Super-charged Pakistan nail series

AGENCIES

Kolkata, Jan 3: Nasir Jamshed's liking for Indian bowling rivals that of another left-handed opener from his country - Saeed Anwar's. Jamshed's third successive ODI hundred against his preferred opposition and India's irremediable vulnerability to quality bowling translated into a coveted ODI series win for Pakistan on Thursday. At the iconic Eden Gardens, the neighbours overwhelmed their arch rivals by 85 runs in the second fixture, keeping their spotless venue record intact and sealing a 2-0 triumph in the three-match competition. 
 Set a target of 251, India were never able to get going and not one decent partnership - aside from the scratchy 42-run opening stand - featured in the chase. The home team had come back strongly to restrict Pakistan after the visiting openers - Jamshed and Muhammad Hafeez (76) - rustled up a big partnership.
 But India faltered in the pursuit, as a bowling attack of unimpeachable skill did not allow any batsman to get comfortable. The chase was terminated on 165 in 48 overs as four of Pakistan's six bowlers went for less than four runs per over. Left-arm paceman Junaid Khan provided the early breakthroughs, off-spinner Hafeez was miserly, Umar Gul got two vital wickets and Saeed Ajmal - held back until the 25th over - took out three in one over to scupper a chase that was not going anywhere anyway. Kamran Akmal, often criticised for being less than able behind the wicket, claimed four victims - including a stunning leg-side catch to get rid of Virat Kohli. Pakistan have now beaten India in all the four ODIs that the teams have contested at the Eden Gardens.
 India lost eight successive overseas Tests. They lost a home Test series. And now the ODI world champions have lost a home bilateral series for the first time in more than three years. They are in free fall, and continue to touch a newer nadir each time. The failure of the batsmen has been a common factor in all these reversals, and it was no different at Eden Gardens. Despite the bowlers taking ten wickets for 109 to keep Pakistan to 250, India crumbled without any fight, losing their top five batsmen before they had reached 100. The tail had collapsed before MS Dhoni could even think about improbables such as miracles.
 Pakistan added to their record of being the only side, other than Australia, to inflict home ODI series defeats on India in the previous ten years. Nasir Jamshed, one of the finest young batsmen around, made his third successive ODI century against India, whose batsmen carried their struggles from Chennai to Kolkata.

Lastupdate on : Thu, 3 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 3 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 4 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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