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Pak level series with emphatic win

PTI | ByManoj Vatsyayana (AFP), Bangalore
Mar 28, 2005 11:37 PM IST

Afridi triggered an Indian batting collapse with three crucial wickets to mastermind Pak's 168-run victory.Full Score | Replay | Player of day | Photos

Leg-spinner Shahid Afridi triggered a sensational Indian collapse with three top wickets to mastermind Pakistan's 168-run victory in the third and final Test on Monday.

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Pakistan drew the series 1-1 after India, chasing a 383-run target, were shot out for 214 just before close of play on the last day.

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The hosts lost their last nine wickets for a meagre 106 on a M Chinnaswamy Stadium wicket which was still good for batting.

The opening Test was drawn at Mohali, while India won the second Test in Kolkata by 195 runs.

Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria completed Pakistan's dream victory when he trapped Lakshmipathy Balaji leg before with just 6.1 overs remaining.

The 25-year-old Afridi, in the team only as a third spinner after Kaneria and Arshad Khan, did the trick by catching the ultra-defensive Indian batsmen on the wrong foot.

Even Sachin Tendulkar, who became India's leading scorer after surpassing Sunil Gavaskar's record of 10,122 runs, looked a pale shadow of his former attacking self. He made 16 off 98 balls after surviving a chance on nine.

The Indian tail-enders, led by gutsy Anil Kumble (37 not out), offered stiff resistance by lasting as many as 20 overs to delay the inevitable.

Afridi never allowed the Indian batsmen to settle down with his fastish leg-breaks, removing Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and out-of-form Sourav Ganguly to finish with 3-13 off 17 overs.

Off-spinner Arshad, playing his first Test in five years, finished with 2-21.

The famed Indian middle order failed to cope with the pressure as Pakistan grabbed four wickets in the second session to reduce the hosts to 135/5 after getting just one in the morning.

India's hopes of chasing the target virtually ended after the run out of Virender Sehwag (38), capable of tearing apart any attack with his amazing stroke-play.

Scorecard

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