Ahmedabad: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was all praise for his young bowling attack that held its nerve in the death overs during the 11-run win over Pakistan in the second encounter of the drawn Twenty20 international series at the Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera, Friday.
Young pacers Ashok Dinda (3-36) and Ishant Sharma (1-34) were excellent in the last two overs, giving away just just 14 runs when Pakistan needed 26 to win.
Dinda was superb in the penultimate over and dashed Pakistan’s hoped by picking up the crucial wickets of skipper Mohammed Hafeez (55) and Kamran Akmal (5) giving away just six runs.
Showering praise on the two young bowlers, Dhoni said they handled pressure well.
“A lot depends on the youngsters bowling the last overs, I think they held their nerve nicely. they were feeling the pressure but they responded really well and executed the yorkers. When they wanted to bowl slower ones they did that,” said Dhoni.
The India captain also lauded his batsmen.
“We got off to a very good start from Gautam (Gambhir) and Jinks (Ajinkya Rahane) … Yuvi was at his best, those big sixes and fours. We got ten runs more than what we would have been happy with. Overall it was good competition between the sides,” he said.
Yuvraj Singh top scored with 72 off 36 balls and smashed seven sixes and four fours. Yuvraj was also adjudged as Man of the Match.
Yuvraj said he wanted to spend some time at the middle.
“Yesterday I was batting in the nets and I couldn’t middle a single ball, so I was trying to spend time in the middle. That yorker (which hit him on the boot) reminded me of Wasim Akram but that’s cricket, you got to take a few blows … We thought 160-170 was a good total but if Dhoni and me stayed till the end we knew we could score more,” he said.
Pakistan captain Mohammed Hafeez, who was adjudged man of the series, said his batsmen erred in their length.
“When we were bowling, we didn’t follow the basics, we bowled short of a length. The partnership between Dhoni and Yuvraj was the difference. In the first six overs we played very well but in the seventh-tenth over we didn’t score as much as we should have … we wanted Umar Akmal to have more time in the middle,” he said.