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Monday, February 20, 2006


So India continued with their winning ways against Pakistan. Runs were chased, more records smashed. This was a brave new India. One that wasn't afraid of chasing totals. Which is why with the luck with the toss, Dravid put Pakistan in to bat yet again.

The four wicket haul by S Sreesanth was made even more memorable with that jiggly he broke into it. And despite their decent start, Pakistan ended play on 286 for 8 in their stipulated 50 overs.

A fairly competitive target, but not one to bother Team India.

We were missing both Sehwag and Tendulkar. Though that appeared to be the least of opener Gambhir and Dravid's worries. They put on 69 for the opening wicket. Along the way Dravid, also re-wrote another record.

With his 68th one-day international half-century, he became only the fourth Indian player to pass the 9,000 run mark in one-dayers. And after Gambhir and Dravid were out, it was left to Yuvraj Singh and the unstoppable Mahendra Singh Dhoni took to the crease.

Here was Yuvraj, cramping away when he was in his 80s but staying on for his team. Together the duo put on a perfect display of the controlled and the wild.

Just when the run rate looked daunting, Dhoni sent the ball in all directions. He took the pressure off by smashing three sixes in two overs and suddenly India were cruising. And then came the piece de resistance - Dhoni hit the winning runs and finishing unbeaten on 77 from just 56 balls.

Yuvraj was not out on 107 and the pair saw India home with eight wickets and more than three over still in hand.

Victory couldn't have been sweeter. India confirmed their dominance in the one-day series and Yuvraj got the much deserved 'Man of the Series' award for suriving brilliantly under pressure.

With yet another historic win, the Indian team has lots to cheer about. After all it's not just about winning the rubber, it's about being in the perfect frame of mind of take on England on home soil.