Indians have their back against the wall

Published: Friday, April 9, 2004, 1:16 [IST]
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Lahore:India made a disastrous start in their bid to save the second Test against Pakistan in Lahore after losing two cheap wickets in the second innings.

The tourists, who trail by 202 runs after Pakistan made 489 in their first innings, lost captain Rahul Dravid in the last over before tea to an indiscreet run out for zero to leave them tottering at 15 for two on the third day on Wednesday.

India, who had made 287 in their first innings, need another 187 runs to avert an innings defeat with eight wickets in hand.

Virender Sehwag was unbeaten on eight at the break. Fellow opener Aakash Chopra was out leg-before wicket off Shoaib Akhtar for five.

Earlier, left-handed Asim Kamal hit a polished 73 to help Pakistan extend their lead after India's Irfan Pathan helped his team stage a fightback with a three-wicket burst.

Kamal held the innings together in the company of tailenders to ensure Pakistan secured an almost impregnable lead on a wearing pitch.

Pakistan, who hope to level the series after losing the first Test in Multan, had slipped from the overnight 355 for three to 386 for seven before Kamal grabbed his first chance in the series.

Kamal, who made 99 in his debut Test against South Africa last year, and Akhtar added 46 valuable runs for the eighth wicket.

Akhtar made 19 before he was smartly held at mid-wicket by Yuvraj Singh off leg-spinner Anil Kumble, who finished with 2-146.

The 27-year-old Kamal further frustrated India's bowlers during a ninth wicket stand of 38 with Umar Gul (14).

Kamal, who hit three towering sixes and seven fours, was the last man out when his miscued a reverse sweep off Kumble and was taken behind the stumps by Parthiv Patel.

The hosts had made a disastrous start to the day, losing four wickets in the space of 30 runs with Pathan being the main destroyer.

The 19-year-old, who took six wickets in the Multan Test, trapped captain Inzamam-ul-Haq leg-before with the sixth delivery of the day.

Inzamam did not add to his overnight score of 118 which was studded with 14 boundaries.

Two overs later, Laxmipathy Balaji forced an edge off Pakistan's vice-captain Yousuf Youhana to wicket-keeper Patel.

Youhana, playing his 50th Test, made 72 with 13 hits to the fence and his departure ended Pakistan's hopes of building a huge first innings lead.

Pathan added two more scalps in successive overs, claiming Kamran Akmal leg-before for five and then bowling Mohammad Sami with a sharp inswinger for two.

Pathan finished with 3-107 while Balaji took 3-81.

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