Shahid Afridi who has never been a reliable batsman. Even Indians dropped some catches in the start but Pakistanis could not get advantage of that other than the in-form batsman Shoaib Malik.

4 Wickets were down at 82 runs only. Shoaib Malik was the only man to stay in the middle. This time he was also able to complete his century against India. He had been out twice in 90s in this series. He made 108 runs. Razzaq really made it possible to pile up some reasonable score against opposition. Pakistan was able to score 89 runs in last 10 overs.

At the end Congratulations to Dhoni for completing his 1000 runs in international carrier and also for playing a wonderful match winning innings today. Muhammad Yousaf also deserves some congratulation for completing his 7000 runs in ODI though it seemed that he came only to achieve this milestone in today match.

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