Cricket Classics

India v Pakistan, 2nd ODI, 2005, Visakhapatnam

Tuesday, February 26, 2022
Sportz Interactive
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When: April 5, 2022
Where: ACA-VDCA Stadium, Visakhapatnam
| Scorecard + Videos | Photo-gallery |

SERIES BRUSH-UP

  • With the impetus: India were fresh off a thumping 87-run victory in the first ODI at Cochin.
  • Perked up Pakistan: The Inzamam-led outfit had squared the three-match Test series after a dramatic victory at Bangalore.
  • Woolmer’s initial ordeal: The late Pakistani coach began his stint in the position during this tour.
  • Indian-Pakistan cricket was back to its finest with the incidence of bilateral series between the rival nations on a yearly basis after the breakthrough was achieved in 2004 when India created history after emerging triumphant in Pakistani soil for the first time.

    It was the turn of Inzamam-ul-Haq’s band to tour the neighbours this time around and detractors found it hard to put their money on one team. Both units were well balanced and the flat pitches meant that the run feasts had only just begun! The skippers went into the Vizag ODI with a clear mindset – win the toss and elect to bat first.

    Ganguly was the lucky captain this time around but Inzy would not have been outright forlorn as the pitch was expected to stay true to its characteristics for the rest of the bout.

    The hosts received their initial thrust from the in-form Virender Sehwag who was coming off a cracking century in the first ODI at Cochin. These were the times when the Nawab of Najafgarh was relentless in his belligerent strokeplay – especially against Pakistani bolwers. Swing bowler Mohammad Sami would have a thing or two to say about that.


    © AFP
    The duo of Dhoni and Sehwag made the Pakistani bowlers sweat

    Tendulkar misjudged a quick single and was found short by a direct hit by the most unusual of throwing arms –the one of Mohammad Yousuf (formerly known as Youhana). The dismissal brought new wicketkeeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni to the crease. It was seen as a ploy to boost the scoring rate as the Jharkhand player had earned a reputation of being a bit of a big hitter in the domestic circuit.

    Two of a kind

    Inzamam was in a colossal predicament while setting fields to the duo of Dhoni and Sehwag, who tore into the bowlers, especially frontline spinners Shahid Afridi and Arshad Khan. Astonishingly, India had raced along to 122/1 in less than 14 overs, sending shivers down coach Woolmer’s spine, who had assured a better performance from his team’s bowlers after a crashing defeat at Cochin in the first ODI.

    FINER POINTS

  • Pakistan’s talisman and ‘India’s biggest nemesis’ Younis Khan did not play due to an injury.
  • Sourav Ganguly was going through one of the leanest patches of his career. He continued his poor form with a score of 9. 
  • A swarm of bees had struck the ground at Vizag which resulted in the players leaving the field!
  • The partnership was finally broken when Sehwag tried to clear the infield and was caught at midwicket by Salman Butt off Naved-ul-Hasan’s bowling. The Delhi opener departed after scoring a quickfire 74 runs from 40 balls – an inning that included 12 boundaries and two sixes.

    Although the juncture of play did not effect in the 'dismissive' Dhoni to renounce from playing his strokes, as he continued the fireworks, pouncing on any loose delivery. Ganguly departed soon after as vice-captain Rahul Dravid arrived at the crease.

    Dhoni’s blistering strokes in the V off the fast bowlers and lofted sixes off the spinner demoralized Inzy and his band to no end. Nothing could stop Dhoni, and even when all the players on the field left the ground in flash as a swarm of bees arrived, he stood tall, casually sauntering about his crease, almost wondering what the fuss was all about.


    © AFP
    Dravid and Dhoni added 149 runs for the fourth-wicket until the latter was eventually dismissed whilst top edging a big heave off part-time spinner Mohammad Hafeez. Shoaib Malik pounced on to the catch and the Pakistanis were relieved to see the back of a new champion in Indian cricket – Mahendra Singh Dhoni – who departed after scoring his maiden century – a knock of 148 runs from 123 balls – including 15 cracks to the rope and four soaring sixes. 

    The hosts amassed a massive total of 356/9 and dismissed the dangerous Shahid Afridi in just the second over when left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra cleaned him up for a duck. The dismissal brought all-rounder Abdul Razzaq to the crease to join southpaw Salman Butt. The twosome encountered Balaji, Nehra and Zaheer with utter precision to give Ganguly a lot to ponder over.

    Butt mis-hit an expansive drive over the offside to lob a simple catch to Sehwag. Captain Inzy arrived at the crease; struck a massive six off Harbhajan’s bowling and subsequently rather ‘customary’ mixup resulted in his run-out when partner Razzaq failed to respond to a call for a quick single. Yousuf Youhana arrived at the wicket and joined the run-feast.

    A teed off Inzy!

    The bizarre incidents that followed Inzamam’s run-out were one to remember! The Pakistan captain lost his cool and flung his bat in disgust, although later in the post-match press conference, coach Bob Woolmer claimed “His bat just slipped out of his hand as he walked back to the pavilion.”

    "After I got to a hundred I felt it was important to push the scoring as much as possible so that we could make about 350. The ball was not doing anything off the pitch and I knew that even a score of 350 might not be enough," Dhoni was quoted as saying at the end of the match.

    IMPACT PLAYER

    MS Dhoni (148 runs off 123 balls)



    A new phenomenon had arrived in Indian cricket. Promoted to No. 3, the Jharkhand boy began with a crunching extra-cover drive.

    Initially, he scored boundaries off edges but eventually showed the full face of the bat and drove off front and back foot with great precision – most importantly with enormous power.

    Razzaq was dismissed twelve short his third century in ODI cricket when Ganguly’s ‘adored’ part-timer Yuvi came to bowl and got the all-rounder to edge one to Dhoni. It was the turning point of the contest as the full-blooded strokeplay of Razzaq could not be recreated later in the innings by the Pakistani batsmen.

    The visitors lost a few too many wickets and stumbled to 298 all out in 44.1 overs. In retrospection, they were well on course to win the match on the basis of run-rate. Yousuf played a rather uncharacteristic knock of 71 runs from just 56 balls and kept his team afloat all the way through. Ashish Nehra finished with figures of 4/72 and Yuvraj 3/55.

    With the triumph, India took a 2-0 lead in the series and shockingly for their liking, went on to lose the six-match series by a 2-4 margin. Mahendra Singh Dhoni had made his charisma felt and Sourav Ganguly's days as Indian captain were numbered.

    The game gave the world a first taste of Dhoni who would go on to become a sensation in the country and an astute leader in due course.


    SIGN POST

  • The total of 356/9 was India’s third-highest total at the time and is currently the fourth-highest ODI total registered.
  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni in just his fifth appearance in ODI cricket completed his maiden century and brought it up in just 88 balls.
  • Sehwag’s 50 came of just 26 balls – it still remains the fourth fastest fifty by an Indian batsman in limited-overs cricket.
  • Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi made his 201st appearance in ODIs and offspinner Arshad Khan played in his 50th.
  •  Sourav Ganguly was just 55 runs short of 10,000 runs at the end of Vizag ODI. Surprisingly, he could not complete the magical milestone at the end of the six-match series.
  • Brief Scores

    India 356/9 (Dhoni 148, Sehwag 74, Dravid 52, Naved-ul-Hasan 3/54) defeated Pakistan 298 (44.1 overs) (Abdul Razzaq 88, Yousuf Youhana (now Mohammad Yousuf) 71, Kamran Akmal 41, Ashish Nehra 4/72, Yuvraj Singh 3/55)

    Relive the magic

    | Scorecard & Videos | Photo-gallery |

    Key Performers - Profiles

    | Mahendra Singh Dhoni | Virender Sehwag | Yuvraj Singh | Mohammad Yousuf |


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