With both of the openers back in the pavilion, Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq walked out to the middle with the aim to mount the mammoth total of 349 put forward by the Indians.
The arch-rivals were locking horns after five years in a bilateral series following the Kargil War which had put cricketing-ties between the two on hold.
Inzamam, after a brief period of calmness, announced his arrival on the first delivery of the 11th over with a leg-glance against the Indian pacer Zaheer Khan that raced away for four . From that point on, there was no looking back.
Karachi’s jam-packed National Stadium roared for the next 35 overs as Inzi smoked the Indian bowlers all around the dial.
For most of his stay at crease, the highest ODI-run getter for Pakistan kept spectators on the edge of their seats ─ and Karachiites lost their calm when the bulky captain cut Sachin Tendulkar for back to back fours on the first two balls of the 29th over. The legbreak googly’s both deliveries were short and wide which were deposited to the deep-point boundary.
Inzamam kept the scoreboard ticking for Pakistan with ferocious strokes and entered the triple digits as he chipped Zaheer’s lower full-toss for four on the long-on boundary in the 38th over.
The right-hand giant, however, could not win the game for Pakistan and got caught behind in the 43rd over off Murali Karthik.
On his way back, the legend received a warm standing-ovation from the 33,000 cricket frenzies seated around the field.
Pakistan managed 344, six runs less of what was required, but the score remains their highest second inning total to date in the ODI format.