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India: Dhoni ton steers India to 227-6


CHENNAI, (The News): Captain Mahinder Singh Dhoniís brilliant century steered India to 227-6 after Indiaís early collapse against Pakistan in the first One-day International here at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk on Sunday.

Leading from the front, Dhoni rescued his team from trouble and took it to safety. He made an unbeaten 113, off 125 balls with three sixes and seven fours.

After Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and elected to take field in the match delayed by an hour due to morning rain, India made a disastrous start when their top-order batsmen could not resist against the fierce bowling by Junaid and Irfan.

First to go was veteran batsman Virender Sehwag who was clean bowled by Junaid in the fourth over. He made only four and India were 17 for one.

Then his partner Gautam Gambhir was also bowled but this time by Irfan at the same score in the fifth over.

Two runs later, the most in-form batsman Virat Kohli departed without opening his account. as Junaid uprooted his stumps

Dashing batsman Yuvraj Singh also could not stay at the crease and he was also clean bowled by Junaid for only two runs and India lost four wickets for only 20 runs.

Later, Rohit Sharma was brilliantly caught by Mohammad Hafeez at third slip off Junaid for four and India were reeling on 29-5.

Then, Rohit Sharma and Dhoni came to rescue and steadily batted to see India reach 100 in 30 overs but just runs later Sharma was bowled by off-spinner Hafeez for 43.

He and Dhoni added 73 runs for the sixth wicket partnership.

Soon Dhoni found another able partner in Ravichandran Ashwin and took control of batting and started playing strokes all around the ground after completing his fifty in 86 balls.

Then he never looked back and raced towards his eighth hundred in ODI career. He took only 32 balls for his second fifty.

Dhoni made record 125 runs for an unfinished seventh wicket partnership with Ashwin who made was 31 not out.

Junaid claimed four for 43 while Irfan and Hafeez took one wicket each.

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