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    March 17, 2005

    Advantage Pakistan at the end of day two at Eden Gardens

    For the first time in the series, Pakistan are on the verge of taking control of the game after ending the second day on 273/2 in reply to India's 407. Younis Khan and Yousuf Youhana had both made centuries, Youhana bringing up his off the last ball of the day. The two have now added over two hundred runs and with Inzamam and Asim Kamal yet to come, not to mention Kamran Akmal, India have a huge task ahead of them.

    Resuming at 344/6, Dinesh Karthik was run-out and a few runs later, Balaji and Pathan were dismissed too. Harbhajan and Kumble put on over 40 runs for the last wicket which helped India get past the 400 run mark. Kaneria ended with 3/136, Razzaq had 3/62 and Afridi 3/80. Afridi's bowling performance was obviously unacceptable from an Indian point of view. I wonder why Khalil bowled only 11 overs, half of what Razzaq bowled. Is he injured?

    Pakistan started off rapidly but shakily, with Afridi intent on blasting every ball out of the ground. Taufeeq Umar was put down twice, Dravid dropped a sitter and Sehwag couldnt hang on to a tougher chance. Afridi's antics were never going to last long enough and he was caught at mid-on off Balaji. Umar and Younis Khan took the score to 70 when Umar flicked Pathan to a leaping Harbhajan. Then the two Ys took over, scoring at a very good rate. Their partnership has come at nearly 4 runs per over. The bowlers never really looked like troubling them and the pitch is possibly at its best for batting. They got to their fifties at around the same pace. All the bowlers leaked runs and this helped Younis get to his century first, off just 146 balls. Youhana was a little more circumspect, bringing up his century with a boundary off the last ball of the day, the 172nd he faced.

    Pakistan now hold all the aces in the game and barring a real collapse, which India would fervently wish for, they should aim to get around 550 and put India under pressure by making India sometime before stumps tomorrow. India's task is tougher, trying to extract something out of a very good pitch, and they would have to bowl very well (and their opponents should press the self-destruct button) to get Pakistan out for anything less than 400.
    Thus spake Jagadish @ 6:27 PM |
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