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Pakistan keep it short and sweet

Ashish Magotra | April 08, 2004 14:14 IST
Last Updated: April 08, 2004 14:41 IST

Scoreboard | Images from Day 3

Pakistan completed a nine-wicket victory shortly after lunch on day 4 in the second Test in Lahore to level the three-match series 1-1.

Needing just 40 runs for victory in the second innings, after India were bowled out for 241, the hosts hit up the required runs for the loss of first innings centurion Imran Farhat's wicket, who was caught by Yuvraj Singh for 9, before Yasir Hameed and Taufeeq Umar guided them to the win.

Earlier, Shoaib Akhtar came up with an inspired spell in the morning to dismiss Virender Sehwag and Irfan Pathan in one over, and Danish Kaneria claimed three wickets in five balls to wrap up the Indian innings.

Parthiv Patel scored a valiant 62 for India, but it was not enough to prevent Pakistan from cruising to a comfortable victory.

Morning session

At the start of play on Day 4, Pakistan needed five Indian wickets to win the Test and their coach, Javed Miandad, reckoned that an aggressive spell of bowling from the world's fastest bowler would be enough. But Akhtar has been woefully out of form and rhythm, which was clearly evident when, in the morning session on the first day of the second Test, he bowled off a short run-up.

Miandad decided to introduce Akhtar into action. He took the fast bowler aside, even as the rest of team warmed up, and gave him a long pep talk. The motivational talk evidently worked as Akhtar claimed two Indian wickets in the 47th over of the innings.

Sehwag's wicket was vital; Pakistan knew that and so did India. But both sides would have also known that the right-hander would play his shots when the opportunity presented him.

The first ball of the over was short and wide, Sehwag flashed hard and got a thick edge straight to Akmal. The right-hander was gone after adding only six runs to his overnight score for a well-made 90. India still needed 43 runs to make Pakistan bat again.

The partnership between Sehwag and Patel had been worth 55 runs. (160-6)

That got in Irfan Pathan, who had played beautifully in the first innings to score 49. The 19-year-old had been strong off the front foot but the Pakistanis also learnt a lot about him. They put it to good use in the this innings.

Shoaib bowled short and fast into Pathan's rib-cage, made the batsman uncomfortable and gave him no chance to drive the ball.

The fifth ball of the over got the wicket. A nasty delivery that climbed on Pathan had him trying to defend. He knew little about the ball, which hit the handle and popped up to Taufeeq Umar at second slip.

Pathan was gone for a duck and Pakistan were on top. (160-7)

Ajit Agarkar walked in next but not much was expected from him. In his last nine innings, the right-hander scored 46 runs at an average of 5.44. He has for long been one of India's nearly men, showing flashes of talent every once in a while.

Early in his innings, he hung his bat outside the off-stump and had numerous deliveries beating the bat, but somehow survived and gained in confidence.

At the other end, Patel made the most all the loose deliveries he faced. His strokes through the covers were very classy and all the hard work he had put into his batting in the last few months bore fruit. He played with gumption, taking blows on the body but not flinching. One painful blow in the abdomen region left him gasping for breath and on his knees. But he recovered from the blow and took a two off the next delivery.

He was determined to stay at the wicket and Agarkar, for once, stayed put. Patel played strokes to all corners of the ground and together with Agarkar counter-attacked the Pakistani bowling. Runs came in fours as the duo punished the loose deliveries and ran their ones and twos well.

They helped India overcome the deficit. India went into the lead when Agarkar stroked a ball for four through the covers. A nice fight-back was in progress.

Meanwhile, Patel reached his second Test fifty in consecutive Tests. In the fourth Test against Australia, he had scored 62.

But then Agarkar was foxed by Danish Kaneria. After being hit for two fours through mid-wicket in the over, Kaneria got his own back. The bowler floated a delivery outside the off stump, Agarkar pushed forward, the ball turned got the edge and Taufeeq Umar, at first slip, took a well-judged low catch. A perfect leg-spinner's dismissal. (235-8)

75 runs were added in 14.1 overs with a good exhibition of sensible stroke-play. Agarkar was gone for 36 off 49 balls, including eight fours. India were just 33 ahead at this stage.

That was the beginning of the end for India. Kaneria claimed the wicket of Anil Kumble in the next over.

Kumble defended a delivery on the leg-stump. The ball rolled back towards the wicket-keeper even as Kumble over-balanced. Akmal picked the ball and removed the bails in a flash. The umpires were unable to give the decision and the third umpire was called in. TV replays showed that Kumble's foot was grounded at the instant the bails were taken off. There was a long delay but the red light eventually flashed and Kumble was heading back to the pavilion for a duck.

The very next ball, Balaji was trapped plumb in front of the wicket. Kaneria wrapped up the Indian innings by claiming three wickets in five balls. (241 all out)

Pakistan needed just 40 runs to wrap up the Test and level the series. Patel was stranded at one end after scoring 62, and tying his highest Test score.

Pakistan openers, Imran Farhat and Yasir Saeed, came out for just one over in their second innings. They scored five runs before the umpires called lunch.

At lunch, Pakistan were 5 for no loss.


The Pakistan openers returned hoping to finish off the match in quick time. But Imran Farhat, who scored a century in the first innings, was caught brilliantly by Yuvraj Singh at point, off Balaji for 9. Hameed (16 off 12 balls) and Umar (14 off 20) ensured their were no more casualties as they hit up the required runs to complete an easy victory.

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