South Asia’s bitter rivals Pakistan and India are meeting again on the cricket ground, marking a gradual thaw in their decades-old rivalry. The first bilateral series between India and Pakistan since November 2007, comprising two Twenty20 matches and three one-day internationals, began on December 25, with Pakistan winning the first T20 by five wickets in a close encounter but India levelled the series with an 11-run win.
Pakistan won the first of the three ODIs in Chennai by six wickets while the second ODI gets underway today at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Stick around as Dawn.com brings all the action analysis from the match.
Readers are invited to be share their input and analysis, set the field, live commentate, share pictures, predict the outcome of the match. Have your say as Pakistan takes on India in what promises to be a cracking showdown.
That's it! Junaid goes through Ishant Sharma and he finishes with 9-39-3. Pakistan win by a whopping 85 runs. Nasir Jamshed has rightfully been adjudged man of the match for his 124-ball 106. As predicted before the series, it was a battle of Pakistan's fast bowlers against India's solid batting line, but the difference this time was that the Pakistani batsmen also out-shined the hosts'. Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik, all looked solid. Malik has stepped up in the most timely of manners and should strengthen his case as a regular in Pakistan's limited-overs side.
Dhoni reaches his fifty, his 9th against Pakistan and remain unbeaten on 54 off 89 balls. He should have ideally come in place of Raina and has easily looked like the best Indian batsman in the series so far.
The teams just going through the motions, stretching the inevitable. Dhoni breaks the silence! What a shot, typical Dhoni short-arm jab over long-on, Junaid wakes up. The exciting bit about this impending series win for Pakistan is no doubt the resurgence of its fast bowling unit. Junaid, Gul and Irfan have all fired, great lengths and just the right amount of aggression. Anwar Ali yet to used on this tour and perhaps Misbah can give him a shot in the 3rd ODI. Haris Sohail and Zulfiqar Babar, may also make the cut if Pakistan are looking to test things out before their next big assignment in South Africa. India 149/9 in 46.
Dhoni just nudging it around, not attempting any singles either. Perhaps he has been left deflated, maybe pissed, by the effort of his much-vaunted top-order. Gambhir and Sehwag simply failed to get out of the blocks, putting pressure on the rest of the batsmen to come. What will become of this performance with Dhoni already under the cosh? India hanging at 139/9 in 43.
Ajmal strikes! He finally gets on the sheet after flying low on the tour so far! Three in the over! Jadeja goes first, caught by Junaid at mid-on who leaps to take that one while Kumar and Dinda are trapped right in front! Ajmal 8-19-3. India 132/9 in 40.
Junaid Khan has 3 left, Irfan 2, Gul 5 and Ajmal 4. Misbah has plenty of options for when Dhoni and Jadeja decide to go for it. India reach 125/6 in 38.
Dhoni has hardly broken a sweat over here, he has been joined by Jadeja who would be looking to provide support to the captain. Deep inside Pakistan will know that Dhoni is still capable of pulling this one off. India 121/6 in 37.
He does even better! The struggling Ashwin dances down the pitch and misses Malik's slider, Akmal does the rest. Ashwin consumed 22 balls for his 3 runs and why Jadeja was held back on Dhoni can tell. India 103/6 in 32.
Misbah brings on Malik now. The way the pitch is playing, he could do a similar job to that of Hafeez.
Hafeez's contribution with the ball turning out to be as valuable as his 76 runs earlier. His 8 overs have gone for just 19 and fetched the important wicket of Raina.
And the partnership is broken. Raina stumped off Hafeez. Tried to work that one through the offside, dragged his foot out and was found inches short by a rapid responder Kamran Akmal behind the stumps. Referred to the third umpire and is given out. India five down.
Saeed Ajmal comes into the attack and India score a couple of singles off the over. Are the hosts struggling? 91 for four after 25 overs. Dhoni's partnership stands at 23 runs off 39 balls.
Hafeez and Irfan keeping India at bay - for now. Five runs off the last two overs. India 85 for four in 23. Hafeez has conceded 12 runs from his five overs.
Mohammad Hafeez concedes just one run and in the next over Gul bowls a bouncer which goes over Raina's head for a four past a lunging Kamran Akmal. India 80 with four wickets down after 21 overs.
Yuvraj now goes, the short stuff from Gul works as the batsman finds himself too early into the shot and only manages edge that pull shot to the Akmal. Idia 70/4 in 19. Gul 4-10-2 as MS Dhoni, walks in. Can he repeat his marathon effort from Chennai?
Gul following Irfan's mode of operation and pitching it short to both Yuvraj and Raina, who are camped well and truly on the backfoot. IND 64/3 in 17. Hafeez continues, Ajmal yet to bowl.
Gul strikes! Sehwag walks back after being trapped in front, his were the most painful 31 in recent times, very unlike the Viru of old. When he gets going he doesn't need to move the feet, just stands and delivers but that clearly found him wanting today. India 59/3 in 15 overs. Suresh Raina walks in now.
Kohli goes, Junaid takes another one! It was a wide down the leg, Kohli played off his hip and Akmal pulled off a stunning diving catch behind the stumps. Yuvraj is the new man and Hafeez comes into the attack. India 55/2 in 12.
Finally, Junaid manages to get through Gambhir, who inside edges it onto his stumps. Gambhir was struggling to get going all along, beaten on several occasions but his misery ends for 11 off 25 balls. Virat Kohli, injured in the last game, now walks in and will be looking to shed away a recent dry run. He survives a runout opportunity right away, would have been well short of his ground had Hafeez hit, instead the ball runs away for 5 overthrows. India 53/1 in 11.
Sehwag survives a LBW appeal off Junaid and then a ripsnorter from Irfan in the next over, the ball trickles down to the gully region. Irfan extracting great bounce from this flattish-looking track, enough to make some of the greats in the Caribbean quite proud. India reach 40/0 in 9 overs.
Irfan gets his first warning for running on the pitch in his follow through as India continue to grind it out. The bowler changes his line of attack and comes around the wicket, though with his height he won't have the advantage of creeping from behind the umpire as Wasim Akram sometimes used to do. India 35/0 in 7.
Gambhir and Sehwag continue to play and miss and squeeze a boundary here and there. Junaid and Irfan have been bowling great lines, the pitch is providing some fizz but not much reward. India move to 27/0 in 5 overs.
Junaid appeals for an lbw but it is turned down. Two wides and runs in that over - India 12 for no loss after two.
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The first over sees four leg byes as Gambhir and Sehwag take a single each in the first over. Junaid Khan to bowl next.
The Indian openers are out for the chase. Virender Sehwag, who has been out of form for a while, will relish the chance of scoring on this pitch in chase of a reasonable total. Mohammad Irfan opens the bowling for Pakistan.
Pakistan fail to complete their 50 overs after threatening to run away with the game at one point. It was a great start by Mohammad Hafeez (76) and Nasir Jamshed (1o6), the former throwing away a great start while the latter kicked on to score his second ton in as many games. India pulled things back really well, led by Ravindra Jadeja who ended with 10-41-3. It was a sticky pitch, with the spinners hard to get away but pace will suit the batsmen. Misbah should gamble with the option of starting with Hafeez as the Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag look to shed away a lean patch. Score: PAK 250 in 48.3.
Ajmal picks Kumar for a boundary with a delightful paddle towards fine leg but falls in the same over attempting a Vivian Richards-type hook. He provided good support to Gul who fell in the next over, cleaned up by Ishant. Pakistan to 250/8 in 48.1.
Ishant Sharma gets Malik with a slower one, squeezed straight into the hands of Yuvraj Singh in the circle. Pakistan will end up well below par here and their main target right now should be to see out the fifty over. Saeed Ajmal joins Gul as Pakistan reach 243/7 in 47.
Umar Gul hits Jadeja over mid wicket for a big six, one of the cleanest strikers of the balls he is, almost like brush strokes those hits. Pakistan take 8 from Jadeja's final over who finishes at 10-41-3. PAK 228/6 in 44.
Yuvraj Singh's, called upon in the 43rd over goes for plenty! Puzzling move by Dhoni as Malik takes two boundaries from that to put Pakistan at 220/6 in 43.
Kamran Akmal comes and goes, so much for that. Pakistan's long tail starts! Akmal attempted a drive on the up off Jadeja, ended up edging to first slip. Dhoni's move to get Jadeja in ahead of Rohit Sharma turning out to be priceless! Pakistan 210/6 in 42.
Jamshed falls just at the wrong time. The batsman charged at Jadeja and end up yorking himself, Dhoni missed but got his man on the second attempt. Pakistan have run their great start to the ground here, a realistic total now should be 260. Pakistan 210/4 in 41.1.
Jamshed brings up his century with a boundary over Ashwin's head! Another great innings to follow his match-winning knock at Chennai. The powerplay fetched 26/1 in 5. Malik looks solid as well, Pakistan need to kick on now. PAK 210/4 in 41
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Misbah-ul-Haq comes and goes, this time no doubt about the LBW. Misbah's attempted glance off Ashwin found him straight in front. This will definitely put the brakes on Pakistan. PAK 182/4 in 36.
Younis falls, yet another attempted sweep leads to the downfall of a Pakistani batsman. That delivery from Raina kept really low and Younis edged it! A big edge at that but Younis continues to run towards the pavillion with a wry smile on his face. Unlucky, but that's how things roll in the DRS-free zone. Pakistan 179/3 in 35.
Ishant Sharma has pulled it back somewhat here, his last two overs costing only 6 runs. The last five over have only gone for 20. PAK 168/2 in 32, the batting powerplay yet to be used.
Pakistan reach 162/2 in 30. It is quite hazy out there, no chances of precipitation, according to the forecast. The way Pakistan were going, would it have been wise to send it Kamran Akmal up? He needs a few balls to get going but seems to fancy such conditions.
Jamshed continues his march, reading Dinda's length very early and depositing his short ball towards fine leg. The way Jamshed is finding the middle of his bat is in complete contrast to Azhar Ali, who just doesn't seem to be able to manoeuvre the ball and often find himself in a hole in the shorter format. PAK 151/2 in 27.
Azhar Ali struggling to get going ends up running himself out. It could be blessing in disguise for Pakistan and one wonders why the inform Younis Khan was not sent in at number 3. PAK 145/2 in 26 overs.
Jadeja finally pulls one back for India. Hafeez, who was looking to play straight most of his innings, attempted a slog sweep over mid wicket but completely missed the ball. It was needless, but at the rate the two batsmen were going, anything may have seemed possible. Hafeez's 74-ball 76 included 10 boundaries. 141/1 in 24 as Azhar Ali walks in.
Top-edged sweep fetches Hafeez and Pakistan another four and very next ball the batsman gets a life at the square-leg boundary. It was a tough chance for Gautam Gambhir, as Hafeez tried a similar shot off Jadeja. Hafeez and Jamshed continue the onslaught in the next over by Ashwin which goes for 12. PAK 140/0 in 23.
Nasir Jamshed reaches his half century with a boundary off Ravi Ashwin. Pakistan building steadily at 113 for no loss after 18 overs.
Hafeez and Jamshed bring the total up to 100 for Pakistan. Three off Ashwin's over.
Raina comes into the attack and Hafeez brings up his fifty with a single after which Jamshed hits a four, edging closer to his half century. Pakistan 98 for no loss after 16 overs.
Dhoni brings Bhuvneshwar back in search for that elusive first wicket but the pacer his pulled by Hafeez on the third delivery and Jamshed places it towards third man for the second boundary of the over. Jamshed moves on to 35 and Pakistan to 87 without a wicket in 14.
Six from Ashwin's over. Pakistan are 76-0 in 13
If there was any advantage of bowling first on this pitch, the Indian pacers have failed to utilise it and now it's up to Ashwin to get India going. Hafeez and Jamshed, however, look quite comfortable taking singles and doubles.
Hafeez gives a big heave to Ishant Sharma's second delivery and takes a single off the third. Jamshed helps himself to a four square of leg and Pakistan are in the 70s now.
Only one more run from the Ashwin over. Pakistan won't mind after the second-ball four. 65-0 in 11.
Ravichandran Ashwin is introduced by MS Dhoni in his search for the first wicket. His second delivery gets a thick edge from Jamshed's bat and races away for a four on this quick Eden Gardens outfield.
Ishant Sharma is turning out to be India's most economical bowler. Pakistan score just a single in his third over. So after 10 overs, Pakistan cruise along at 59-0.
Hafeez pushes the fourth delivery through the cover for another well-placed four! Ten overs come from Dinda's third over and Pakistan are 58-0 after nine. Hafeez races on to 37.
Dinda feeds Hafeez on the pads and it is whipped away towards mid on for another four. This is the third consecutive over to get underway with a boundary. Pakistan's T20 captain looks to have gained confidence after the initial hesitance.
Hafeez hits a four off Kumar followed by one run in the fifth over. Sharma comes in, bowls five dot balls to Hafeez but the last ball of the over goes for two runs. Kumar to Jamshed - two fours in that over. Mohammad Hafeez at 20 with Nasir Jamshed at 18. Pakistan 41 for no loss after seven overs.
Hafeez hits Kumar for 8 runs - including a four past Ashwin and the next over sees Jamshed score another four off Dinda. Pakistan 24-0 after four overs.
Ashok Dinda bowls two wides and Nasir Jamshed scores two runs. Pakistan 9-0.
"Pakistan have never lost to India on this venue in the limited overs format. They have, however, lost to Sri Lanka in 1997 while chasing an unlikely target of 309," Dawn.com's contributor Gowhar Geelani, in Eden Gardens, says.
Bhuvenshwar Kumar begins the proceedings for India as Nasir Jamshed and Mohammad Hafeez come on to play. Pakistan make five off the first over, with Hafeez scoring the first boundary of the game. Pakistan 5 for the loss of no wickets.
"The wicket has been under covers, the conditions are overcast, so we want to exploit it. There is considerable amount of pressure after losing the first game, it is a do-or-die situation," MS Dhoni says after winning the toss.
"It's a good feeling to be one-up in a three-match series. In Chennai there was more moisture in the pitch, this one looks dry," Pakistan captain MIsbah-ul-Haq says.
India have won the toss and elected to field first. Pakistan go in with the same line-up as the first ODI while India make one change, bringing in Ravindra Jadeja in place of Rohit Sharma.
Pakistan: Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq*, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal†, Junaid Khan, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Irfan
India: G Gambhir, V Sehwag, V Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, SK Raina, RA Jadeja, MS Dhoni*†, R Ashwin, B Kumar, I Sharma, AB Dinda