Malik finds his touch

Shoaib Malik... Man of the Match.-PTI

Pakistan saved some face by winning the dead rubber match in Jaipur with its captain Shoaib Malik regaining form. Nandita Sridhar reports.

Mohammad Yousuf and Shoaib Malik’s 168-run partnership helped Pakistan beat India in the dead rubber in Jaipur. Sohail Tanvir was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets. The Indian batting, except for a couple of face-saving partnerships, let the side down.

The Indian bowlers, barring debutant Praveen Kumar and Sreesanth in spurts, performed below par. Irfan Pathan and Murali Kartik struggled, with Yousuf and Malik thriving on the bowling inadequacies.

Malik’s two sixes, one over mid-wicket and the other over long-on were powerful, bringing him back to form. Yousuf played a more chanceless innings. Praveen Kumar had an impressive first over in his international debut, getting the ball to move and skid off the pitch. He was accurate, except towards the end. Sreesanth redeemed his bowling figures with three top-order victims.

Sachin Tendulkar just began whetting appetites with a good cameo but was dismissed by Sohail Tanvir.

There was a good partnership between Rohit Sharma and Yuvraj Singh, with the former showing no sign of nerves. Yuvraj’s innings was terminated by a wrong decision from Suresh Shastri (the batsman was adjudged caught behind). Dhoni, who had problem with his ankle, departed immediately after Yuvraj. Their dismissal was for all purposes the end of the match.

THE SCORES

Fifth ODI, Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur, November 18. Pakistan won by 31 runs.

Pakistan: S. Butt c R. Sharma b Sreesanth 36; I. Nazir c & b Sreesanth 20; Y. Hameed c Dhoni b Sreesanth 1; Md. Yousuf st. Dhoni b Yuvraj 74; S. Malik st. Dhoni b Kartik 89; Misbah-ul-Haq c & b Pathan 22; F. Alam (not out) 32; S. Tanvir (not out) 3; Extras (lb-10, w-18, nb-1) 29. Total (for six wkts., in 50 overs) 306.

Fall of wickets: 1-65, 2-70, 3-77, 4-245, 5-261, 6-299.

India bowling: Praveen Kumar 10-1-50-0; Sreesanth 10-1-52-3; Pathan 10-0-59-1; Kartik 10-0-62-1; Sehwag 4-0-26-0; Yuvraj 6-0-47-1.

India: G. Gambhir lbw b Tanvir 12; S. Tendulkar c Misbah-ul-Haq b Tanvir 30; R. Uthappa c Misbah-ul-Haq b Anjum 1; V. Sehwag c Sarfraz b Tanvir 10; R. Sharma c Hameed b Malik 52; Yuvraj Singh c Sarfraz b Gul 50; M. Dhoni c Nazir b Malik 24; I. Pathan b Tanvir 43; P. Kumar c Tanvir b Malik 12; M. Kartik c Nazir b Anjum 16; S. Sreesanth (not out) 10; Extras (lb-4, w-11) 15. Total (in 49.5 overs) 275.

Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-26, 3-57, 4-62, 5-143, 6-188, 7-195, 8-214, 9-238.

Pakistan bowling: Gul 10-0-49-1; Tanvir 9.5-0-53-4; Anjum 10-1-52-2; Alam 10-0-56-0; Malik 10-0-61-3.