Pak seize initiative on Day one

Updated on Jan 22, 2006 11:01 AM IST

Inzamam, Afridi put Pakistan in charge after Younis and Yousuf had clobbered the bowling attack. Pics: Day 1

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None | BySunit Kaul (HindustanTimes.com), Faisalabad

With a hot sun above and placid track beneath, Pakistan seized the initiative with superlative batting performances on the first day of the second Test match at Faisalabad.

India going in with 5 bowlers for the first time since 2000, found it hard to cope with the might of Pakistani batting lineup that once again made light work of the bowling attack.

Salman Butt and Shoaib Malik in the first session, Mohammed Yousuf (65) and Younis Khan (83) in the second and the hard-hitting duo of Inzamam (79)and Afridi (85) in the third showed no mercy as they took on the woeful bowlers head on - without stepping off the gas even for a while.

On paper India's bowling looked strong, with Zaheer Khan as the change-up after Pathan and RP Singh, but out in the middle they looked impotent.

Only RP, on his debut managed to ruffle some feathers, with batsmen hesitantly prodding at his deliveries. He even managed to take three of the four wickets to fall, but not before Pakistan had piled up a huge score.

Final Session: (26 overs, 131 runs, 0 wickets)

After tea, Shahid Afridi and Inzamam looked to continue from where Younis and Yousuf had left.

Inzamam reached to his 43rd half-century amid uproar in the Iqbal Stadium. Afridi soon followed with a smashing boundary straight past the bowler, envoking a bigger applause.

Afridi, appearing more restraint than usual, nevertheless looked to attack first and defend later. With many hits (and few mishits!) to the fence, he and Inzamam put on a 100-run partnership.

In fact in one over of Pathan, Afridi smashed two sixes and two fours to score 22 runs in 6 balls. Inzamam, at the other end, survived few close lbw appeals against Kumble, but punished anything that was short or wide.

Post-Lunch Session: (28 overs, 111 runs, 2 wickets)

Continuing after break, Mohammed Yousuf and Younis Khan opened up and started dealing with boundaries. The two reached their fifties in double-quick time.

The pace attack except RP Singh, with a hot sun above and placid pitch below, looked woefully out of sorts. Even the spinners - Kumble and Harbhajan - who were earlier getting a lot of bite, looked more in 'run-containing' mode, than attacking bowlers against the duo.

It had to be Yuvraj Singh, who once again showed his worth to the team by pulling off a blinder at point. He snatched the ball from mid air that looked destined for a boundary, to dismiss danger-man Younis Khan for 83.

Mohammed Yousuf (65) folowed soon after. In a sudden lapse of concentration he swished airly at RP Singh's short delivery, edging it straight to a diving Dhoni, who pouched it safely.

Morning Session: (36 overs, 137 runs, 2 wickets)

The Younis-Yousuf combine tormented the Indian bowling attack yet again, as if resuming their innings from Lahore and took Pakistan over the 100-run mark at lunch.

Zaheer Khan after being swatted for many boundaries, got his revenge when he got rid of well-set opener Salman Butt for 37 - edging it straight to wicketkeeper Dhoni.

RP Singh, playing his first Test match, had provided India with an early breakthrough, getting the other opener Shoaib Malik (19) after the duo threatened to thwart the bowling attack for the whole session.

The two Pakistan openers Shoaib Malik and Salman Butt had put on a prolific 49-run partnership, as the three left arm seamers toiled under the sun on a yet another belter of a pitch.

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq won the toss and elected to bat. Sourav Ganguly and Ajit Agarkar have been omitted to make way for Zaheer Khan and RP Singh.

India are playing five bowlers in this match and this the first time a team is going in with three left-arm seamers.

Pak have dropped Mohammad Sami and Rana Naved while Abdul Razzaq and Mohammad Asif have been included in the playing eleven.

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