Pakistan aim to seal ODI series against India

Eden Gardens has been a happy hunting ground for the visitors

Pakistan will go in as favourites for the second one-day international on Thursday against India who have never beaten their arch rivals at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

The visitors will be buoyed by their six-wicket win in Chennai on Sunday and are eager to drive home the advantage in the day-night clash scheduled to begin at 12noon local time (10.30am UAE).

Pakistan skipper Misbah ul Haq urged his team to lift their game after being "lucky" on Sunday.
 
“We were lucky to win because India gave us a tough time after being in a tricky situation,” said Misbah in the post-match press conference.
 
“They lost five wickets early but still went on to make 227 and we couldn’t chase it down easily. So I think we have to improve a lot of things. To win the next match, we will have to work hard and improve a fair bit,” he said.
 
“We have to really improve our fielding, our death over and Power-Play bowling. After these ODI rules specially, we will have to be tighter in our play,” said Misbah.

Pakistan's winning streak here dates back to 1987, when Kolkata hosted its first-ever ODI.

Krishnamachari Srikkanth's brilliant 103-ball 123 was overshadowed by Salim Malik's fearsome onslaught - a 36-ball unbeaten 72 - as Pakistan clinched the game with two wickets and three balls to spare in a 40-overs-per-side game.

Two years later, both teams met once again in the Nehru League match and the result this time was even more emphatic. Pakistan won the match by 77 runs with Mushtaq Ahmed claiming three wickets. The team followed this win with another, this time against West Indies in the same tournament.

The only occasion when Pakistan lost a match at Eden Gardens was to Sri Lanka in 1997. Playing the final of Independence Cup, Sri Lanka's total of 309 was just too much to chase.

Younus Khan, Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal are the only surviving members of the Pakistan side, led by Inzamam-ul Haq, that had humbled India by six wickets in the BCCI Platinum Jubilee (one-off) match played on November 13, 2004, while only two Indian players - Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh - from that match have survived the ravages of time and form.

India may not have won an ODI against Pakistan at Eden Gardens, but their overall record here is not too bad, having won 10 of the 18 matches they have played here.

Among the seven losses India have suffered here, the one against Sri Lanka in the 1996 World Cup semifinal was a real heart-breaker.

Pakistan's ODI record at Eden Gardens

Feb 18, 1987: India 238-6 in 40 overs (Srikkanth 123, Azharuddin 49; Akram 3-49, Imran 2-59). Pakistan 241-8 in 39.3 ovs (Rameez 58, Younis Ahmed 58, Salim Malik 72no; Shastri 4-38). Pakistan won by 2 wickets

Oct 28, 1989 (Nehru Cup league match): Pakistan 279-7 in 50 overs (Aamer Malik 51, Rameez 77, Imran 47 no; Ayub 2-31). India 202 all out in 42.3 overs (Srikkanth 65, Lamba 57; Mushtaq Ahmed 3-51). Pakistan won by 77 runs.

Nov 1, 1989 (Nehru Cup final): West Indies 273-5 in 50 ovs (Haynes 107no, Simmons 40; Imran 3-47). Pakistan 277-6 in 49.5 ovs (Ijaz Ahmed 56, Salim Malik 71, Imran 51no; winston Benjamin 2-71). Pakistan won by 4 wkts

May 27, 1997 (Independence Cup, 2nd final): Sri Lanka 309 in 49.4 overs (Jayasuriya 55, Aravinda 57, Ranatunga 59; Saqlain 4-53). Pakistan 224 in 43.1 ovs (Rameez 76, Ijaz 55; Murali 3-40). Sri Lanka won by 85 runs

Nov 13, 2004 (BCCI Platinum Jubilee match): India 292-6 in 50 overs (Sehwag 53, Laxman 43, Ganguly 48, Yuvraj 78). Pakistan 293-4 in 49 runs (Salman Butt 108no, Shoaib Malik 61, Inzamam 75). Pakistan won by 6 wkts

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