Dhoni spurs India to 58-run win over Pak

Associated Press

Visakhapatnam, April 5:

Mahendra Dhoni’s confident century on Tuesday fashioned India’s 58-run victory over Pakistan in the second limited-overs international.

Dhoni punished the Pakistan attack for a 123-ball 148, his maiden one-day century, and boosted India to 356/9 in 50 overs — its highest total against Pakistan. In reply, Pakistan was bowled out for 298 in 44.1 overs, despite Abdul Razzaq’s belligerent 92-ball knock of 88 and Yousuf Youhana’s 71 off 56 balls.

Indian left-arm pace bowler Ashish Nehra claimed a haul of 4-72 and left-arm spinner Yuvraj Singh took 3-55 as the hosts took a 2-0 lead in the six-match series. Dhoni, who smashed four sixes and 16 boundaries, surpassed India’s previous top individual one-day score against Pakistan — 141 by Sourav Ganguly (Adelaide, 2000) and Sachin Tendulkar (Rawalpindi, 2004).

Dhoni put on 96 runs for the second wicket with Virender Sehwag (74), who hit two sixes and 12 boundaries from 40 deliveries.

Reaching his century off 88 balls, Dhoni threw a punch in the air and raised his bat to accept the applause from the crowd, but in the next over was sent scrambling to the ground for cover by a swarm of bees. All players and umpires were forced to lie on the ground until the bees left.

Dhoni fell in the 42nd over when he was caught by Shoaib off spinner Mohammed Hafeez (2-55). Paceman Naved-ul-Hasan (3-54) dismissed Rahul Dravid (52) and Kaif in the space of four balls.

Pakistan made a poor start to its run chase as Afridi was bowled by Nehra for a second-ball duck.

Salman Butt (36) and Razzaq put a brisk 84-run partnership for the second wicket before Butt top-edged an attempted pull shot off Nehra to Sehwag, and Inzamam-ul-Haq (16) was run out. Razzaq maintained Pakistan’s run-chase, hitting one six and 13 fours before edging Yuvraj Singh into Dhoni’s gloves.

Shoaib Malik (12) and Mohammed Hafeez (7) faltered, but Yousuf Youhana kept his team’s hopes alive until he skied the ball to Kaif at covers. Youhana’s departure, after hitting four sixes and two boundaries, signalled the end of Pakistan’s challenge.