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'All strategies failed against Younus'

Indian skipper MS Dhoni lauds Younus Khan for his brilliant performance that helped Pakistan to register an eight-wicket win against India on Wednesday.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Karachi
UPDATED ON JUL 03, 2008 12:01 PM IST

Indian skipper MS Dhoni said his bowlers were helpless against a rampaging Younus Khan, who steered Pakistan to a comprehensive eight-wicket win against India and kept alive his side's hopes of making the final of the Asia Cup against Sri Lanka.

Younus struck an unbeaten century, on Wednesday, to help Pakistan overhaul India's competitive total of 308.

"I think Younus Khan played a brilliant innings. The bowlers tried everything against him but he was always ahead of them. He didn't take pressure at all," Dhoni told reporters after the match.

Now India must beat Sri Lanka on Thursday in their last Super Stage match to secure a place in the final, to be played on Sunday.

The Indian skipper said the pitch was a belter and even 308 runs were not enough to defend.

"It was a very good batting track and frankly speaking we tried everything. Nothing worked. When I and Rohit were batting we were under pressure because of the quick loss of wickets. On such tracks taking wickets is the key to victory.

"We will go in there and give it our best. But on these pitches you need experienced and quality spinners to tie things up."

He also rejected suggestions that his players had not recovered from fatigue.

"Well, we will now sit down and find out where we went wrong. But it is not everyday you play back to back games and we are professional cricketers and we have to manage this," he said.

Pakistan's stand in skipper, Misbah-ul-Haq paid showered praise on his bowlers for restricting India to a gettable score.

"Once we restricted them to 308 we were always confident we could win this match. I told the bowlers to bowl aggressively even if you give away runs. I think our bowlers bowled fantastically well on this flat pitch and their wickets gave us the advantage," he said.

Misbah also said that he was happy to play a crucial role in win along with Younus.

"But I think Younus played an outstanding knock and he is a controlled player. And when he plays like this we usually end up winning games."

Misbah said regardless of the outcome of the India and Sri Lanka game, Pakistan would go all out to beat Bangladesh comprehensively.

"The result of the India and Lanka game is not in our hands so we just have to think about our match rest is to fate."

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