The India-Pakistan ODI, Karachi, 2004 was the first match of the 5-match ODI series between the two countries that took place after a long gap. The series drew a lot of attractions and attentions from the cricket enthusiasts of all over the world and the fans of both the countries were dying to see good competition between the countries. The Indian team, being led by the charismatic Saurav Ganguly was quite confident of having a good start in the series and the team eventually did so by winning this match. The team played quite well in the closely contested match and eventually clinched a hard earned victory of only 5 runs in the match. The match saw some wonderful performances from the batsmen of both the teams that made the match a highly competitive one.
Winning the toss, the Pakistan captain, Inzamam-Ul-Haq decided to field first in the match. His decision was not looking to be a right one, as the two Indian openers, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar provided their team a flying start. Both the batsmen started to play their own shots right from the beginning and made a wonderful opening partnership of 69 runs, before Tendulkar got out in the 9th over. Sehwag played a brilliant innings of 79 runs from only 57 balls in the match and he got out as the second batsman for India, when the team's total was 142 in the 15th over. Then, the Indian skipper, Saurav Ganguly and the star batsman, Rahul Dravid together put on 72 runs in the third wicket partnership, where Ganguly's contribution was 45 runs. India suffered a double blow in the midway of its innings, when Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh got out within a span of only 6 runs. India was 220-4 at that point of time and Dravid and Kaif then made a superb partnership of 118 runs for the fifth wicket. Dravid was playing with class in the match, however, he unfortunately got out to one Shoaib Akhtar delivery just 1 run short of his much deserved century. Kaif continued playing well in the match and India eventually scored a good total of 349 runs from the stipulated 50 overs, thanks to Kaif's timely 46 runs.
In reply to the mammoth total of 349 runs by India, the Pakistan team got a bad start, as they lost their first two wickets within the score of only 34 runs. Boosted by the wonderful performance of their batsmen, the Indian bowlers bowled with good line and length and Balaji and Zaheer Khan took the first two wickets for India. However, the two most experienced batsmen for Pakistan, Yousuf Youhana and Inzamam-Ul-Haq then made a wonderful partnership of 135 runs for the third wicket and rescued their team from the early disaster. Though, Youhana got out after scoring 73 runs, when Pakistan's score was 169-3, Inzamam continued to play well and made yet another good partnership. This time, his partner was Younis Khan and their 109 runs partnership took Pakistan's total to 278 runs in the 43rd over. Murali Karthik then provided the much needed break through to India by removing Inzamam from the crease at his individual score of 122 runs. Pakistan faced a lot of troubles after the departure of Inzamam and started to lost wickets in regular intervals. However, the lower order batsmen like Abdul Razzaq and Moin Khan made some good efforts to save their team, but their efforts went in vain. India eventually became successful to restrict the Pakistan innings to 344 runs from the stipulated 50 overs and thus clinched a well deserved victory of 5 runs in the India-Pakistan ODI, Karachi, 2004. The star Indian pace bowler, Zaheer Khan played a significant part in India's win, as he took 3 wickets for 66 runs in the match.
(Last Updated on : 17-12-2010)