Pakistan clinch 3rd Test

India v Pakistan
Third Test, Day 5
Bangalore, India

Pakistan bowled out India for 214 on the final day of the third and final Test of this historic series, to tie it 1-1, thanks to an inspired bowling performance, as well as in sorts a cowardly batting display by the hosts.

India lost three crucial wickets to leg-spinner Shahid Afridi, who was made to look as potent as a regular spinner by the negative batting tactics of the hosts.

Resuming the day at 25-0, chasing an uphill task of 383, India never looked to press for a win, especially after the fall of the first wicket, that of Virender Sehwag’s.

Sehwag came out with his usual positive flair, striking three consecutive fours of Abdul Razzaq, and then following it up with attacking batting against the Pakistani spinners, especially Danish Kaneria.

Gambhir ably provided support to Sehwag, also hitting the occasional boundary. He was lucky to stay in the middle for longer than he should have, as a clear-cut edge to the wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal off Razzaq was adjudged not out by Simon Taufel, en route to his half century.

Sehwag couldn’t continue his threatening innings though, falling just before lunch, run out by Razzaq from mid-on, off a terrible mix up. Immediately following his wicket, a change in the attitude was noticeable, with India putting the shutters down on the possibility of a victory, rather going for a lame draw.

This probably led to their own downfall, as the non-aggressive approach helped Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq, who on the day was spot on with all the decisions he made, whether it be bowling changes or fielding positions, to apply pressure on the batsmen by setting close-in fields.

Rahul Dravid, the next man in, followed after lunch, when pushed forward to Arshad Khan and the ball came off pad and bat before being pouched by a diving Younis Khan at silly point. Gambhir was the next man to go, thus producing ample confidence in the Pakistani bowlers to go for the kill, with only out-of-form batsmen to come.

Sachin Tendulkar battled in the middle, breaking Sunil Gavaskar’s record for the maximum Test runs by an Indian with his fifth run, while watching wickets tumble at the other end. VVS Laxman, who started off with an exquisite drive that went past the mid off to the boundary, didn’t last long, as he was un-done by Afridi quicker one.

Sourav Ganguly’s abysmal form continued, when he was bowled comprehensively of a sharp turner from Afridi. With already five wickets down, survival looked difficult for the Indian batsmen.

Wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Kaarthick joined Tendulkar after Ganguly’s demise, and did well to defy the spinners for quite a few overs leading to tea. However, Mohammad Sami’s introduction after the break resulted in his downfall, when an in-swinging yorker shattered his off stump.

Tendulkar’s struggle in the middle was brought to an end soon after as well, when an inside edge off Afridi popped up and was pouched by a close-in fielder.

More to follow, shortly.

Pakistan 570 all out & 261-2 decl.
India 449 all out & 214 all out
G Gambhir 52, A Kumble 37*, Danish Kaneria 2-46, Shahid Afridi 3-13, Arshad Khan 2-21

Man of the Match: Younis Khan (267 & 84*)
Man of the Series: V Sehwag (544)

Pakistan win by 168 runs, and tie the series 1-1.

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