Gwalior:A sublime 97 by Sachin Tendulkar propelled India to a six-wicket win in the fourth one-dayer against Pakistan at Gwalior on Thursday.
Chasing 256, India was home with 3.3 overs to spare as captain MS Dhoni finished it off with a six.
India's run chase did not exactly start off with a bang as they lost Sourav Ganguly for five runs to Shoaib Akhtar in the third over of the innings.
The dismissal brought Gautam Gambhir to the crease but the Delhi batsman too could not get into the groove at Gwalior as he fell to Iftikhar Anjum for 4 runs leaving India in a spot of bother.
But Sachin Tendulkar who has been in splendid form throughout the series came good once again. The master blaster notched his 87th ODI fifty to stabilise the hosts after losing two early wickets.
Virender Sehwag, who joined Tendulkar at the crease played the second fiddle as the 'little master' drove, cut, whipped on the way to his half century.
Sehwag struggled a touch initially but settled down to play a good hand as the duo put up a 107-run partnership to put India well on course for victory.
Sachin nineties jinx
Tendulkar's nineties jinx continued at Gwalior as Umar Gul uprooted his stumps when he was just three runs short of a century. This was the 6th time that Tendulkar was out in the nineties this year.
He extended his world record for most dismissals in the nervous nineties in ODIs to 16.
Post Sachin's dismissal, Yuvraj Singh (53) and MS Dhoni (45) saw India home with an unbeaten 101-run partnership.
Earlier, a 94-run partnership between Mohammad Yousuf and Misbah-ul-Haq spurred Pakistan to 255 for six after electing to bat.
Half centuries from the two most experienced campaigners in the team Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf took Pakistan towards some respectability.
Pakistan's score could have been much worse but for Yousuf's 99 not out - he needed 3 runs off the last ball to get his century but only managed 2.
Earlier, Pakistan lost their Kanpur centurian early giving their hopes of equalling the series a poor start.
RP Singh nailed India's tormentor Salman Butt plumb in front first up to give India just the start they needed after losing a crucial toss.
Soon after, Irfan Pathan, who shared the new ball with RP, almost had Younis Khan caught behind for six but Dhoni could not hold on to the ball.
Pakistan found the going difficult and made slow progress scoring at less than 4 runs an over. There were just 5 boundaries in the first 15 overs of the innings as the captain and vice-captain tried to build a platform.
Younis, along with Shoaib Malik led the Pakistan revival with a 78-run partnership but just when the captain looked like he was settling down, Zaheer Khan decided to make him his 200th ODI wicket. With Malik gone for 31, Pakistan were 78 for two in the 20th over.
Younis Khan was given a life on 48 as MS Dhoni missed a tough stumping, and the batsman converted that into his 29th one day fifty. He, along with Mohammed Yousuf accelarated the scoring by this point taking Pakistan past the 100 run mark.
But just as their partnership reached 51 runs off 10 overs, Yuvraj Singh stepped in to provide the breakthrough as Younis Khan departed after a patient 68.
Two overs later, Sourav Ganguly trapped Shahid Afridi for one run to take his ODI wicket tally to hundred and put India in control.
It was only towards the end of the innings that Yousuf and Misbah-ul-Haq picked up the pace somewhat as Pakistan crossed the 200 run mark with just six overs left.
India made one change in their playing XI. Virender Sehwag came in for Murali Kartik.
Pakistan left out their left-arm spinner, Abdur Rahman, and chose Rao Iftikhar Anjum as his replacement.
Pakistan: Salman Butt, Shoaib Malik(c), Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah Ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal(w), Sohail Tanvir, Shoaib Akhtar, Rao Iftikhar, Umar Gul.
India: Saurav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni(w/c), Virender Sehwag, Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Rudra Pratap Singh.