Thatscricket - Test Series - India's tour of Pakistan- Pak struggles against Indian seamers' onslaught

Published: Tuesday, April 13, 2004, 22:33 [IST]
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Rawalpindi:India's decision to bowl first paid rich dividends as the seamers exploited the conditions well to reduce Pakistan to a precarious 169 for eight at tea on the first day of the series-deciding third cricket Test in Rawalpindi on Tuesday.

Led by Lakshmipathy Balaji, who grabbed four wickets for 53, the Indian bowlers gave a tough time to the Pakistan batsmen, ironically, on a track designed especially to suit the home side bowlers.

Left-arm seamers Irfan Pathan (2/35) and Ashish Nehra (2/47) also bowled incisive spells, justifying skipper Sourav Ganguly's decision to bowl first after winning the toss at the Pindi Stadium, hosting the 50th Test between the archrivals.

At the break, tailenders Mohammad Sami (batting 19) and Fazl-e-Akbar (batting 8) were fighting a grim battle to give Pakistan's first innings score some respectability.

The first session set the stage for the Indian dominance as the visitors succeeded in removing four top-order batsmen including in-form skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Four more wickets in the post-lunch session gave the Indians, looking for a series win on Pakistan soil in almost 50 years, a firm control of the match.

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