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Qureshi, Khan fire Pak to victory

Last updated on: November 08, 2006 15:20 IST

Aisam Qureshi and Aqeel Khan fired Pakistan to an unbeatable 2-0 lead over India in the second leg of the four-Test bilateral series.

India had won the first Test 2-1 in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Rohan Bopanna went down to the much lower-ranked Aqeel 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the first singles while Qureshi stormed past Karan Rastogi 6-1, 6-4 to seal the Lahore leg on Wednesday.

The doubles match of the second Test will be played on Thursday morning.

After Aqeel had posted a crucial victory for the hosts, Pakistan captain Qureshi used his powerful serve to get past the inexperienced Rastogi on the fast Defence Club courts.

Qureshi, an accomplished player on grass, hit four aces in the first game to set the tone for the match. He outclassed Ratsogi in the first set; the Indian managing to hold his serve only in the opening game. Once the Pakistani got the break in the fourth game, he raced off with the set.

In the second set, Rastogi was only looking to defend his service games. He tried to attack the net, but either the finishing was not good enough or Qureshi easily passed him.

Qureshi, who didn't give the Indian any chances on his serve, took lead in the seventh game and went on to finish the set 6-4.

Earlier, Bopanna, ranked 256 places above Aqeel on the ATP list, lost his serve in the third game of the first set and went on to lose the set 6-4. The Indian, known for his big serves, struck back in the second set but wasn't able to carry the momentum.

He could not cope with Aqeel's unconventional game and failed to anticipate the angles. The Pakistani shot into a 4-2 lead, breaking Bopanna in the sixth game in the last set.

During his first Davis Cup singles against India earlier this year, Aqeel had served for the first two sets against Prakash Amritraj but wilted under pressure. He shook off the nerves this time and came from 15-30 down to serve out the set and match at 6-3.

The team will travel to India on Thursday to play the third Test in Chandigarh (November 10-11) and the fourth in New Delhi (November 12-13).