Ahmedabad: Yuvraj Singh's brilliance with the bat and Ashok Dinda's late wickets led India to a series-levelling win in the second T20 against Pakistan on Friday at Motera, where the hosts levelled the two-match series at 1-1 by stopping Pakistan 11 runs short of the target in a close match.
Yuvraj smashed a 36-ball 72 with the help of seven sixes and four boundaries to take India to 192 for 5 and later rolled his arm over taking 1 for 23 to lead India's win. But Pakistan skipper Mohammad Hafeez's 26-ball 55 almost took the match away from India until Dinda's 3 for 36 brought them back in the dying stages.
Pakistan's chase was spurred on by a 74-run first-wicket stand between Nasir Jamshed (41) and Ahmed Shehzad (31), which was broken by R Ashwin in the 10th over when he dismissed Jamshed. Yuvraj then sent Shehzad back with the score at 84 to pull things further back.
Hafeez came in at the fall of the second wicket and took the Indian bowlers on from the word go. His innings included five fours and three sixes. By the time Umar Akmal (24) was removed by Dinda, the pair had added 62 runs in 5.3 overs. Dinda then went on to remove dangerman Hafeez and Kamran Akmal (5) that put the match in India's kitty.
After being put in to bat by Pakistan, Gautam Gambhir (21) and Ajinkya Rahane (28) got off to quickish start, adding 44 in 4.5 overs. But the two openers departed in quick succession. Yuvraj and Virat Kohli added 35 runs for the third wicket, with the partnership ending with Kohli's (27) run-out on a misjudged single.
However, Yuvraj and Dhoni batted with great courage to boost India. Both added 97 runs off 44 balls with Yuvraj tearing into the visitors’ bowling. The left-hander unleashed his fury especially on Saeed Ajmal and Sohail Tanvir. He hit Ajmal for three consecutive sixes.
Yuvraj and Dhoni (33) departed in quick succession with Umar Gul accounting for both. Gul finished with 4 for 37, while Ajmal had figures of with 0 for 42.