Cricket: Zaheer jolts Pakistan with double-strike

Published: Thursday, November 22, 2007, 12:44 [IST]
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Zaheer Khan rattled Pakistan with two quick wickets to help India seize the early initiative in the opening Test at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground here on Thursday.

The left-arm seamer dismissed opener Salman Butt and vice-captain Younis Khan in a disciplined opening spell as Pakistan struggled to reach 74-3 in their first innings at lunch on the opening day.

Mohammad Yousuf was batting with a solid 27 at the interval, hitting five fours. Misbah-ul-Haq was batting with three.

Pakistan squandered the advantage of winning the toss on a good batting pitch, losing two wickets for 35 runs in the opening 13 overs.

Zaheer struck in his third over when he bowled left-handed Butt (one) with a delivery that cut in sharply off the pitch. He then had Younis (seven) caught hooking by Munaf Patel at fine-leg.

Veteran Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble, who made his captaincy debut, did not have to wait long for his first success as he deceived opener Yasir Hameed (29) with a straighter one in his fourth over.

Fast bowler Patel, who returned to the side after missing Test series in England and Bangladesh, also kept pressure from the other end as he conceded just 14 runs in his opening seven-over spell.

India went into the first match of a three-Test series with two spinners, Harbhajan Singh and Kumble, and as many seamers, while Pakistan named three fast bowlers and one spinner in their playing eleven.

The tourists suffered a setback when fast bowler Umar Gul was ruled out of the match due to a back injury. He was replaced with left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir, who made his debut.

Off-spinner Harbhajan returned to the Indian side after more than a year.

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