Tendulkar's bowling arm floors Pakistan in first one-dayer
by AFP

Ground:Nehru Stadium, Kochi
Scorecard:India v Pakistan
Player:Arshad Khan, RS Dravid, V Sehwag, Inzamam-ul-Haq, SC Ganguly
Event:Pakistan in India 2004/05

DateLine: 2nd April 2005


Sachin Tendulkar struck telling blows with the ball as hosts India delighted a sell-out home crowd of 75,000 with an 87-run victory over Pakistan in the first one-day international.


Tendulkar made amends for failing with the bat by picking up five for 50 with his leg-spin as India bowled out Pakistan for 194 in reply to their own 281-8 from 50 overs at the Nehru stadium on Saturday.


Mohammad Hafeez top scored for the tourists with 42, but wickets tumbled at regular intervals to hand India a 1-0 lead in the six-match series.


India's challenging total was built by centuries from Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid, who put on a record 201 for the third wicket after seamer Rana Naved-ul Hasan removed Tendulkar and captain Sourav Ganguly off consecutive balls in the day's second over.


Sehwag smashed 108 off 95 balls with nine boundaries and three sixes after being dropped twice before he had reached double figures. Dravid made a gutsy 104 in stifling heat and humidity in this southern coastal town.


"Rahul and Sehwag can do nothing wrong these days," said Ganguly. "It was a very good batting performance by them in this hot weather.


"I think we had enough runs on the board because it was never going to be easy batting second in this heat after having fielded for almost four hours.


"Sachin is a very decent bowler who has the knack of picking up wickets. It was very nice to see him bowl the way he did today."


India were pegged to 48 runs in the last 10 overs as off-spinner Arshad Khan finished with 4-33 in six overs after conceding 13 runs in his first over.

Pakistan openers Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal made a rollicking start by hammering 45 in the first six overs, before India hit back with three wickets in the space of four runs.


It became 64-4 in the 12th over as Zaheer Khan took a tumbling return catch at the start of his second spell to dismiss Yousuf Youhana for zero.


Captain Inzamam-ul Haq and Hafeez put on 48 for the fifth wicket when Tendulkar, cheered lustily from the overflowing stands, finally made his presence felt.


Tendulkar clipped Inzamam's off-bail, when the Pakistan skipper looked dangerous on 37, and then ripped through the lower order to seal India's victory.


"It was a very gettable total but we just did not have big partnerships," said Inzamam.


"It was very hot out there, but it affected both teams. Hopefully we will come back strongly in the remaining matches."


Earlier, India slumped to 4-2 in the first two overs after electing to take first strike in good batting conditions.


Tendulkar, one-day cricket's most successful batsman with more than 13,000 runs and 37 centuries, skied a miscued pull shot from Rana Naved after hitting the previous ball for a boundary.


Ganguly's horrendous run with the bat, which saw him make just 48 runs in five innings during the drawn Test series against Pakistan, continued when he was bowled round his legs first ball as he attempted a flick.


Sehwag, who scored 544 runs at an average of 90.66 in the Test series, was dropped by Hafeez off the first ball of the match and then by wicket-keeper Akmal when he was on eight.


Mohammad Sami was the unfortunate bowler on both occasions.


The Sehwag-Dravid partnership was India's best for the third wicket against Pakistan in a one-day international, surpassing the 161 by Dravid and Mohammad Azharuddin during the Sahara Cup series in Toronto, Canada in 1996.


The second match will be played in the eastern coastal town of Visakhapatnam on Tuesday.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)