Pak seals it for India on day three
Faisal Iqbal smashed his maiden Test hundred just two balls before stumps. Pak 511/5 & 245 (Ind 238) Scorecardindia Updated: Jan 31, 2006 19:15 IST
Pakistan sealed India's fate with a dominating batting performance, taking a mammoth 518-run overall lead on the third day of the third Test in Karachi.
Riding on a superlative maiden Test hundred by youngster Faisal Iqbal on his home ground and a solid display from other top order batsmen, the hosts tooktheir score from 174/2 from Monday to 511/5 at stumps.
Iqbal, nephew of Pakistan batting legend Javed Miandad, smashed an undefeated 103 (191 balls, 12 fours) and put on a 6th century stand with Abdul Razzaq (92-ball 44; 2 fours, 2 sixes) to take a vice like grip over the tourists.
Earlier, Mohammed Yousuf (97), Younis Khan (77) and 'bang-bang' Shahid Afridi (60) had a ball clobbering the bowlers and building on the platform set by the two openers.
The Indian attack wilted under the batting assault with Irfan Pathan going for 1-93, Zaheer Khan 0-93 and RPSingh 1-91. Only Kumble and to some extent, Ganguly looked impressive on the eased-out third day pitch.
Indian batsmen will have hold their gaurd up for two days to prevent its arch-rival from winning the Test and the series after the first two Tests were inconclusive.
Shahid Afridi resumed after break, going hammer-and-tongs against the bowlers. Tea seemed to have infused a maddening spirit in him.
Whatever little bit of confidence India had of reducing the onslaught, vanished in thin air, as the Pakistan batter tore into the weary,demoralizedbowling.
His regular swipes at the red cherry had enough power to dent the fence beyond the boundary rope.
In fact, one miserable over from Pathan costed 18 runs, as Afridi hit 3 lofted fours and onegarangutan six over deep backward square leg.
He was dismissed soon though, finishing his hurricane at 60 runs off 46 balls (9 fours, 1 six), but not before he had well and truly batted India out of the game, as the lead cleared the 400 mark.
Even after his departure, there was no let up as Iqbal and Razzaq continued from where he left off, although in a much more sedate fashion.
Inzamam's replacement for the Test, Faisal Iqbal batted with confidence and perseverance, not getting bogged down even when Ganguly and Kumble kept plugging at their ends, late in the day.
Dravid tried a few innovative ideas to keep the tempo down. At one stage, Indian pacers bowledto a 7-2 field. But nothing worked, Iqbal's shots were too accurately hit and too sweetly timedfor the fielders, that stood motionless.
Pakistan looked to resume run-charge, resuming play after lunch.
But India's lone spinner, Kumble proved to be a thorn in the home team's flesh.
With a dead, straight skidding delivery that rapped the pads, the leggie eked out the dangerous Younis Khan for 77 runs (122 balls, 11 fours).
Mohammed Yousuf (97, 12 fours), at the other end, was the next to go, suckered by a well disguised googlyfrom Kumble. After toiling for 161 balls, hewalked back just three runs short ofa well-deserved hundred .
Kumble, with two crucial dismissals in his bag, looked in good rhythm, bowling with a lot of air and variations. However, Shahid Afridi and Faisal Iqbal soon punctured his brief buoyancy.
Iqbal looked scrathy at the start, but soon improved to 'solid', watchfully defending good deliveries but not missing out on bad balls.
Afridi, though, in his usual ballistic style, threw the kitchen sink at the already weary bolwers. He smacked 4 fours off the leg-spinner's one over and extended the lead to 350.
At tea, the two were undefeated with Pakistan's score at 370 with six wickets intact.
Pakistan started the day's proceedings with Younis Khan and Mohammed Yousuf intent on batting India out of the game. The duo resumed their overnight 50-run partnership, looking subdued, but totally in control.
The Indian pacers bowled accurately, noticeably using a lot of variationsagainst thePakistan's two premier batsmen. But lack of pace and incisiveness, prevented them from effecting a breakthrough.
The Younis-Yousuf combine soon reached their respective fifties and stepped on the gas straightway.
Dealing in boundaries and at the same time stealing singles whenever possible, the two never let the bowlers get on top.
The skipper, in particular, was in murderous mood and smashed Pathan, RP, Zaheer and Ganguly without prejudice. He had already hit 11 fours by the time he had reached 60.
At lunch, the two Pak batsmen walked back, fully in control of the situation.
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First Published: Jan 31, 2006 10:59 IST