Indian seamers strike crucial blows

Published: Tuesday, April 13, 2004, 18:20 [IST]
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Rawalpindi: India grabbed four key wickets after sending Pakistan to bat on a greenish wicket in the third and final cricket Test in Rawalpindi on Tuesday.

Pakistan went to lunch on the opening day at 96 for four with Yousuf Youhana batting on one and Asim Kamal on 16.

Both sides are level 1-1 in the three-match series, the first between the two countries on Pakistan soil since 1989.

India's regular captain Sourav Ganguly returned to lead the side after missing the first two Tests with a back injury.

Opener Aakash Chopra made way for Ganguly, while left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra replaced Ajit Agarkar.

Pakistan made one change from the side that won the second Test at Lahore by nine wickets, bringing in fast bowler Fazl-e-Akbar in place of the injured Umar Gul.

Left-handed openers Imran Farhat and Taufiq Umer saw off the first 45 minutes to put on 34 on a wicket that afforded seam movement to the Indian bowlers.

Both batsmen, however, fell leg-before in successive overs to reduce Pakistan to 34 for two.

Umer, who made nine, was dismissed by Laxmipathy Balaji, while Farhat (16) fell to Nehra.

Pakistan moved to 77 for two when India hit back again with two wickets in the space of eight deliveries.

Left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan made amends for a wayward first spell to force Yasir Hameed (26) to edge a catch to Venkatsai Laxman at second slip.

Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq, who made 15, survived a confident leg-before appeal off Nehra, before being caught behind off the next ball.

India wins the toss, elects to field first

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