Pakistan 286-8 India 287-2: Yuvraj and Dhoni double act crowns India's series rout

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The Independent Online

Yuvraj Singh blasted a century as India wrapped up a 4-1 one-day international series win over Pakistan with an eight-wicket victory in yesterday's finale in Karachi. Yuvraj, who was unbeaten with 107, received excellent support from Mahendra Singh Dhoni (77 not out) in an unbroken third-wicket stand of 146 which helped India to reach 287 for 2 to secure victory with three overs and a ball to spare.

Pakistan had earlier posted 286 for 8, with Younis Khan unbeaten on 74 and Mohammad Yousuf 67.

Gautam Gambhir was the first Indian batsman to fall when he was caught at the wicket by Kamran Akmal off the bowling of Rao Iftikhar Anjum. He and his fellow opener Rahul Dravid had put on 69, and the India captain added 72 for the second with Yuvraj.

Dravid departed for 50, giving Shoaib Malik a catch off the bowling of Mohammad Sami. Yuvraj and Dhoni continued the effort, the latter hitting four sixes, and the target was reached with plenty to spare.

Pakistan had posted a solid total off their 50 overs, with all their batsmen apart from the tailenders Sami and Iftikhar reaching double figures. Akmal and Imran Farhat put on 62 for the first wicket. But after three then fell quickly, Yousuf had to rebuild the innings - first with his captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and then in a 95-run fifth-wicket stand with Younis. The pace bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth's figures of 4 for 58 made him the pick of the Indian bowlers.

Yuvraj, the man of the match, said: "I think this is the most consistent I have batted, carrying on from the Test series... The more games you play the better you become. I have been playing for five years now - I am slowly getting there."

Inzamam said: "I think we have not been playing good cricket. Credit goes to India - they played very well in every department."

* In Colombo, Pakistan became the first team to retain the Under-19 world title when they beat India by 38 runs yesterday. India's spinners routed Pakistan for 109 in 41.1 overs before their batsmen slumped to 9 for 6 before lunch before being dismissed for 71 in the 19th over.

* The former Bangladesh captain Khaled Mahmud, 34, has announced his international retirement.

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