CHENNAI - Opener Nasir Jamshed led from the front as he cracked an unbeaten 101 to help Pakistan register comfortable six-wicket victory over India in the first ODI at MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Sunday.

Shoaib Malik smashed a boundary off Ashok Dinda to take Pakistan to victory target of 228 in 48.1 overs. Pakistan lead the three-match series 1-0. The second and third ODI will be played on January 3 and 6 in Kolkata and Delhi respectively.

Jamshed and Malik shared an unbroken 56-run stand for the fifth wicket to lead the successful run chase for the visitors. India got a huge sigh of relief with Younus Khan's dismissal, who notched up 58 off 60 balls. Ashok Dinda struck to give India a crucial breakthrough, removing Younus who played towards mid wicket on low full toss where Ravichandran Ashwin pouched a low catch to end the blistering knock.

Pakistan picked the pace as Jamshed and Younus started targeting part time bowlers by hammering fours and sixes all over the park. The duo produced a good batting display to resurrect Pakistan innings, stitching 112-run stand to set the foundation for Pakistan after Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck for the second time to dent visitor's run-chase by dismissing Azhar Ali.

Making his ODI debut, Bhuvneshwar struck on the first delivery of his career to bowl out Mohammad Hafeez. Kumar forced Ali (9) to play a shot straight to Rohit Sharma at mid wicket to leave Pakistan struggling at 21/2 in 10.2 overs. Earlier, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni single-handedly resurrected India's innings with a defiant unbeaten century as the hosts recovered from a top-order collapse to post a fighting 227/6.

Pacer Junaid Khan had justified his captain Misbah-ul-Haq's decision to bowl first in damp conditions with a four-wicket haul, which cleaned up the Indian top order, before Dhoni (113 off 125 balls) got going and brought the home team back into the match.

The under-fire skipper, who also completed 7,000 ODI runs during the course of his innings, rescued the hosts with some fine support from Suresh Raina (43) and R Ashwin (31 not out) down the order. Dhoni and Ashwin shared the best-ever seventh-wicket partnership for India, adding 125 runs. But to start with, it seemed like a nightmare unfolding for India with struggling opener Virender Sehwag becoming Junaid's first victim. The Delhi batsman, considered a game-changer for his ability to take the attack to the opposition, swung it Pakistan's way after slogging for 11 balls to get four runs.

The right-hander, already under fire for failing repeatedly in the lost Test series against England, did his reputation no good by failing to pick a Junaid inswinger, which crashed into his middle and off stumps. What followed was a procession of sorts as the top half of the Indian line-up made quick return to the dressing room.

Big guns such as Gautam Gambhir (8), Virat Kohli (0) and Yuvraj Singh (2) made blink-and-miss appearances as Junaid worked his magic, getting ample support from Mohammed Irfan and pace spearhead Umar Gul. The big four of the Indian batting order were all bowled, three of them by Junaid, who seemed unplayable in the damp conditions due to overnight rain.

The proverbial promising batsman of the side, Rohit Sharma, added another one to his growing list of failures, becoming Junaid's fourth victim after scratching around for 14 deliveries for his four runs.

Rohit's last six ODI innings now read a disappointing 4, 4, 4, 0, 0 and 5. In fact, the top five managed to pull off just two fours for the team. At 29/5 in a little less than 10 overs, India were staring firmly down the barrel before Raina and Dhoni came together to repair the innings slowly and steadily. The cautious duo added 73 runs for the sixth wicket and defied Pakistani bowlers for a good 23 overs. Dhoni got a life on 16 when in the 26th over rival skipper Misbah-ul Haq dropped him at midwicket of Hafeez's bowling and the Indian, who smashed seven fours and three sixes, made it count. Dhoni was suffering from dehydration and also battled cramps towards the end of India innings.

Meanwhile, Raina's patient innings came to an end when he lost his leg stump to Hafeez. But Dhoni was unfazed and, in fact, accelerated from that point, reaching his fifty with a whip over midwicket boundary off Umar Gul. For a man not exactly known for solid technique, Dhoni was the lone Indian batsman to smash spin ace Saeed Ajmal for a six. A new ball had to be sought to replace the one which went out of the ground.

He also brought up his hundred in style, hoicking Irfan over cover in the 49th over, which produced 21 runs with Dhoni doing most of the scoring. For Pakistan, Junaid was the most successful bowler, grabbing 4/43 in his nine overs.

This was the first match played under the new ICC rules. Under these rules, one new ball was used at each end, bowlers were allowed two bouncers an over, there was no batting Power Play, the bowling Power Play was completed before the 40th over, and at no stage in the innings more than four fielders were allowed outside the 30-yard circle.

     scoreboard

INDIA:

G Gambhir b Irfan    8

V Sehwag b Junaid    4

V Kohli b Junaid    0

Yuvraj Singh b Junaid    2

R Sharma c Hafeez b Junaid    4

S Raina b Hafeez    43

MS Dhoni not out    113

R Ashwin not out    31

EXTRAS: (lb 11, w 9, nb 2)    22

TOTAL: (6 wickets; 50 overs)    227

FOW: 1-17, 2-17, 3-19, 4-20, 5-29, 6-102

BOWLING: M Irfan 9-2-58-1, Junaid Khan 9-1-43-4, Umar Gul 8-0-38-0, Saeed Ajmal 10-1-42-0, M Hafeez 10-2-26-1, Shoaib Malik 4-0-9-0

PAKISTAN:

M Hafeez b Kumar    0

Nasir Jamshed not out    101

Azhar Ali c Rohit b Kumar    9

Younus Khan c Ashwin b Dinda     58

Misbahul Haq b Ishant    16

Shoaib Malik not out    34

EXTRAS: (lb 6, w 3, nb 1)    10

TOTAL: (4 wickets; 48.1 overs)    228

FOW: 1-0, 2-21, 3-133, 4-172

BOWLING: B Kumar 9-3-27-2, I Sharma 10-0-39-1, AB Dinda 9.1-0-45-1, R Ashwin 10-0-34-0, Yuvraj Singh 5-0-33-0, S Raina 2.1-0-23-0, V Kohli2.5-0-21-0

TOSS: Pakistan

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: MS Dhoni (Ind)