Pak strike back with vengeance

Updated on Jan 25, 2006 11:12 AM IST

Younis (64) and Akmal (59) demolished any Indian hope of a batting collapse.

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None | BySunit Kaul (HindustanTimes.com), Faisalabad

Acting skipper Younis Khan smashed back-to-back fifties as Pakistan made a strong start in their second innings on the penultimate day of the second Test at Faisalabad.

The home team finished with 152 for 1 with Younis (64 off 103 balls) and Kamran Akmal (59 off 121 balls) putting on a 186 ball, 100-run stand after India had taken a slender 15-run advantage.

Kumble had struck early at the start of Pakistan's second innings, getting Salman Butt for 24 runs - foxing him with a well disguised top spinner. But some dogged application to the crease by Younis-Akmal combine dashed any Indian hope of triggering a batting collapse.

The duo, adopting an 'attack-then-defend' strategy, saw out the good balls, but never missed an inch on bad deliveries.

Earlier, Irfan Pathan's well-paced half century along with MS Dhoni's blitzkreig helped visitors surpass Pakistan's huge first innings total.

Pathan was unlucky to miss out on a well-deserved ton, walking back for 90, after Dhoni's pyrotechnics had rocked the weary Pakistani bowling.

Dhoni finished with a refreshing 144 off 153 balls with 18 fours and 4 sixes.

Final Session:

Continuing their battle against Indian bowling after tea, Younis Khan and Kamran Akmal looked to keep wickets in hand till stumps.

The acting captain appeared in good touch, middling everything that came his way. Kumble, bowling with great deal of accuracy earlier, lost his rhythm in front of the in-form batsman. Younis took full toll of him, taking 3 fours in 6 balls.

Akmal, Younis soon reached their fifty-run partnership in under 100 balls.

Their prolific run-making continued for 50 runs and at stumps they walked back to the pavillion, undefeated and fully in control.

Post Lunch Session:

Resuming play after lunch, Harbhajan Singh's (38) whacks ensured that India surpassed Pakistan's total of 588.

Staring at India's lead of 15 runs, Pakistan openers started their innings on a positive note, piling up fifty runs in no time against pace bowlers. But spin did the trick for India, as Salman Butt trying an over ambitious stroke, hauled to Tendulkar at mid-wicket.

At tea, Pakistan finished at 65/1 with Kamran Akmal (29) and Younis Khan (9), preventing any further damage.

Morning Session: 

Dhoni and Pathan continued piling up runs against the Pakistani bowlers, as the battle moved on to the the fourth day of the second Test at Faisalabad.

Irfan Pathan reached to his half-century in only the second ball of the day with a big booming drive off Danish Kaneria.

Acting captain Younis Khan, on for injured Inzamam, started aggressively with  Kaneria and Shoaib Akhtar bowling their heart out.

Akhtar, in particular, dished out some 'chin-music' to the batsmen. But India had its reply in form off Dhoni. The wicketkeeper-batsman demolished the fiery pacer's bowling hitting 22 runs in one over.

Irked Shoaib fired a beamer to Dhoni, which missed the latter's head by a whisker. Umpire promptly cautioned him and Younis replaced him by Mohammed Asif.

But India suffered a blow when MS Dhoni was finally dismissed, trying to hit a massive six over the bowler's head. He missed Kaneria's dipper as Akmal completed a regulation stumping.

He walked back to the pavilion for a smashing 144 off 153 balls with 18 fours and 4 sixes.

Pathan, at the other end, too departed for 90, missing out on a well-deserved century. However, the duo had by their exploits, demoralized the famed Pakistan bowling attack.

At lunch, India were at 559/8, thanks to some dogged batting by Harbhajan (19*) and Kumble (19). 

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