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India beats Pakistan by 46 runs

KANPUR, India: Yuvraj Singh’s aggressive knock of 77 led India to a 46-run victory Sunday in the third limited-overs international against Pakistan, which faltered despite a fine century from opener Salman Butt.

Yuvraj Singh and skipper Mahendra Dhoni’s brisk 100-run partnership for the fourth wicket boosted India to 294 for six from 50 overs.

Pakistan’s victory chase was led by a career-best 129 from left-hander Butt, but he got little support from other batsmen and the visitors were bowled out for 248 in 47.2 overs.

The victory gave India a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

Left-arm pacer Rudra Pratap Singh emerged as India’s most-successful bowler, returning a haul of three for 62. Supporting him were five other bowlers claiming a wicket each.

Yuvraj Singh struck three sixes and four boundaries off 95 deliveries and got support to rebuild the innings from captain Dhoni, who contributed 49.

Dhoni’s 52-ball knock contained two sixes and four boundaries.

Put in to bat first after Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik won the toss, India got off to a sound start through an opening stand of 68 between Sourav Ganguly (39) and Sachin Tendulkar (29).

Tendulkar was the first to depart, edging left-arm pacer Sohail Tanvir to wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal when trying to play a forcing cover-drive.

Dropped by Akmal off the match’s first delivery from paceman Shoaib Akhtar, Ganguly went on to hit one six and four boundaries before being clean bowled by Tanvir, who was the pick of the Pakistan attack and claimed two for 26 from his 10 accurate overs.

Gautam Gambhir made 25 before he failed to fend off a sharp delivery from left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman, who finished with figures of two for 58 by having Yuvraj Singh caught in the deep by Misbah-ul-Haq.

Singh and Dhoni then bolstered the Indian score through their brisk partnership, which broke when Dhoni played an Akhtar delivery on to his stumps.

Posting his fourth century in 39 one-dayers, Butt smashed 17 fours in his 142-ball knock. But the other top-order batsmen failed to provide him much support.

Butt and Misbah’s 80-run stand for the fifth wicket kept Pakistan in the contest. Butt waged a lone battle after Misbah’s departure and India seized the match after Butt became the ninth batsman out – given lbw when attempting a reverse sweep against offspinner Harbhajan Singh.

India beats Pakistan by 46 runs

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