Pathan's triple strikes bring India back in the game

Published: Friday, April 9, 2004, 1:16 [IST]
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Lahore:In the most productive session for the Indians in the second cricket Test, young seamers Irfan Pathan and L Balaji grabbed four wickets between them to help India bounce back on the third day of the match in Lahore on Wednesday.

Resuming at a strong 355 for three, Pakistan slipped to 419 for seven at lunch with only one specialist batsman, rookie Asim Kamal, at the crease.

Kamal was batting on 26 accompanied by Shoaib Akhtar on 14, with the hosts enjoying a lead of 132 over India's first innings total of 287. Pathan had figures of three for 80 while Balaji returned three for 81 as Pakistan lost four wickets while adding 64 runs in the first session.

The 19-year old Pathan struck in the very first over to remove Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq leg before wicket, without adding a run to his overnight score of 118.

Balaji then sent back Yousuf Youhana (72) when his good length delivery held its line and got a faint edge to the wicketkeeper. Kamran Akmal played far too across to be plumb in front to Pathan while Mohammad Sami was lazy in his defence against the same bowler to inside edge an innocuous ball.

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