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India on verge of win
11 Mar 2005
By: Sudeep Popat


India v Pakistan
First Test, Mohali - Day 4


Despite solid efforts from Pakistan's two best batsmen Yousuf Youhana and Inzamam-ul-Haq, India have been able to maintain their stranglehold over the first Test at Mohali, as the tourists lead by only 53 runs with four second innings wickets in hand.

Trailing by 204 runs on the first innings, Pakistan didn't get off to a desirable start, as first innings' bowling hero for India, Lakshmipathy Balaji picked up two of the first three wickets that fell before Youhana and Inzamam came together for a 139-run partnership, after they were 10/3.

Taufeeq Umar was the first to go, when he was adjudged caught and bowled off Balaji, though it looked quite obvious on television replays that the ball had popped forward only by hitting the pad and not the bat. Ecstatic from the lucky success, Balaji fired up to get rid of Younis Khan, by clean bowling him. Irfan Pathan accounted for the other opener, Salman Butt, who edged to the wicket-keeper Dinesh Kaarthick while ducking a bouncer.

Although, Balaji ended up with the best figures for the day, it was Anil Kumble, the sole Indian spinner for this Test, who picked up the two crucial wickets, those of Youhana and Inzamam, on either side of tea, to reduce Pakistan's chances of saving the match.

Inzamam, who looked in the best of forms, was the first of the two to go, for 86, when he mis-read Kumble's top spinner to be caught in front of the wickets. Youhana followed immediately after tea, being bowled by another one of Kumble's top spinners.

Asim Kamal followed up a strong first innings performance with another impressive bat in the middle, although he was let off early in his innings, when he hadn't even got off the mark, by Rahul Dravid on a regulation slip catch. Kamal seemed to be making amends from the chance, by putting together a threatening partnership with Abdul Razzaq, however a late bowling change by Sourav Ganguly, brining Balaji back, did the trick as he was caught plumb in front off a ball that reverse swung in considerably.

Razzaq and Kamran Akmal were the not out batsmen at the end of play, left with an almighty task to prevent a likely Indian victory tomorrow.

We're extremely sorry for the unavailability of details from the Indian first innings.

Pakistan 312 all out in 86.4 overs
Inzamam-ul-Haq 57, Asim Kamal 91, IK Pathan 2/68, L Balaji 5/76, A Kumble 2/76
India 516 all out in 147.4 overs
V Sehwag 173, R Dravid 50, SR Tendulkar 94, VVS Laxman 58, Mohammad Sami 2/120, Danish Kaneria 6/150
Pakistan 257 for 6 in 74 overs
Yousuf Youhana 68, Inzamam-ul-Haq 86, Asim Kamal 48, L Balaji 3/67, A Kumble 2/76

Pakistan lead by 53 runs with four second innings wickets remaining.


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