Yuvraj steals the show
Yuvraj Singh starred as India levelled the two-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan with an exciting 11-run win in Ahmedabad.
Yuvraj and Ashok Dinda played key roles with bat and ball respectively, the former seeing the hosts to 192 for five with 72 from 36 deliveries.
Dinda then took up the baton by claiming 3-36, including Pakistan's top-scorer Mohammed Hafeez for 55, as Pakistan were restricted to 181 for seven.
After being asked to bat, India made an exceptional start as Ajinkya Rahane and Gautuam Gambhir prospered.
It was the introduction of Umar Gul that eventually stemmed the tide as he trapped the latter, who had been dropped off the previous delivery by wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, plumb in front with a slower ball.
Pakistan’s resurgence continued as Rahane mis-timed an attempted pull and edged back to Gul before Virat Kohli, having played within himself self to reach 27, was run out by Saeed Ajmal’s direct hit.
Yuvraj, however, was imperious thereafter, slog-sweeping Shahid Afridi for six in the next over.
That proved the first of seven as Yuvraj took a particular liking to spin, four times clearing the ropes off Ajmal.
Three of those came in as many deliveries; the left-hander heaved over the leg side repeatedly to evoke memories of the six maximums he struck in one Stuart Broad over at the World Twenty20 five years ago.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni chipped in with a 23-ball 33, after which Pakistan were given the perfect start in reply as openers Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad responded positively in a 74-run stand.
But the former eventually was caught at point off Ravichandran Ashwin for 41 and, in the next over, Shehzad was stumped off Yuvraj for 31.
Hafeez threatened to steer his side to victory, mixing some inventive strokes with timing that made clearing the rope look easy.
Yet his half-century would eventually prove in vain as Dinda’s three wickets ensured the spoils were shared in an enthralling rubber.