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    March 11, 2005

    Brilliant Inzamam cannot prevent Pakistan from looking down a barrel

    Pakistan tried their level best to continue yesterday's fightback by first getting India all-out for 516. Pathan struck a couple of blows but failed to read Kaneria's googly and was easily stumped. The most exciting phase of the morning was when Balaji upped the tempo with a rapid 31 in just 36 deliveries. Danish Kaneria picked up six wickets while VVS Laxman belaboured past his fifty and was then out edging another googly onto his stumps.

    Pakistan's reply, trailing by 204 runs, was disastrous. Taufeeq Umar was caught and bowled by Balaji off his pad and a couple of overs later, Younis Khan shouldered arms and was bowled. Salman Butt's poked his bat out above his head while evading a Pathan bouncer and the edge was duly taken by Karthik. 10/3 was not what Pakistan would have hoped for with that kind of deficit. Inzamam and Youhana then took centre-stage with a sensible partnership, playing good-cop and bad-cop with great effectiveness. Inzamam collared the bowling while Youhana played the singles game. None of the bowlers made any sort of impact on Inzamam and for a while it looked as though these two would bat through the rest of the day. Kumble then struck just before tea dismissing Inzamam lbw in a manner identical to his first innings dismissal (off Kumble too!) for a superb 85 in just 105 deliveries.

    Asim Kamal was dropped by Dravid very early on and he capitalized, thrashing Kumble for four boundaries in an over. The partnership didnt last long enough for Pakistan as Youhana edged Kumble off his pad onto his stumps. Asim Kamal continued on from where he left off in the first dig, batting very calmly and he got good support from Razzaq. After a half-century partnership, Balaji struck a huge blow by trapping Kamal plumb in front for 48. Razzaq and wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal played out the remaining period without too many alarms.

    Pakistan are now 53 runs ahead and have four wickets in hand. Sami can certainly bat and if they set India around 200 to win in around 50 overs, the game will be very interesting. India though will obviously hope to wrap up the remaining wickets and ensure they do not have to chase anything more than 100. A fascinating test match comes to a conclusion tomorrow.
    Thus spake Jagadish @ 9:40 PM |
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