India bite the dust, Pak win series
Yuvraj smashed his second Test ton but could not prevent the inevitable. Ind 265 (Target: 607) ScorecardUpdated: Feb 02, 2006 14:02 IST
Total annihilation! This is the only phrase that could just about perfectly describe the severe infliction of agony that India underwent on the penultimate day of the final Test in Karachi.
Chasing a mammoth target of 607 runs, the famed Indian batting order -- the same line-up on which a lot of news print and TV time had been wasted going ga-ga over -- lasted just about one hour and two sessions against a spirited and determined bowling attack.
The tourists capitulated at 265, to one of its biggest defeat ever, allowing Pakistan to clinch the three-match Test series 1-0.
Only Yuvraj Singh's ton (122; 19 fours, 1 six) was a shining light in total darkness, standing tall as wickets continued to fall from the striker's end, one after the other.
Probably weighed down by the daunting feat of surviving for more than a day, the tourists could never really recover from the early jolts as another deja-vu scenario of 74/4 stared in its face.
It was not just the express pace by Mohammed Asif who scalped crucial wickets of Sehwag (4), Laxman (21) and Tendulkar (26) to peg India back. But also Razzaq's 'military medium' (4/88) and Kaneria's spin bowling (2/55) that knocked the stuffing out.
The batsmen were dismissed in just 58.4 overs, reflecting on their lack of abilty to apply and fight it out. On the other hand, on same track early in the day, Pakistan batsmen had plundered runs at will, declaring at 599/7.
Man-of-the-match Kamran Akmal and Man-of-the-series Younis Khan put it on team effort. Clearly that must be the case since Indian batsmen batted well for individual scores, but never in partnerships.
For ODIs, India would have to bat and bowl out of their skin to compete with the might of this super-sharged Pakistani squad.
For now, though, congratulations to Pakistan, commiserations to India!
India's survival on the penultimate day was dealt a major blow when Sourav Ganguly (37) fell first ball after tea. Razzaq's ball rapped his pads dead in front of the stumps.
Ganguly's departure was followed with India committing hara-kiri. MS Dhoni (18), Irfan Pathan (4) and Anil Kumble (5) and Zaheer Khan (10) walked back to the pavillion not making much of an effort to slog it out.
Yuvraj Singh, the only flickering light in total darkness, smashed his 2nd Test century, but could not prevent the inevitable.
India resumed play after lunch, playing positive cricket from the word go.
Sachin Tendulkar looked in vintage touch, meeting fire with fire. Not onlydid thecrackinghits race from his bat, but also the nudges and pushes rocketed to the fence.
However, he faced a major blow at the other end as Laxman's (21)middle stump was cart-wheeled out of the ground by a sensational delivery from Mohammed Asif.
Asif was on a roll and master-blaster's brief carnage soon came to an end. With a short ball that kept too low, the batsman's off stump was castled by the bowler. Sachin, stunned,walked back for 26 runs.
Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh continued from where Sachin left off, not getting bogged down even against express bowling.
Yuvraj, in particular, was hell-bent on scattering the field. He played some sensational shots on the frontfoot,towards off andpower-packed hooks on thebackfoot,towardsleg.
He reached his fourth Testhalf-century off just 45 balls.
Skipper Younisbrought on the spinners, Kaneria and Afridi, but could not eke out the two dogged batsmen who had dropped their anchors.
At tea, the Ganguly-Yuvraj partnership had puton 103 runs.
Pakistan was 'right on the money'with their line and length asShoaib Akhtar and Mohammed Asifstruck early, scalping two wickets intwo overs.
With a total score of just 9 on board, chasing a target of607, the two openers - Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag- had walked back to the pavillion.
Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman managed to thwart the express bowling and at lunch cantered to 48/2 without further damage.
Earlier, Faisal Iqbal (139; 16 fours, 1 six) and Abdul Razzaq(90;5 fours,4 sixes) had furthertightened the noose around India, continuing from their overnight score of 511/5.
Razzaq reached to his half-century in the second over of the day and thereafter, tore the attack into shreds. Sixes rained from blade and with centurion Iqbal, at the other end, runs flowed thick and fast.
Just10 overs into the day, Pakistan had amassed73 runs, atmore than7 runs per over!
They finally declared at 599/7, after the two batters were dismissed in quick succession, amassing a massive lead of 606 runs.
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First Published: Feb 01, 2006 10:53 IST