Praveen Kumar continues to impress with the new ball in one-dayers.
Man of the Match in the last ODI India played — against Australia — Kumar produced another outstanding performance to bowl India to a 140-run rout over Pakistan in the Kitply Cup here on Tuesday. This was India's biggest margin of victory by runs against Pakistan.
Pakistan, chasing 331, were undone by Praveen’s opening spell of four for 42, slipping to 81 for four by the 13th over. They were bowled out for 190 in only 35.4 overs, with leg-spinner Piyush Chawla (4 for 40) running through the tail.
The Indian bowlers were ably supported by their fielders. The first wicket, of Salman Butt, fell after Rohit Sharma pulled off a brilliant catch at short point.
Rohit's effort was yet another example of the importance of having fresh legs in the outfield.
Earlier, Delhi mates Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir put on a century partnership of 155 in 21.3 overs to lay the foundation of a massive total.
Sehwag (89, 76b, 13x4, 1x6) was cautious to begin with, allowing the in-form Gambhir (62, 62b, 6x4) to dictate.
Gambhir was dropped twice by Younis Khan at slip, on 4 and 29. At the other end, boundaries poured at Sehwag’s will.
Pakistan's choice of four medium-pacers, adding Rao Iftikhar to their attack at left-arm spinner Fawad Alam's expense, bore no fruit.
Sehwag, too, was lucky when Kamran Akmal floored an outside edge off Iftikhar when he was on 43.
Unperturbed, Sehwag carried on with the carnage. Left-arm medium-pacer Wahab Riaz, who impressed against Bangladesh two nights ago, could do precious little after breaking the opening partnership, removing Gambhir and Sehwag off successive overs, bounce doing the trick.
It was Riaz again who was the centre of attention at the death when he was removed from the attack for bowling his second full toss above the waist.
It was not understandable why Yusuf Pathan was sent at number four when more reputed batsmen were waiting in the dressing room. The momentum was lost for a brief period as the debutant half-brother of Irfan Pathan, making it a rare case of brothers playing in the same ODI for India, looked lost in his maiden visit at this level. He did not last long either as did Rohit Sharma before Yuvraj Singh's swashbuckling 54-ball 55 (3x4, 3x6) and Dhoni's cameo brought India back on track.