kanpur:India beat Pakistan by 46 runs in the crucial third one-dayer at Kanpur on Sunday to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
Chasing 295, Pakistan was bowled out for 248 in 47.2 overs.
Pakistan started off briskly but lost a couple of wickets in the middle as the Indian spinners managed a stranglehold on a turning track.
Salman Butt, who scored a brilliant century joined hands with Misbah-ul-Haq (38) and slowly lifted Pakistan out of the hole and back into the game before Misbah fell at the crucial junture in the innings.
Butt, who hit his fourth ODI hundred - all have come against India - had too much to do on his own and India hung on to win.
Earlier, Shahid Afridi, the man who steered Pakistan to victory in Mohali, came out to open the innings, possibly as a reward for his sensational knock. And with a 294-run target, the highest ever in Kanpur, Pakistan were depending on him for a strong start.
Afridi played as per plan striking the ball well, and hitting two boundaries in the very first over, RP Singh at the receiving end.
It took the efforts of another Pathan to dismiss this one with Irfan getting the ball to come in cleaning up the opener, reducing Pakistan to 27-1.
Despite losing Shahid Afridi at the start of their innings, Pakistan were going strong as Salman Butt and Younis Khan helped keep Pakistan's scoring rate over 8 before Younis was dismissed by RP Singh.
Yuvraj's fine knock
Earlier, a fine 77 by Yuvraj Singh lifted India to 294 for six after being put in to bat by Pakistan. A 100-run partnership between the left-hander and Mahendra Singh Dhoni lifted India to a strong total.
It was a shaky start for the Indians, who were troubled early on by the Pakistan new ball bowlers, who moved the ball around a fair bit.
Once the sun came out fully and the batsmen started to move their feet freely, it was quite a sight with both Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly taking the attack to the Pakistan bowlers.
Kamran Akmal dropped a regulation keeper catch on the first delivery to leave Shoaib Akhtar disappointed and give Ganguly a lifeline and the southpaw made sure the loss hurt as he along with Tendulkar launched into the Pakistan attack scoring 36 runs in five overs.
The experienced opening duo brought up the fifty in just 7.1 overs to set a perfect foundation for further assault.
But soon after Sohail Tanvir did the magic for the tourists picking up both the prize scalps, just as they were settling down into a good rhythm. He gave Pakistan a vital breakthrough as he had Tendulkar caught behind for 29 runs.
The bowler struck again three overs later to snap India's blazing start as he bowled out a well set Ganguly for 39 runs to check India's progress.
Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh then put up a 47-run partnership to steady the innings but they failed to keep the momentum going. Gambhir, especially looked out of sorts and took 49 deliveries to score 25 before falling to Abdul Rehman.
It was a 100-run partnership betwen Yuvraj and skipper MS Dhoni that infused new life into the Indian innings. Yuvraj completed his 32nd ODI fifty, falling for 77 to spinner Abdur Rehman. Dhoni fell one short of his fifty.
A late flourish from Irfan Pathan and Harbhajan Singh took India to a more than competetive total.
For India, Murali Kartik came in for Virender Sehwag while Abdur Rehman replaced Rao Ifthiqar Anjum in the Pakistan side.
India: Saurav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni(w/c), Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Murali Kartik, Rudra Pratap Singh.
Pakistan: Salman Butt, Kamran Akmal(w), Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Shoaib Malik(c), Misbah Ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanvir, Shoaib Akhtar, Abdur Rehman, Umar Gul.