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    March 24, 2005

    Inzamam celebrates with a majestic century as Pakistan clinch the first day's honours

    Picture what Bob Woolmer, Inzamam, the Pakistani team and all their fans would have been hoping for before start of play today. Hope we win the toss and bat first. Lets make a huge total on the first day without losing too many wickets and put India under tremendous pressure. Oh, and how about a century for Inzy please? He's playing his hundredth test. Can we have one for Younis too?

    This is exactly what happened on day one at Bangalore as Pakistan ended the day on 323/2. Inzamam, playing his hundredth test, made a superb century while Younis Khan carried his good form over from Calcutta. The duo had a triple century partnership for the third wicket and are now placed 5th in terms of partnership size for Pakistan for the third wicket. Inzamam and Younis Khan were not out on 184 and 127 respectively.

    The match started superbly for India with Balaji striking in the second over, having Afridi caught by slip first ball. Pathan got Yasir Hameed out fishing outside off-stump to give Karthik a simple catch and Pakistan were 7/2. Not a great 100th test match present for Inzamam by his openers. But Younis and he buckled down and since the pitch was good for batting, they did not really face too many problems as the pair took lunch at 93/2 with Inzamam past fifty.

    It was in the second session that Inzamam established his mastery. He got off to a rapid start after lunch and thrashed the bowling all over the park. Pakistan's scoring rate suddenly reached around 4 an over and Inzamam got to his 21st test century facing only 131 deliveries. He is now the fifth player to get a century in the hundredth test they played in. By the time stumps were drawn, his score was comfortably the highest of the lot. Younis Khan supported him brilliantly and sensibly was much less aggressive than Inzamam. The Indian bowlers could do little to stop the flow of runs as Pakistan scored around 110 runs in the second session. The pitch gave them very little assistance and it was obviously too much to expect spin on the first day. Discipline was also lacking as too many four balls were bowled. Bangalore's weather, which is not expected to change significantly over the next four days, also gave no respite to the bowlers and fielders. Ganguly, and Dravid when he stepped in occasionally, rotated the bowlers around but it was all in vain. Perhaps Ganguly, Sehwag and Tendulkar should have bowled 15 overs. Perhaps there should have been a strategy change and the focus been on reducing the runrate and drying up the runs.

    Inzamam was in no mood to give his wicket away after the tea break and he marched past 150. Younis Khan got to his century after lunch. It was slow in comparison to Inzamam, taking 211 balls, but worth the wait as far as Pakistan were concerned. The rate of scoring increased after tea, with Pakistan scoring 121 in the last session. Pakistan are now in a very good position at the end of the day. However, advantage at the end of the first day has had no bearing on the result of the game, as proved at Mohali and Calcutta.

    In a startling development, at the end of the day's play, match referee Chris Broad was seen examining the sizes of Inzamam's and Younis Khan's bats on a complaint by the Indian team. The Pakistani team have filed a counter-complaint asking Broad to check Dravid's bat size and whether Kumble uses the official match ball while bowling. His decisions are expected tomorrow.
    Thus spake Jagadish @ 4:36 PM |
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    1 sledge(s):

    Typical Indian attitude. Just when they win a test, the last match is on a flat pitch with a draw inevitable. It really is a pity.

    As for the batting, it serves India right. I hope we get around 500 and put them on the ropes.

    By Anonymous cricket cynic (24-Mar-2005, 11:55:00 PM)  

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